Don’t let life weigh you down – use this blanket instead!
It’s been around in the therapy world as a “tried-and-tested” therapeutic device for a while and is now popular in the mainstream world. I’m talking about the weighted blanket, which is part of the almost $70 billion sleep industry.
The blankets range from 5-30 pounds and can be helpful for people with anxiety, chronic pain, insomnia, and stress. The blankets have also had positive results for conditions such as autism and ADHD.
But it’s often used for insomnia and anxiety…
A study from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine states that up to 65% of Americans suffer from some form of insomnia.
One study estimated that there’s an estimated $63 billion in lost work performance due to insomnia ALONE each year in the U.S.
There’s even an Insomnia Awareness Day every March (but you shouldn’t lose too much sleep over it).
Since anxiety and insomnia often go hand in hand, it can cause many problems throughout the body with racing thoughts and tension… since putting the body in a high state of stress and prevents people from falling asleep.
Think of it as being nervous for a big exam… but that exam is every day.
To help with this, weighted blankets create a calming effect using a therapeutic technique called deep pressure stimulation – or (a cuter term) “cocooning.” It’s much like when a mom cradles a fussy baby, which sometimes helps calm the baby down. It works the same for adults.
Sounds cozy – but do they actually work?
In a recent study, weighted blankets have been shown to lower anxiety in 33% for the 32 participants involved.
But for things like anxiety, chronic pain relief, mood, and depression, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. It shouldn’t be used as a cure for these conditions, but rather a tool used to help you relax, and (hopefully) fall asleep.
Even if it doesn’t help with sleep, it’s good for relaxing the end of a long day.
If you’re in the market for a weighted blanket, note the price of some of them. Many can cost over $100 and fluctuate based on weight and quality.
If you don’t want to spend big bucks on a blanket, there are alternatives…
Putting an extra heavy blanket on top of your usual one can create that extra bit of warmth and still provide that “cocoon” effect.
A weighted blanket should be at least 10% of your body weight so that it’s the right heaviness for your body type. Also, make sure to look for the right materials that won’t get you too hot, which can prevent falling (and staying) asleep.
Why have there been so many sleep aid products lately?
As sleep science has been researched more, there is now more evidence showing the importance of sleep. And with many people focusing on school, work, chores, and hobbies, we often put sleep on the backburner… which can catch up to us later in life.
Entertainment, electronics, and hectic lifestyles have also affected our internal sleep cycle.
With all these distractions, it doesn’t look like the sleep industry will be taking a snooze anytime soon.
How do you feel about weighted blankets? Is the sleep industry using it as a gimmick, or do you have one that you swear by? What other sleep products are you interested in trying out?
We love reading your thoughts on this stuff, so comment below!