Weighted Blankets 101: The Science
How Can a Weighted Blanket Help Me?
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"individuals who used the weighted blanket reported significantly greater reductions in distress than those who did not."
"63% reported lower anxiety after use."
Millions of people around the world suffer from stress and anxiety, and in Canada, anxiety disorders affect 3 million adults. Instead of turning to prescription drugs as a remedy, sufferers can try a less invasive solution: weighted blankets.
The act of sleeping with a weighted blanket encourages Deep Touch Pressure Stimulation (DTPS).
DTPS can mimic the feeling of being hugged, swaddled or cradled. According to a 2009 study by Temple Grandin, Ph.D in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, DTPS has a calming effect in children with autism and ADHD, and a similar relaxing effect in adults without a medical diagnosis.
Deep pressure encourages the production of serotonin, a hormone involved in elevating mood. Serotonin is also a precursor to melatonin, a hormone responsible in the regulation of sleep. In other words, deep pressure therapy can play a positive role to help with both mood and sleep.
What should I look for in a weighted blanket?
When purchasing a weighted blanket, there can be a significant variation in three important factors: Materials Used For Weight, Weight Distribution, and Ease of Use.
Material Used For Weight
Many weighted blankets use plastic poly pellets. If selecting a blanket with plastic poly pellets, it's important to confirm whether or not the plastic is BPA free, as it will be near skin for extended periods of time. On the other hand, some weighted blanket manufacturers opt for more a more premium option: non-toxic glass beads. The glass option is typically safer, retains less heat (stays cooler) and less bulky for the same weight.
The general rule is, smaller compartments = better weight distribution. Mid-tier blankets have stitched compartments as large as 8" x 8". Premium weighted blankets will use much smaller squares, as small as 4" x 4" for optimal weight distribution.
The benefits of weighted blankets can be realized most effectively when they are used regularly, comfortably and with ease. It's important that your blanket be easily washable, either directly or with the use of a cover. Weighted blankets should also be able to attach securely to its cover to prevent bunching, and to improve comfort and effectiveness.
Most weighted blankets attach to a cover using 4 small rope ties (one in each corner). High-end weighted blankets will use strong zippers to reliably secure the blanket to the cover.
Since 2017, Gravid has become a leader in weighted blanket innovation, taking feedback from 25,000 Canadian customers to create a unique therapeutic blanket. Gravid ranks amongst the highest in terms of material selection, weight distribution and ease-of-use.