If you’ve ever been extremely upset and then received a hug, you know exactly how soothing that feeling can be. And it’s no wonder, seeing that hugging boosts our oxytocin levels to smooth out the spiked cortisol that makes us anxious. However, sometimes, when we’re having a bad day, we have to face it on our own, and in those moments, weighted blankets can help.
What are weighted blankets used for?
Weighted blankets have been used as a therapeutic aid for people dealing with mood disorders, chronic pain, and sleep problems. With their gentle weight, they can make you feel safe and calm so that your parasympathetic nervous system can let you relax.
The blankets can weigh anywhere from 5–30 pounds, depending on your needs and body weight. A good rule of thumb is that the weighted blanket that’s perfect for you will be about 10% of your weight, so if you weigh 150 pounds, your blanket will weigh 15 or slightly less.
You don’t want to get a too heavy blanket because the weight might be overwhelming and make you feel trapped, especially while you’re sleeping. And if you’re dealing with anxiety, the last thing you need is to wake up in a panic because you’re feeling crushed. That’s why it’s important to research before buying your weighted blanket and making sure you choose the right one.
Weighted Blankets and Blood Circulation – What You Need to Know
While weighted blankets can make a difference for some people, they might not be the best solution for others. In some instances, using a weighted blanket isn’t an option, and that’s the case if you’re dealing with circulation issues or have diabetes.
If you’re dealing with poor circulation, chronic heart conditions, or diabetes, having a weighted blanket isn’t a great idea because it could further obstruct your blood flow. This can lead to complications in your existing medical condition, so it’s best to opt for other soothing techniques or aids.
Quality manufacturers are aware of this issue and are always innovating to provide relief for this particular group of people. You might not be able to use a weighted blanket, but you can try products like Quiet Mind’s weighted pillow for anxiety, which can still help alleviate your symptoms, only without any risks.
Along with people with circulation problems, those who have respiratory issues should also avoid weighted blankets. The reason is simple – the additional weight might make it harder to breathe while they sleep, which is far from ideal. A weighted pillow could also be a better choice in these situations.
Bear in mind that a weighted pillow isn’t used to sleep on it, but rather, you can hold it close to your chest or hug it while you’re lying down. You can play with different positions until you find the one that feels most calming for you.
Who can use weighted blankets?
Aside from people who have diabetes, are facing a heart condition, or struggle with breathing normally, almost everyone can experience the therapeutic benefits of a weighted blanket. As long as you’re healthy, there are no downsides to trying one out. Using a weighted blanket can significantly help people who:
- Struggle with anxiety and stress
- Have a diagnosed mood disorder
- Have sleep-related issues
- Have ADHD
- Deal regularly with chronic pain
- Are on the autism spectrum
Bear in mind that using a weighted blanket may need some getting used to. While they provide additional comfort and warmth and make you feel as safe as a baby, the added weight might initially feel constricting.
If you’re unsure about your reaction, we recommend starting slowly and spending an hour or so just sitting or relaxing under the blanket without sleeping. Then, as you get more accustomed, you can move on to using it every night to ensure better sleep and less stressful mornings.