What are The Benefits of Sleeping with a Weighted Blanket?

February 22, 2017 14 Comments

sleeping with weighted blanket blog post

While weighted blankets offer many benefits, the one most people are looking to get is to improve sleep. Heavy blankets have mostly been used for those with autism or sensory processing disorder, but more and more often they are being used for those with sleeping disorders, like insomnia or restless leg syndrome, as well as people who simply would like to improve their sleep overall.

In this article, we’ll look at some of the studies behind weighted blankets and what they have to offer for those looking to improve their sleep.

Deep Touch Pressure: The Science Behind Weighted Blankets

When looking at the science behind weighted blankets, you’ll often find the term deep touch pressure, often abbreviated to DTP.

DTP is simply a term for weight being gently and evenly distributed on the body. Most people have felt deep touch pressure in the form of a hug or massage. If you’ve even felt calmed down by a hug or have had to hug your child for them to sleep, there is science behind why it works!

Deep Touch Pressure has been shown to raise levels of serotonin in the body. There are actually a few studies backing this up at this point.

Why is releasing serotonin important? It's a chemical that's extremely important for feeling calm, sensory processing, mood regulation, and much more.

Releasing more serotonin along with decreasing activity in the nervous system is a great combination for calming down before bed. 

This increase in calming feelings is why weighted blankets help insomnia. Often times, simply having more serotonin can help that. 

Why Do Weighted Blankets Improve Sleep Issues

Weighted blankets help improve sleep in a number of ways. Like mentioned above, they provide a calming experience by releasing serotonin and decreasing the activity in the nervous system.

Another reason they help improve sleep is through improving the body’s release of melatonin. Melatonin is a chemical in the body that helps tell us when it’s time to for bed. Melatonin release can get altered through unnatural lighting late at night or irregular sleeping schedules.

Weighted blankets help improve melatonin because they help produce serotonin. Serotonin is a key building block for your body to create melatonin, so increasing serotonin will help your body produce melatonin. This then helps your body become on a more regular sleep schedule.

The last reason weighted blankets help improve sleep is simply for the fact that they are heavier than regular blankets. This extra weight decreases tossing and turning during the night and can be a great way to deal with restless leg syndrome. 


child sleeping with blanketA Study from Journal of Sleep Medicine & Disorders (2015) found that a weighted blanket helped those with insomnia sleep better, simply because it helped them feel more settled before bed.

“Objectively, we found that sleep bout time increased, as well as a decrease in movements of the participants, during weighted blanket use. Subjectively, the participants liked sleeping with the blanket, found it easier to settle down to sleep and had an improved sleep, where they felt more refreshed in the morning. Overall, we found that when the participants used the weighted blanket, they had a calmer night’s sleep.”

How to Choose the Right Weighted Blanket

If you are excited about improving your sleep, then you may be wondering what you need to know about purchasing a weighted blanket.

The first and most important thing is to make sure you get the right weight.

weighted blanket sizing chart

The rule of thumb is 10% of your bodyweight plus a pound or two. So if you are buying a blanket for an 80lb child, you'd want to go with a 10lb blanket. If you are getting a blanket for a 150lb person, then a 16 or 17lb blanket would work best.

Other factors you'll want to consider when looking at blankets is what is used to weigh down the blankets. It can vary from plastic pellets to rice to metal beads.

Another important aspect is if you can wash the blanket at home or will need to take it to a dry cleaner. If you don’t plan on it getting dirty, then you won’t need to worry about this as much. But if it’s going to get a lot of use, then you should find an easy-to-wash blanket.

The last factor to consider is what type of fabric you’d like, which is a personal preference.

Conclusion

If you have any questions about weighted blankets, please let us know in the comments! We are happy to answer them and help you find the best option for your situation.

 

About the Author


Casey AmesCasey Ames is the founder of Harkla


14 Responses

Christine Centrone
Christine Centrone

December 11, 2018

I work in a nursing home and I am looking to get a weighted blanket for a few of my restless residents, We are non for profit and have a small budget. Do you have a donation/grant program for a facility? Thanks

Nicole
Nicole

November 14, 2018

Hi Bonny!

Please reach out to us at support@harkla.co since we do not have your email address through the comments. I’m sorry about that.

Thank you,
Nicole
Harkla Happiness Ninja

Bonny
Bonny

November 14, 2018

Ever since I was given prednisone to take I cannot sleep. Nothing helps me. I would love to order a blanket. I am apprehensive about the 250.00 price and it may not help me. I know how people can OD on pills when they are desperate for proper sleep. Can you help me? Send me an email please.

Nicole
Nicole

November 09, 2018

Hey Shelley and Kevin,

Our weighted blankets are washable! The recommendation is cold water delicate cycle and low heat in the dryer or hang to dry. Let us know if you have any other questions.

Thanks,
Nicole
Harkla

Nicole
Nicole

November 09, 2018

Hi Jamie,

Just like any large blanket, if you have your toddler in the same bed as you I wouldn’t have the heavier weighted blanket on the bed or over your toddler. But having a weighted blanket in the house, placed on a bed or sofa away from your toddler, is fine and doesn’t pose any risks to your child.

Let us know if you have any other questions,
Nicole
Harkla

Nicole
Nicole

November 09, 2018

Hi Larry,

Thanks for asking! If you tend to get hot and sweaty at night, our weighted blanket with the minky cover may make you warm. However, one our cool cotton covers may work well! The cotton covers are sold separately. Let us know if you have any other questions.

All the best,
Nicole
Harkla

Jamie Thiel
Jamie Thiel

November 08, 2018

Are these safe to have in the house with toddlers?

Keven Deziel
Keven Deziel

October 21, 2018

I am a 55-year-old journeyman plumber and I have restless leg syndrome real bad that I take medicine for it and I have insomnia and I take Ambien for that so some nights I have to take two pills or three of the ambien just to fall a sleep some nights I have to take some hydrocodone 10 mg because I had my neck fused together and now I have six screws and a piece of titanium metal in my neck and that keeps me awake at night to because I still feel the metal in my neck and I have a tough time getting comfortable in bed and I sweat a lot at night to I wake up in Night and the morning with a wet blanket so how does your blanket wash And just wondering if it is machine washable or dry clean and the price of it
Shelly
Shelly

September 09, 2018

I’m wondering if the blank it can be washed
Larry
Larry

September 09, 2018

Hi guys, I’m having trouble falling asleep at night if the blanket I’m under gets too hot and sweaty. I’m considering a weighted blanket, but do they breath ok?

Nicole Przychodzen
Nicole Przychodzen

June 07, 2018

Hi Diane,

You may find a weighted blanket beneficial. You can try one of ours and if it doesn’t help, let us know!

For someone who weighs 170 pounds, the recommendation would be approximately a 20 pound blanket. You may also find a 15 pound works well.

Thanks for reaching out!
Nicole
Harkla Happiness Ninja

Nicole Przychodzen
Nicole Przychodzen

June 07, 2018

Hi Vicky,

There are probably no real benefits from laying on top of a weighted blanket, although ours is very soft and some people may find it extra nice to lay on!

Thank you,
Nicole
Harkla Happiness Ninja

Diane
Diane

June 06, 2018

I am 66 year old female and have times when I can’t fall asleep. I can’t get comfortable and toss and turn. Then I tend to get anxious and will take a anti-anxiety pill. I weigh 170 pounds and would like to know if one of your weighted blankets would be helpful and if so, what weight.

Vicky
Vicky

March 29, 2018

Are there any benefits from laying on top of a weighted blanket

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