What are weighted blankets used for

How To Use A Weighted Blanket

The increasing popularity of weighted blankets has sparked curiosity and interest in their benefits and proper use. This blog explores what weighted blankets are used for, how to use a weighted blanket effectively and the benefits of incorporating one into your sleep routine.

What are weighted blankets used for?

Weighted blankets are designed to provide gentle, even pressure across the body, mimicking a therapeutic technique known as deep pressure stimulation. This pressure can help improve mood, reduce anxiety and promote a deeper, more restful sleep.

Originally used in therapeutic settings for individuals with sensory processing disorders, the calming effect of weighted blankets has gained widespread recognition, making them popular among the general population.

Choosing the right weighted blanket

Choosing the right weighted blanket involves more than just picking a colour or pattern; it's about finding the appropriate weight that aligns with your body mass and comfort preferences. The general rule of thumb is to select a blanket that weighs around 10% of your body weight. This guideline is grounded in ensuring the blanket exerts sufficient pressure for therapeutic benefits while still being comfortable and safe for use.

For instance, a person weighing 150 pounds may find a 15-pound blanket most suitable. However, personal preference also plays a role. Some individuals may prefer slightly heavier or lighter blankets depending on their comfort level with pressure. It's also important to consider that the weight should be evenly distributed in the blanket to ensure consistent pressure throughout its use.

In addition to weight, consider the size of the blanket. It should be large enough to cover you adequately but not so large that it hangs off the sides of the bed, as this could lead to the blanket sliding off during sleep. Lastly, the fabric of the weighted blanket is a key factor. Options vary from cooling fabrics like cotton for hot sleepers to warmer materials like fleece for those who get cold easily. The choice of fabric can significantly affect your comfort and the overall effectiveness of the blanket.

How to use a weighted blanket

Using a weighted blanket is relatively simple, but there are some best practices to enhance its effectiveness:

  • Use it during sleep
  • The weighted blanket should be laid out evenly on the bed, ideally covering the entire length of the body, from the shoulders down to the feet. This helps ensure the weight is distributed uniformly, providing consistent sensory input across the body. 

  • Incorporate it into relaxation time
  • Apart from sleeping, a weighted blanket can be beneficial during other restful activities such as reading, meditating or watching television. Using the blanket during these activities can extend its calming effects beyond just the nighttime.

  • Integration with regular bedding
  • You can place the weighted blanket either directly on top of your body or over your regular comforter. Some people prefer direct contact for maximum pressure, while others may opt for a layered approach for a subtler effect. Experimenting with both methods can help you find your ideal comfort level.

  • Gradual introduction
  • For newcomers to weighted blankets, it’s advisable to start with shorter durations of use. Begin by using it for a few hours at a time and gradually increase as you become more comfortable with the sensation. This approach helps your body adjust without feeling overwhelmed by the weight.

  • Ensure even distribution
  • Regularly check that the weight of the blanket is evenly distributed. Uneven weight can lead to discomfort and diminish the blanket’s effectiveness. This is particularly important after washing or moving the blanket.

    Benefits of using a weighted blanket

    The benefits of using a weighted blanket are supported by both anecdotal evidence and some scientific studies.

  • Improved sleep quality
  • Many users report an improvement in sleep quality, including quicker sleep onset and fewer nighttime awakenings. The pressure from the blanket can produce a calming effect, which may help in reducing the time it takes to fall asleep.

  • Reduced feelings of anxiousness
  • The deep pressure stimulation provided by weighted blankets can play a significant role in reducing stress and anxiety levels. This pressure has been linked to a firm hug, which can be comforting and reassuring, leading to decreased cortisol levels and increased serotonin production.

  • Help for restless leg syndrome

  • Weighted blankets can offer relief for Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) by applying gentle, consistent pressure. This can counteract the uncomfortable sensations often associated with RLS, providing a non-pharmacological method for easing symptoms, especially during rest or sleep.

  • Support for sensory processing challenges
  • For those with sensory processing challenges, the uniform pressure of a weighted blanket can be grounding and reassuring. It helps in managing sensory overload, providing a safe and comforting sensation.

    How do you use a weighted blanket safely?

    Using a weighted blanket safely ensures its benefits are enjoyed without risks. While these blankets are generally safe for most people, it's important to be aware of certain precautions:

    • Weighted blankets are not suitable for everyone. Weighted blankets are designed with specific user considerations in mind. While they offer comfort and therapeutic benefits to many, they are not recommended for very young children and individuals under 60 kilograms. For children, especially those under two years of age, there is the risk of suffocation, as they might not be able to move the blanket off themselves if needed. It's important to use weighted blankets that are appropriate for the user's body weight to ensure safety and effectiveness.
    • Individuals with underlying health conditions must consult a healthcare provider before using a weighted blanket. Certain medical conditions might be exacerbated by the added weight, and a healthcare professional can provide personalised advice on whether a weighted blanket is a safe option.
    • Another critical aspect of using a weighted blanket safely is ensuring its quality. A well-made weighted blanket should have evenly distributed weight throughout to ensure that the pressure is applied uniformly across the body. Additionally, secure stitching is important to prevent any leakage of the weighted material, which can be a safety hazard and reduce the blanket's effectiveness.

    Weighted blankets are a simple, non-medicinal method to enhance sleep quality and mitigate feelings of anxiety. By understanding and adhering to these safety guidelines, you can maximise the benefits of your weighted blanket and improve your overall well-being, making it a valuable addition to your relaxation and sleep routine.

    Cleaning and maintenance of weighted blankets

    Maintaining the cleanliness of your weighted blanket is essential for its longevity and effectiveness. Proper cleaning practices ensure that the blanket remains hygienic and comfortable for regular use. Here are some guidelines for cleaning weighted blankets:

    1. Follow the care label — Before cleaning, it's crucial to read the care label on your weighted blanket. Different materials and weights require different care instructions. Some blankets may be machine washable, while others may need to be hand-washed or dry-cleaned.
    2. Machine washing — If your weighted blanket is machine washable, use a gentle cycle with cold water. It's advisable to use a mild detergent and avoid bleach or fabric softeners, which can degrade the fabric over time. Since weighted blankets are heavy, ensure your washing machine can handle the weight. It's often recommended to use commercial washers for heavier blankets.
    3. Hand washing — For blankets that aren’t suitable for machine washing, hand washing is a safe alternative. Fill a bathtub or large basin with cold water and mild detergent and gently agitate the blanket in the water. Rinse thoroughly to remove all soap residues.
    4. Drying — Check the care label for specific drying instructions. Some weighted blankets can be tumble-dried on a low setting, while others should be air-dried. When air drying, lay the blanket flat and rotate it periodically to ensure even drying. Avoid hanging weighted blankets, as the weight can cause the fabric to stretch or the stitching to strain.
    5. Spot cleaning — For small stains or spills, spot cleaning is often sufficient. Use a mild detergent and a damp cloth to gently clean the affected area, then air dry.

    Choose Super Sleeper Pro for your weighted blanket needs

    At Super Sleeper Pro, we offer a selection of high-quality weighted blankets designed to cater to your comfort and relaxation needs. Our carefully crafted blankets ensure even weight distribution for the most effective and soothing experience.

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