BluZen

What are the benefits and uses of

weighted blankets?

Weighted blankets, which are sometimes also called gravity blankets, are a popular and effective way to relieve anxiety and stress and promote a restful night’s sleep. They range from between 5 and 30 pounds, but the amount of pressure one prefers is a personal choice. Fabrics are most often a breathable fabric like soft cotton to help minimize sweating or overheating. Gravity blankets get their weight by being filled with glass beads or polly pellets.

What makes weighted blankets so effective is that they mimic the sensation of a warm hug. This sensation, called deep pressure touch, stimulates the release of serotonin and dopamine, which are two neurotransmitters that can promote a sense of calm and relaxation. They also decrease cortisol levels and deepen REM sleep cycles. This feeling of calm is an optimal state to be in before and during bedtime, or anytime relaxation is needed. Like essential oils, the comforting feeling of a weighted blankets is also thought to stimulate the limbic system, which is the brain’s center for processing fear and emotion.

Historically, weighted blankets have been used in the medical community to calm patients with autism or those suffering from depression or generalized anxiety disorder. An article by the Cleveland Clinic references one study that tested weighted blankets in 30 people who had been hospitalized for a mental health crisis and found that 60% reported lowered anxiety after using the blanket.

Today, weighted blankets are a popular choice for anyone seeking rest and relaxation. The snug, compressed feeling of lying beneath a weighted blanket is reminiscent of the feeling babies have when being swaddled. For many, this sensation of being cocooned is soothing because it lowers cortisol, which leads to greater relaxation, making it easier to fall asleep. Keep a weighted blanket on your couch for when you’re relaxing at night, or layer one on your bed to help you sleep through the night. Weighted blankets will not necessarily be a remedy for those struggling with insomnia, but they may be an effective addition to your overall wellness routine.

Children may also find comfort beneath the weight of a gravity blanket. Those struggling with anxiety may benefit from the deep pressure touch provided by weighted blankets, and children with ADHD may find that they are more focused. When shopping for weighted blankets for children, choose a lighter weight. Most experts recommend choosing a weight that is about 10% of your body weight. For example, if you weigh between 100–140 pounds, choose a weighted blanket that is between 10–14 pounds. The BluZen weighted blanket is a popular choice because it is 12 pounds, which is a good average weight for most people, especially those just looking for a little added relaxation at night.

Wondering how to wash a gravity blanket? Consider spot cleaning your blanket, but you may also wash it separately in cold water on a gentle cycle. If your gravity blanket is over 20 lbs., consider taking it to a laundry mat to be washed in a commercial-sized machine. It is best to let your weighted blanket air dry as to not damage the fabric.

*An article by the Cleveland Clinic references one study that tested weighted blankets in 30 people who had been hospitalized for a mental health crisis and found that 60% reported lowered anxiety after using the blanket.