Following the weighted blanket guidelines are key to ensure you get better sleep. While there are sleep aids and medications out there to help address your sleep problems, you may also want to try first using weighted blankets, which is known to help address sleeping concerns such as insomnia.
In research conducted by the American Sleep Association, they found out that 50 to 70 million Americans are suffering from a sleep disorder. Yes, that is quite a lot in number.
With that said, it is not surprising why a lot of Americans seem to be really fascinated to have a good night sleep. Needless to say, why weighted blankets are becoming in demand. Oh, but before you even get one, make sure you know the weighted blanket guidelines, which we will discuss later on.
Going back, well, who doesn’t want a good night sleep, anyway?
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF HAVING A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP?
Having a good night sleep comes with a lot of benefits. Here are a few reasons why you should aim to catch a good night’s sleep:
– Having a good sleep keeps your heart healthy, and in general as well.
It’s no brainer. Having enough sleep is vital to help keep us in good shape. Moreover, it is essential in keeping our hearts healthy. It helps keep us away from probably heart attacks or strokes. In fact, lack of sleep has been – many times – associated with deteriorating blood pressure and high cholesterol, which are major factors for stroke and heart diseases.
To keep your heart healthy and your general health, you better get 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night. That’s according to experts.
– A night of good sleep helps reduce stress.
Don’t you know that when you do not have enough sleep, your body goes into a state of stress? When you are sleep deprived, your body’s functions gets into a high alert. When it does, it leads to high blood pressure and produces stress hormones. When a person’s blood pressure gets high, it leads to a higher risk of stroke and heart attack, while the stress hormones become the culprit to making it harder for you to fall asleep.
Make sure to have enough sleep and be stress-free.
– Having enough sleep helps improve your memory.
According to research, having enough sleep plays an important role when it comes to memory consolidation. It’s actually quite amusing that while your body rests while you sleep, your brain is busy processing what happened during the day – it makes connections between feelings, sensory inputs events, and memories. Thus, good quality of sleep means a better ability to process and remember things.
– A night of good sleep may help reduce the risk of depression.
Here’s a fact, when you sleep, it impacts a variety of chemicals in your body. One of those chemicals impacted is serotonin. According to experts, when a person lacks serotonin, they are most likely to suffer depression. Thus, to help prevent depression, make sure your body gets the right amount of sleep, which is either 7 or 9 hours a night.
– Having enough sleep helps you lose weight.
Do you want to lose weight? The here’s a secret unveiled, sleep soundly. According to research, people with not enough sleep (below 7 hours per night) are more likely to be obese or overweight. The lack of sleep, they say, affects the balance of hormones in the body, which include a person’s appetite. The researchers also found out that ghrelin and leptin, which are hormones that regulate appetite are disrupted by having not enough sleep. So, whether you want to maintain your weight or you want to get slimmer, you better work on having a good night sleep.
Having learned about all that (there are actually more to add to this list), you are probably convinced at having a good night sleep.
But what if you have a sleeping disorder, to begin with?
As we earlier mentioned, while there are many available medications out there, it would be nice to start with some non-medicated ways first. Who knows, that’s all you need, right?
Well, we believe that we can always try alternatives first especially if the condition is not that bad yet. It’s better to spare your liver from too many medicines, right?
Anyway, as we as well mentioned earlier, one way to help you with having a good sleep is getting yourself a weighted blanket. But of course, making sure to follow weighted blanket guidelines when getting one.
By now, especially to those who are not quite familiar about this thing, you are probably curious what a weighted blanket is and how does it help correct a sleeping disorder.
Well, wait no more, as we are going to discuss that… now!
WHAT IS A WEIGHTED BLANKET?
A weighted blanket is obviously a blanket but is engineered to be 7% to 12% of your body weight. The blanket is supposed to help relax your nervous system by mimicking the feeling of being hugged or held.
Genius? Well, it is safe to say that it is!
But here’s an interesting fact, weighted blankets have been used not just recently but for many years already. It was intended to help calm adults and children with anxiety, attention problems, and even so, autism.
