What Are the Benefits of a Weighted Blanket?

Everyone needs sleep to be healthy, but not everyone can get better quality sleep. If you keep tossing and turning and can’t get to sleep every night, perhaps a weighted blanket can help you. A weighted blanket is a therapeutic blanket that can help many people who have sleep problems – whatever the cause.

Also referred to as a pressure or gravity blanket, a weighted blanket can help provide warmth and security, helping the body relax as swaddles do to babies. Everyone can get a better quality sleep using a weighted blanket. If you want a shopping guide for a weighted blanket, read here

Here are some of the benefits of using a weighted blanket:

Improves mood

A sad woman holding a coffee cup under a weighted blanket

If you’re feeling irritable or depressed, you may not be getting enough mood-lifting brain chemicals. Feeling down and dark might be caused by an illness or changing hormones, but whatever the cause may be, you need to find a solution before it worsens.

Deep pressure stimulation through a weighted blanket can boost your oxytocin (feel-good hormones) to improve your mood and make you feel better overall. Combined with a decrease in cortisol (the stress hormone), this can significantly impact a person’s state of mind.

Feels like a hug

Hugging people close to us makes us feel good. It helps release oxytocin, which has been found to reduce one’s blood pressure, slow down heart rate, and create a relaxing feeling. You can get this same advantage using a weighted blanket. Weighted blankets can make it feel like someone’s hugging you without having to be actually near to anyone and without feeling constrained and hot.

Has a calming effect

If you feel stressed, frantic, sad, or angry, wrapping yourself up in a weighted blanket when you get home can help make you feel better. Deep touch pressure is one of the primary kinds of sensory information that can calm the sensory nervous system. People who often use weighted blankets report a calming modality, and because of this, it’s often recommended for people who are stressed or have a disorder that makes them hyperactive. It can calm everyone, from college students to at-home moms to burn-out employees.

Reduces stress

A DIY weighted blanket

If you had a long and tiring day at work or you’re just feeling stressed and anxious in general, cuddling up on the couch with a weighted blanket can help you de-stress and relax. Even if you don’t have an anxiety disorder, you will still notice that you feel good under a weighted blanket. It can help ground your body during sleep to reduce nighttime levels of cortisol, the stress hormone that has a negative effect on digestion, blood sugar, and immunity.

Promotes melatonin production

Melatonin is the hormone known for promoting sleep and regulating the sleep cycle or circadian rhythm. Melatonin is linked to serotonin, and when the weight of a weighted blanket triggers it, it also causes melatonin to be produced.

Can improve sleep quality

Since weighted blankets can increase melatonin, they can surely help improve your sleep. With a weighted blanket, you can fall asleep more deeply and don’t have to wake up in the middle of the night very often. Studies show that people who use a weighted blanket often notice that they can stay asleep longer, have fewer sleep disruptions, and fall asleep faster.

And if you find yourself tossing and turning at night, trying to find the most comfortable way to sleep, having a weighted blanket on top of your body can cause a “cocooning” effect that reduces your movement, leading to a more restful sleep.

Alleviates insomnia

Insomnia can cause trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep. It’s a problem that many people face, but a weighted blanket can potentially help. It can help you sleep longer and be less awake during the night. Weighted blankets can be an effective non-drug approach to improve the quality of sleep.

Reduces anxiety

Anxiety disorders can have a negative impact on a lot of aspects of our lives, from weight gain or weight loss, mood swings, to having sleep disorders. If you have anxiety and are prone to anxiety attacks, the use of a weighted blanket before stressful events can help calm the nervous system, potentially lowering anxiety levels. The deep pressure stimulation caused by a weighted blanket helps with anxiety and restlessness.

Even persons with travel anxiety who feel anxious by a hotel room and are disturbed by the frantic pace and crowds at the airport can benefit from a weighted blanket. A weighted blanket can calm them down and induce rest and sleepiness.

Improves behavior in children with ADHD

Restlessness and hyperactivity can cause sleep problems. Kids with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can use a weighted blanket to reduce the time it takes for them to fall asleep and the number of awakenings during the night. Also, students with ADHD can find this type of blanket helpful in keeping their attention to a task and improve overall behavior.

Calms people with sensory disorders

Parents of children with sensory disorders find that a weighted blanket can offer great help. This is because of the feeling of security and comfort it can provide. The deep touch pressure it uses offers a tactile type of therapeutic relief that can also extend to those with developmental disorders.

Eases symptoms of restless leg syndrome

Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a type of condition that causes involuntary and rapid movement of the legs that tends to happen when the person affected is trying to fall asleep. While compression socks can offer some relief, they can actually become uncomfortable if they are too tight and worn for long periods. And for people with arthritis, putting on socks can be a hard thing to do. People with these conditions can get the relaxing pressure without constriction to the legs with a weighted blanket. RLS sufferers say that their uncomfortable symptoms lessen when they have something heavy pressing down on their legs.

Eases pain in fibromyalgia

People who have chronic pain conditions, such as fibromyalgia, have found comfort with using a weighted blanket. Fibromyalgia is a complex illness that causes chronic muscle, tendon, ligament pain, and chronic fatigue. This blanket can also help ease symptoms while helping to break the cycle of anxiety and depression that often accompanies the disease.

Relieves symptoms of PTSD

If you have survived a traumatic event or have experienced something stressful, a weighted blanket can offer a therapeutic touch. Though it cannot replace therapy, it can help reduce anxiety and improve blood pressure and pulse rate. The blanket can offer a calming effect that can help patients with trauma relax and feel safe.

Helps soothe panic disorder

People with panic disorder are vulnerable to panic attacks that can occur at any time. Though there are medications that can help you feel calm and relaxed, there are people who prefer to treat this problem naturally. Fortunately, using a weighted blanket may help reduce panic attacks and prevent crisis states in people of all ages. This can help them lead more normal lives and get better quality sleep.  

Helps manage OCD

The symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder are unique in every person, but it’s all linked to low serotonin levels. Research has shown that the deep touch pressure stimulation therapy a weighted blanket can provide can boost serotonin levels and help keep OCD syndromes under control.

Helps ease autism symptoms

Another common use of weighted blankets includes lessening the negative symptoms of autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). Some people with autism have trouble sleeping, muscle spasms, and social anxiety, which can be eased by touch therapy that a weighted blanket can offer.