Now I recognize the irony that last week’s blog post was called, “Buyer Beware,” and it cautioned people against buying products that promise to change your life and here I am this week promoting a product, but hear me out. After years of contemplating it and feeling overwhelmed by the choices, I finally purchased a weighted blanket (if only I put this much thought into all my purchases), and people have asked for my opinion, so here it is!
I first learned about weighted blankets back in 2011-2012 from a former student who was making weighted lap blankets for the students in the wellness room at the school where I worked. Weighted blankets were first designed many years ago as a special education tool for children on the Autism Spectrum and for those with other sensory/behavioral issues, but it makes sense that these would eventually trickle into mainstream usage. A lot of people suffer from anxiety and can benefit from a weighted blanket. It is estimated that 1 in 5 adults suffer from some form of an anxiety disorder which is about 40 million people in the United States. There are many others who suffer without a formal diagnosis. Stress and anxiety is a huge problem.
I found the weighted blanket I purchased on amazon with good reviews that came with a cover. Please note you need a cover for it! The weighted blanket itself cannot be washed in the washing machine, but the removable cover can. So, it is just easier to buy one that comes with a cover instead of trying to find a cover after the fact. However, be forewarned that putting the cover on is a little tricky. It took me and my husband to secure it on all 4 sides and corners.
The blanket was about $80 with a discount code of 40% off. Also, it is a gorgeous bright Tiffany Blue like color. Definitely a selling point for me. Now there are lots of choices. If you want to go a more expensive route, you certainly can, but this blanket seems to do the trick and I don’t know what you get out of a more expensive one.
The biggest question about weighted blankets is the weight and what should you choose. The rule of thumb for a weighted blanket is at least 10% of your body weight. With that being said, you have to think about what will work for you. Also, if you suffer from PTSD or extreme anxiety you may want more than the 10%. I figured, I would start with a 25 lb. one and if it was too heavy, I could return it, but I am glad I went with that weight. It is perfect. I also know I have a high tolerance and I would want to make sure I can feel it. Also, before you make a decision to return it, sleep with it for 3-4 days. You get used to it.
The blanket took some getting used to sleeping with it, but I really like it. And hey, after the first night of using it, I was told I looked “beautiful, bright and happy the following morning!” Not typical words I hear to describe my morning vibe.
I will note that after the first night, I did feel oddly, ever so slightly achy. Sometimes that happens after different healing modalities such as massages, reiki, etc. After the third night or so that is no longer an issue and now, I don’t even notice the weight. You really get used to it within a few nights.
It has been a little over a week of using it and I love it. I can definitely feel a difference in the mornings when I get up. I am not as groggy and exhausted, which is amazing and I can only attribute that to more restful sleep thanks to the blanket. I aim to get at least 8 hours of sleep per night regardless. For fun, I tried using my sleep tracker for a few nights on my Fitbit to see if I noticed a difference in the stats with the blanket, and there does not seem to be much of a difference there, but I feel better and that is really all that matters. There have even been a couple of nights where I did not get as much asleep as I normally do, and I still did not feel like garbage the next day.
By using a weighted blanket, it is like being wrapped in a hug. Sometimes at night, our thoughts race and we experience high levels of stress worrying about the next day and whatnot. The pressure of the weighted blanket lowers our cortisol levels and can keep up from tossing and turning…which results in more restful sleep. Think of it like swaddling for newborns.
Sometimes, the blanket feels a little warm, but not unbearably so. I like to keep the room cool anyway and then bundle myself up in blankets, but the weighted blanket is all I need these days.
I will caution you that there is no substantial research to back the benefits of a weighted blanket, just lots of firsthand accounts of people who swear by them. However, please check with your doctor if you have sleep apnea, certain other sleep disorders, respiratory problems or other chronic medical conditions to make sure a weighted blanket is right for you.
Do you have a weighted blanket that you love?
Did you try a weighted blanket and decide it was not for you?
Comment below and let me know!