Well, that is indeed surprisingly genius.
While scientific research is scarce, there have been some that were conducted by the industry. For instance, in one study among 31 men and women suffering from moderate insomnia, they were asked to use weighted blankets for 2 weeks. The turnout? They had calmer sleep and had fewer movements.
In another study conducted among 32 adults, 63% of them reported having less anxiety when they used the weighted blanket, while 78% said they prefer using the weighted blanket as it helped calm them down.
You may want to check this video from SciShow Psych. Hank Green discusses weighted blankets and how it helps address health conditions particularly sleep problems.
These studies alone prove that this is something worth a try, right?
WHO BENEFITS FROM USING WEIGHTED BLANKETS?
We have mentioned it earlier and we will re-state it again. Weighted blankets are said to be beneficial to people suffering from sleep disorders like insomnia.
In a study conducted in 2015, they found out that weighted blankets and vests have shown good effects among those using them. It provided a calming effect especially to those suffering from clinical disorders. The study suggests that a weighted blanket “may provide an innovative, non-pharmacological approach and complementary tool to improve sleep quality.”
Some of the clinical disorders that might benefit from weighted blankets are:
– Restless Leg Syndrome
– Sensory Processing Disorder
– Autism Spectrum Disorder
However, please note that not all weighted blankets you see are applicable to everybody. There are certain weighted blanket guidelines to follow to ensure you get the one suited for you and your condition.
WHAT ARE THE GUIDELINES WHEN BUYING WEIGHTED BLANKETS?
Alright, so we have come to this point. What are the weighted blanket guidelines that you should follow when buying one?
Well, here are some of the generally accepted guidelines when buying weighted blankets:
Make sure you get the right size.
There are a variety of weighted blankets available in the market today. They weigh from five to thirty pounds. Your body weight is used to determine the right weighted blanket for you.
In relation to the user’s weight and size, below is the accepted principle used as recommended by occupational therapists and healthcare professionals:
– Children – The formula used is to get 10% of the child’s body weight and then add one or two pounds.
– Adults – The formula to follow is, get 10% of the person’s ideal body weight.
You don’t have to be necessarily exact about the blanket weight, but remember that the general guideline is to get the one which weighs 10% of your body weight. Going for something lighter than 10% of your body may not give you the same benefits and will just be a waste of money.
However, if you are unsure, we highly suggest you consult your healthcare provider, or you may check the recommended weighted blanket size guide or weight chart from Mosaic Weighted Blankets. The chart will guide you in choosing the right weighted blanket for you based on your weight, size, and needs.
Again, before buying make sure you are getting the right one for you, and make sure to follow the weighted blanket weight guide.
When in doubt, ask a professional’s opinion.
We are all unique. While our conditions may be the same, but our bodies are unique from one another. Thus, what works for the other may or may not work for you. That is why it is better to consult and ask a professional’s advice before even getting a weighted blanket for you or your loved one – preferably from an occupational therapist or appropriate healthcare professional.
It is also good to note that not all people can use weighted blankets. According to Oxford NHS, weighted blankets should NOT be used for children (and adults too) with the following conditions:
– Cardiac or Heart Problems
– Circulatory Problems
– Respiratory or Breathing Problems
– Serious Hypotonia or Low Tone
– Skin Problems, which includes certain allergies
Also included in this list are those with physical, learning or other difficulties which may mean the child is not able to remove the blanket on his or her own.
Opt for a fabric that is best for your needs.
One of the weighted blanket guidelines is to choose the right fabric according to your needs. Please note that weighted blankets are not all the same. They are made from various materials. That is why it is highly suggested to choose the right fabric that fits our needs.
Most weighted blankets are made of man-made fibers like minky and fleece. While some are made of more breathable, natural fabric like cotton.
Depending on your body and personal preference, if you are, for instance, prone to overheating, you may choose the ones that are made from cotton. If you want warm and cozy, go for fleece or minky.
