Every sleeper is different, and some of us appreciate a little more weight to our bedding when it comes to entering that relaxed state conducive to sleep.
That’s where weighted blankets come in, and you might have heard of these in recent years due to a surge in popularity.
But what’s the go with weighted blankets, how do they work and who are they for?
What are weighted blankets?
As the name suggests, weighted blankets are a bit heavier than their traditional counterparts. They work on a principle similar to deep pressure stimulation or pressure therapy, using pressure to relax the nervous system.
The sensation of a weighted blanket feels like being hugged or a bit like being swaddled as a child.
In the process, it naturally promotes the production of serotonin and melatonin, which helps to improve mood and create an overall sense of calm, allowing you to relax faster and sleep deeper.
As a result, weighted blankets can be beneficial for those who suffer anxiety, ADHD or are restless.
How they work
There are two current styles of weighted blankets – quilt style and knitted.
Quilt style weighted blankets use heavy filling, such as glass microbeads, mini ball bearings or heavy fill, which are evenly distributed throughout the quilt.
Knitted weighted blankets are knitted using higher density yarn.
As we mentioned before, they are designed to elicit the feeling of being hugged, which happens when you wrap the weighted blanket around you or use it as part of your bedding.
Who they’re for
Designed to offer a sense of calm and promote relaxation, weighted blankets have been found to potentially improve sleep for people who:
- Suffer anxiety or depression
- Have ADHD or autism
- Struggle with chronic pain
- Suffer from sleep disorders or insomnia
That said, there are a few people who weighted blankets might not be suited to. This includes children under two years of age, who should not use weighted blankets, and people who have asthma, obstructive sleep apnoea or claustrophobia.
Weighted blanket tips
If you’re looking to enjoy the benefits of a better night’s sleep courtesy of a weighted blanket, experts suggest the blanket should be between 5 and 10 per cent of your body weight.
It should also be large enough to wrap around you or fit snugly to the edge of the bed.
You might also want to look for a plush option that allows the blanket to feel extra cosy and further promotes a sense of calm and relaxation.
You can view our weighted blanket options here or see our weighted eye mask here. And don’t forget to check out all our further top tips on getting the great night’s sleep in our sleep research section.