How weighted blankets can help those with sleep disorders

Australian start-up, Calming Blankets, has recently launched their weighted blankets in the UK, just in time for the Black Friday and Christmas spending spree.

With over 50,000 individual weighted blankets sold across Australia, those with sleep disorders, anxiety or simply looking to get a better night’s sleep can purchase a blanket from £119.00.

weighted blanketsWhat are weighted blankets?

A weighted blanket is considerably heavier than the standard blanket. It helps to reduce stress and promote a healthy sleeping pattern by providing enough proprioceptive input to the body. Occupational therapists suggest that the best weight for this type of blanket is 10% to 15% the body weight of its user. Users should ensure that the weight is evenly distributed across the entirety of the blanket.

A weighted blanket can bring numerous different benefits to its users, including reducing anxiety and helping those who have difficulty sleeping. Whilst weighted blankets have become quite a trend in recent years, they’ve been around for quite some time, with therapists finding that the deep touch pressure stimulation they help to produce can be beneficial for those with the following conditions:

  • Autism
  • ADHD
  • Sensory disorders
  • PTSD

Alongside this increase in their popularity, many studies have been conducted on how weighted blankets can impact on sleep levels, as well as their effect on both anxiety and stress. According to these studies, a weighted blanket can promote a better overall sleeping pattern, in addition to reducing both anxiety and stress levels.

According to a recent study, weighted blankets were shown to decrease nervous system overactivity in 33% of participants. 63% of these participants also reported that they felt less stressed-out and anxious. In addition to this, a whopping 78% of participants reported that they preferred using weighted blankets to help manage “bouts of anxiety”.

How does a weighted blanket work?

These types of blankets can help people to generate proprioceptive input, helping the body to have an awareness of its environment.

Brains are continuously sending signals around the body to help establish where they are in a particular environment. Sometimes these signals do not collect adequate feedback, which can trigger various different neurons to help find out more about the space that the body is in. This typically can make people feel stressed and unsettled.

Weighted blankets can help to prevent this from happening by applying enough pressure to the body so that the brain can access information about the body’s environment at a quicker rate. It helps to brain to relax, which in turn helps the rest of the body to relax too.

Where can I find a weighted blanket?

Calming Blankets makes weighted blankets to accommodate for all three of these factors. They come in a range of different weights (2.2kg, 4.5kg, 6.8kg and 9kg), and inner ties to ensure that the weight of their blankets is distributed evenly.

The start-up uses “super soft minky fabric – the one that’s usually used in blankets for babies”, helping to boost comfort levels for its users. The company have a variety of different blankets for both adults and kids. They also come a range of different colours, shapes and sizes.