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What is a weighted blanket?

Weighted blankets are a natural tool that can be used at home to reduce symptoms of anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain. They’re a heavy blanket, weighing anywhere from 3 to 35 lbs or more. You can expect to feel calmer as the blanket works naturally to restore balance in your nervous system.

How weighted blankets work

1. Engages your touch nerve fibers

When you grab an object, you engage thousands of touch nerve fibers that send a message through the nerves, and spinal cord, to the brain. Your brain regulates your sensory system, so your fight-or-flight feelings (stress, anxiety, etc.) and rest-and-relaxed moods. With touch, we can help the brain self-regulate this system better.

2. Broad pressure all over your skin

Your body is full of nerve endings in your skin. When you put on a weighted blanket, it applies a broad pressure all over your body, overstimulating your touch nerve fibers all at once, as well as your joints and muscles. For example, say you get an intense itch from a mosquito bite. You can scratch the area and that takes away the itch for a bit by overwhelming your nerve endings that are causing the itch.

3. Lowers your stress response

Broad pressure produces a calming effect in the brain that lowers your stress response, the same way that going for a walk triggers a positive feeling. As a result, you're more calm and relaxed, which can lead to better sleep and lift your mood. Apart from that, we don’t know what chemicals are being released by the brain. How it works is complex, and all you have to know is that it does work and that you will feel better.

Day or night

When to use a weighted blanket

Weighted blankets are a powerful calming tool that works in minutes and help keep your symptoms at bay. They can be used at night when you’re having a hard time falling asleep, or staying asleep or during the day when you’re on the couch and you need help relaxing.

Everyday use a weighted blanket for at least 20 minutes to get the full health benefits.

How long does it take to get use to a weighted blanket?

If you're new to weighted blankets, it can take a few time to adjust to the new weight on your body to your comfort level.

When you first put on a weighted blanket you may notice the effects within 5 minutes, but it can take up-to 15 to 20 minutes to feel the full effects of a weighted blanket.

Some people find weighted blankets to be too heavy when they first start using them, so how long you should use them depends on your comfort levels and personal health needs.

Adjusting to your weighted blanket for the time

Give yourself time to adjust to the weight, and remove the blanket if you’re ever uncomfortable.

For the first few times, consider trying it while you're on the couch, for up to 2 hours at a time, rather than sleeping with it overnight for a long period. Pace yourself, and use it within your comfort levels.

If you decide to sleep with it overnight, use this blanket over top of your existing duvet or sheet, and place the weighted blanket on the lower part of your body or your legs.

Your feet have the most nerve endings than anywhere else in your body, so it's enough to impact your nervous system. Even with placing a weighted blanket over feet, that’s enough to start feeling the therapeutic benefits due to the amount of nerve endings in our feet.

After you've adjust to your blanket

Once you've adjusted to your blanket, cover your blanket over your entire body, but never bring it past your shoulders. Never cover your head or neck.

Now you should be use to it, but give yourself as much time as you need to adjust to it, so you can experience all the benefits a weighted blanket has to offer.

15 weighted blanket benefits based on science

Most people will find the pressure from the weighted blanket pleasant due to the calming benefits it provides. Here are 15 weighted blankets that benefits:

1. Lowers stress and anxiety

2. Feels pleasant and calming

3. Fall asleep faster and stay asleep

4. Wake up refreshed and felt rested during the day

5. More energy for everyday activities

6. Reduced use of sleep medication

7. Reduced anxiety and normal vital signs

8. Mood lifter

9. Sense of security

10. Reduce movements

11. Improve social well-being

12. Regulates your sensory system

13. Reduces physiological levels of arousal

14. Weight management

15. Improves communication

Who a weighted blanket helps

Weighted blankets provide help people with both their physical and mental health — all without the need for medication.

A weighted blanket helps with these symptoms:

• Insomnia and sleep disorders

• Panic attacks

• Relieves chronic pain

• Helps mask fibromyalgia

• Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)

• Depression

• Anxiety

• Mental illness / Bipolar disorders

• Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

• Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

• Cancer

• Menopause

• Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

• Multiple Sclerosis (MS)