Do you ever find yourself staring at your bedroom ceiling, mentally calculating how many hours of shut-eye you can get before your alarm goes off? We’ve all been there before. If you're tired of tossing and turning at night — or maybe, just plain tired — it might be time to try a weighted blanket on for size. Ranging anywhere from five to 30 pounds, these therapeutic blankets are often touted for their ability to induce a state of calm and lull the user into a deeper sleep.
For many people, weighted blankets have become a regular part of a healthy bedtime routine. But can these trendy blankets really help you fall asleep, or is that just a bunch of hype? Read on as we explore the benefits of weighted blankets for sleep and how they can help you get more snooze.Get Your Weighted Blanket Today
The Sleep-Inducing Benefits of Weighted Blankets
Turns out, even though they’ve been trending in recent years, weighted blankets are not a new concept. Occupational therapists have been using weighted blankets — as well as weighted vests, lap pads and scarves — for decades as a therapy tool for their patients.
The science behind these weighted products is called deep touch pressure (DTP), a term used to describe the firm but gentle squeezing or hugging that relaxes the nervous system. DTP is thought to improve your sleep quality and quantity by:
- Increasing melatonin and serotonin. Wrapping yourself in a weighted blanket triggers the release of melatonin and serotonin, two hormones that both play a vital role in your body’s sleep/wake cycle. Melatonin (aka, the sleep hormone) helps you fall asleep naturally by calming the body, while serotonin (a precursor to melatonin) is essential for stabilizing your mood and facilitating deep sleep.
- Promoting a sense of calm. Along with chemical changes in the brain, the gentle pressure of a weighted blanket can also activate the parasympathetic nervous system. When this system is activated, it slows your heart and breathing rates, lowers your blood pressure and decreases cortisol (the stress hormone), making it easier to achieve a good night’s sleep.
- Helping you stop tossing and turning. If you toss and turn at night due to anxious thoughts or restless legs syndrome, a weighted blanket might help you get a better snooze. The extra weight of the blanket helps keep your restless body still, which signals to the brain that you’re ready to fall asleep. Weighted blankets also reduce tossing and turning by easing symptoms of anxiety, which is a common cause of restless sleep.
Do Weighted Blankets Help You Sleep? Studies Point to Yes
The theory behind weighted blankets seems legit. But the question remains: Can weighted blankets actually help you sleep?
While research is limited so far, existing studies suggest that weighted blankets can indeed support a good night’s rest. In a randomized, controlled study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, researchers found that participants who used weighted blankets were 26 times more likely to experience a 50 percent reduction in the severity of their insomnia compared to participants who didn’t use a weighted blanket.
In 2015, researchers from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden investigated the effectiveness of weighted blankets on insomniacs. They found that using a weighted blanket increased sleep bout time and decreased sleep movement, resulting in a calmer night’s rest.
Choosing the Right Weighted Blanket Is Key
So, do weighted blankets help you sleep? Based on the studies above (as well as heaps of anecdotal evidence), the answer is yes, they do!
However, it’s important to keep in mind that not all weighted blankets are made the same. If you want to feel relaxed and sleep like a baby every night, choose a weighted blanket that ticks the following boxes:
- Ideal Weight.When buying a weighted blanket for the first time, many people underestimate (and occasionally overestimate) their heft. To experience the full relaxation and sleep benefits of weighted blankets, you’ll want to choose one that weighs approximately 10 percent of your body weight.
- Right Size. Weighted blankets should cover your entire body, from chin to feet. Depending on your preferences, you may also want to consider the size of your bed. Here at Gravity Blankets, our weighted blankets are available in several sizes to fit both standard single beds and queen/king beds.
- Not Too Hot. If you’re a hot sleeper, we recommend choosing a cooling weighted blanket. Our cooling weighted blanket is made from breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics for a sweat-free slumber.
- High-Quality. If you’re going to invest in a weighted blanket, you want to make sure that it’s top-quality. First-rate weighted blankets — like our best-selling Gravity Weighted Blanket — are made with high-quality materials such as premium glass beads and comfortable yet durable duvet covers.
There’s no doubt about it: weighted blankets can help you get a better night’s sleep. If you’re ready to buy a weighted blanket and take your sleep game to the next level, Gravity Blankets has you covered. From our best-selling weighted blankets to our top-rated weighted sleep masks and robes, our weighted products are expertly designed to give you a luxurious sleep experience.