4 Surprising Reasons to Choose Weighted Blankets

Going Duvet Shopping?

Weighted blankets were first introduced to the commercial world in the year 1998 and since then, there has been much debate surrounding their benefits and downsides. If you intend to go duvet shopping, you’ll likely search around various online stores like Amazon, Geek Wrapped, Walmart, or any others where you may find both conventional and weighted blankets.

In case you’re wondering about the difference between the two, know that weighted blankets or gravity blankets as they are also called contain special fillings aside from the fluffy cotton material designed to keep you warm. These fillings could be made from glass beads, plastic or polypropylene pellets, or grains like rice or millet, and are evenly mixed with the cotton so that they remain distributed after prolonged use also. In recent times, manufacturers have developed a two-piece weighted duvet which is made from two distinct layers. At any time, if you wish to wash the duvets, you’ll find that the separate pieces make it much easier to wash and dry them. Of course, you can also choose from blankets with the outer layers made with soft linen, cotton fabric, or a richer satin.

But, Why Weighted Blankets?

That’s probably the next question you have in mind. Given that conventional blankets are easier to carry and manage, why would anyone want to add all that extra weight?

Check out this feature on LiveScience that explains how gravity blankets were introduced based on the principle that the added mass in the blankets evoked sensations of serenity and reduced anxiety. People using heavier duvets are also able to sleep better and have improved deep sleep patterns. In fact, weighted blankets are now being used to help disorders like autism, Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), insomnia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and anxiety.

Read ahead for some of the top reasons why you may want to opt for gravity duvets.

1 – Gravity Blankets Provide Deep Touch Pressure (DTP)

Like results of a study published on the National Center for Biotechnology Information reveal, Deep Touch Pressure or Deep Pressure Therapy is the art of exerting gentle pressure all over the body. This pressure induces the brain to release the serotonin hormone that has a calming effect on your body. The feelings of tranquility are similar to the ones you feel when a loved one hugs or cuddles you warmly. You also use Deep Pressure Therapy when you swaddle a baby to help her fall asleep. The compression can help adults, babies, and children let go of anxiety and feel confident and loved. So you see, users of the weighted duvets can sleep better and are more assured during the day.

2 – Weighted Duvets Help Release Neurotransmitters

In addition to the serotonin, Deep Touch Pressure releases dopamine. Together these hormones act as neurotransmitters that stimulate specific areas of the brain. These sections produce melatonin also known as the sleep hormone since it regulates brain waves when you sleep. Serotonin and dopamine are also known as “feel-good hormones” since they can make you feel happy and content.

3 – Weighted Blankets Reverse the Effects of Cortisol

When you’re stressed or anxious, the adrenal glands on the top of your kidneys release the chemical cortisol. However, should you check this article on HealthLine, you will note that excessive levels of cortisol can cause damaging effects on almost all your body functions including the heart and metabolism leading to all kinds of diseases. When you feel the snug sensations of the gravity duvets, your body produces enough dopamine and serotonin to reverse the effects of cortisol.

Simply by pulling the blanket over your body, you can counteract all the stressful situations of day-to-day living and have a calm, restful sleep. Users have talked about how they were not only able to fall asleep without the need for aids like teas, yoga, and sedatives, but they were also able to stay asleep without waking up until morning.

4 – Additional Positives

Research has revealed that using the weighted blanket can give you various other benefits. For instance, improved sleep quality can enhance your powers of concentration and thus, raise your productivity levels at work. You may even find that you’re able to coordinate activities better, you’re more alert, and have an improved awareness of the spaces and objects around you.

Using Weighted Blankets with Care

While research has clearly indicated that weighted duvets have various positives, you may want to use them with care. Choose blankets with the right weight that matches the size and body weight of the user. For instance, if you’re buying the duvet for a child between the ages of 2 to 6 years weighing from 30 to 40 pounds, the blanket can be a maximum of 5 pounds. However, an adult weighing between 70 to 90 pounds can safely get a 10-pound blanket. Take care that the user is strong enough to remove the blanket if needed. A good rule to keep in mind is to calculate about 10% of the body weight and add a couple of additional pounds.

Just a Word of Caution!

If you intend to purchase the gravity blankets for the adults in your home, you may need to keep a few factors in mind. For one, MindBodyGreen warns that the duvets could be bulky and difficult to move around. You may also want to be very careful if you have kids and pets in the house. Store the blankets in areas where small family members can’t accidentally get stuck under them. That’s because the possibility of suffocation is very real.

Weighted blankets have a whole range of positives and occupational therapists now swear by the amazing effects the duvets can have on kids with behavioral disorders. Adults can also benefit from the blankets by lowering stress and anxiety and sleeping better. As long as you’re conscious of the potential downsides and use these sleep aids with caution around kids and pets, you can go ahead and buy these interesting new alternatives to the lightweight conventional duvets.

Thanks to Saroj

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