If you have certain allergies on certain types of fabrics, that’s another story. You better consult a health professional to know what’s best for you.
Select the best “filling” for you.
Most weighted blankets use plastic poly pellets as filling. If you are someone who is not a fan of using plastic, you can opt for those that use glass bead fillings.
If you are not familiar with these two materials – plastic poly pellets are like tiny pebbles, while glass beads are like sand. Please note that glass beads are thicker compared to poly pellets. As with poly pellets, should you opt to use this one, make sure you go for high-quality pellets as the cheaper ones do not dry quickly, which may cause mold or bacteria.
Now, if you are opting to make your own, you may opt using rice or barley. They are as effective as the ones we mentioned above. The downside though when you use any of these is that they make the blanket non-washable.
Prior to buying the weighted blanket, ensure that there are no signs of wear or tear.
While weighted blankets from reputable brands are sure to be well made, we highly suggest you still check for manufacturing faults both for safety purposes and value for money.
It is also important that you always check your weighted blanket for signs of natural wear and tear especially if the one using it is a child.
Also, keep in mind always the manufacturer’s guidelines when using the weighted blanket.
Never use a weighted blanket on babies.
Based on general guidelines, a weighted blanket is safe for use for toddlers aged 2 or 3, although, some suggests to have them use at age 6 or 7 to be sure. Again, when in doubt, better ask a healthcare provider.
Please bear in mind to NEVER use a weighted blanket on your babies. We probably think this is the most important of all the weighted blanket guidelines.
Do note that the internal systems of your babies are still developing. In the same way that they are still developing their motor skills and are too young to regulate their breathing, as well as internal temperatures compared to older children and us, adults.
Also, keep in mind that the one using the weighted blanket restricts our movements. That it is why it is important that the person using it can remove the blanket on their own when they need to, and babies are not able to do that.
Using a weighted blanket on them may pose serious risks like suffocation or overheating, which we are sure you do not ever want to happen to your little ones.
Never use a weighted blanket with another weighted product.
Using a weighted blanket with another weighted product may be too much for your body. Remember that a weighted blanket is designed to be used as a weight, so it is rather inappropriate to add another product or material that will add up to the existing weight of the blanket. It might cause a problem.
When using the weighted blanket, make sure the head and face are not covered.
Keep in mind that weighted blankets are heavier compared to normal blankets. While they may be warm and snugly, they are not as breathable as the typical blankets that we use especially the ones that are made from man-made fibers.
To ensure easy breathing at all times, keep your head off the blanket.
When a child is using a weighted blanket, make sure there is adult supervision
At all times, consider safety first.
Make sure that when your child is using a weighted blanket (especially if your little one has a certain condition) there is an adult looking after him or her.
When supervising, watch out for any negative reactions such as:
– High Temperature
– Difficulty in Breathing
– Any physical or behavioral reactions that may indicate anxiety or discomfort
Should you notice any of this in your child, immediately consult a health provider.
HOW MUCH DO WEIGHTED BLANKETS COST?
The price of weighted blankets actually differs depending on the size, the weight, the make, the style, and of course the brand. Some are around $125 while others cost $190. While there are physical stores where you can buy weighted blankets, you may also opt for buying them online via online stores like Amazon.
If you are on a budget, you may create your own and use natural fillers, but of course, that means they are not washable. But of course, you may choose between glass beads or plastic poly pellets.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON WEIGHTED BLANKET GUIDELINES
Using a weighted blanket has its own benefits, as well as risks. That is why it is important that you know the weighted blanket guidelines and you follow them. Otherwise, you might encounter a problem using it.
It is also good to note that weighted blankets should never be used on babies. They are dangerous for babies. And when using on toddlers, make sure to always have adult supervision.
Also, keep in mind that weighted blankets come in various weights and sizes depending on who is going to use it.
Are you having difficulty sleeping too? Have you tried using a weighted blanket yet? Do you plan to try it out? If so, do not forget to make sure you check the weighted blankets guidelines first to ensure you are getting the right size and weight for your body type.