Weighted blankets are one of the newest trends to enter the bedroom with promises of improving sleep, as well as relieving anxiety and stress. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 40 million adults in America suffer from anxiety disorder which accounts for about 18.1-percent of the population. Thankfully, anxiety can be treated in many different ways, and the weighted blanket is one of them.
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While this product may seem like it’s a relatively new invention, it’s actually been used for quite some time by those in the special needs community, including individuals on the autism spectrum who often have difficulty sleeping. However, it wasn’t until recently that the weighted blanket was introduced as a sleep aid for the general public. Naturally, the popularity of these blankets has caused many companies to jump on board which means this product is now widely available. They typically range in price, anywhere from $150 to $300.
Before shelling out a couple hundred bucks, let’s find out what the hype is all about and whether or not these blankets actually work…
What is a Weighted Blanket?
A weighted blanket is exactly what it sounds like, a blanket that is weighed down with small objects like pellets, discs, or beads to give a person the sensation that they are being gently hugged to calm and settle the nervous system. They typically weigh anywhere from 5 to 30 pounds, creating a pressure that mimics the therapeutic technique known as deep pressure stimulation, says Healthline. The lighter options are for children. The general rule of thumb is to use a blanket that is 10-percent of your body weight. These blankets are not recommended for infants or pets.
Healthline explains that deep pressure stimulation is used to relax the nervous system which can provide many different benefits like reduce anxiety, lessen pain, and improve mood. It has been used in addition to other treatments like massage therapy and support animals.