Weighted blankets are extremely popular.
Especially among people who suffer from anxiety and insomnia.
A lot of them claim to find relief from sleepless nights filled with worry.
Weighted blankets offer a drug-free way to train your body to sleep again.
So you’ll often find people singing their praises in online support groups, for people who suffer from chronic pain.
It appears as if weighted benefits do have some real benefits.
But we hear very little about the drawbacks. So that’s what I want to talk about.
One is the price. Weighted blankets are expensive. I believe this issue will resolve itself as they become more popular, and more available. But right now demand is high and so are the prices. So shop carefully.
The other is the potential risk of using them. This is something that is rarely discussed. But you really do need to choose the right weight.
Can A Weighted Blanket Be Too Heavy?
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(Chronic pain and anxiety are often found together. Like evil twins. Add insomnia to the mix and you can call it evil triplets.)
There isn’t a ton of information on whether weighted blankets really do work, despite the popular perception they do. So no one can say definitively that buying a weighted blanket will lead to better sleep.
But the tiny bit of research we do have is encouraging.
Psychology Today reported on a 2015 study that showed weighted blankets did appear to help a group of study participants get to sleep faster.
Another study published in the Nordic Journal of Psychiatry found that weighted blankets helped children with ADHD sleep better. Their reported sleep patterns were comparable to children without this disorder.
The children in this study were aged 8 to 13. However, before thinking of using a weighted blanket for your child, it’s very important to research safety concerns.
Dr. Josh Axe, DC, (one of my favorite natural health authorities) published an article on the risks and benefits of weighted blankets. (You can access this post on a link at the end of this article.)
He wrote, “It is important to note that weighted blankets can be dangerous, especially for children.”
Dr. Axe cited a case of an infant suffocated by a weighted blanket. Also, a nine-year-old Canadian autistic boy died from using a weighted blanket.
Parents considering a weighted blanket for sleep problems should only use one if the child’s doctor approves, according to Dr. Axe.
He urges consumers to buy the right size and weight, which he says is about 10 percent of your total body weight. Dr. Axe also says it’s recommended that people with certain medical conditions avoid these blankets, including those with and to avoid these blankets if you suffer from a number of medical conditions, including diabetes, breathing problems are sleep apnea.
Are Weighted Blankets Dangerous?
Weighted blankets seem to be popular among parents of autistic children.
But please take Dr. Axe’s advice and defer to your pediatrician.
It’s actually hard to find good information on weighted blankets because there are few studies done.
So what we hear about them tends to come from people selling these pricey blankets.
I don’t use these blankets myself because I’ve found a number of other natural sleep remedies that work really well. But I would think about it if these stopped working.
(I tend to rotate my natural remedies because they all seem to stop working after a while. So I take period breaks from them, and use something else in the meantime.)
A number of members in my private Facebook group for people with chronic pain do use these blankets, and I usually hear good things about them.
But make sure to check with your healthcare provider before using them. Especially if you suffer from one of the conditions Dr. Axe mentioned, which also include poor circulation.
No one seems to know why weighted blankets may help people sleep. But the prevailing theory is that it stimulates a human hug, which then causes the body to release a hormone known as oxytocin. This hormone helps reduce blood pressure and elevated heart rate.
Like anything, you have to think about the risk and benefits of a weighted blanket before deciding if it’s right for you.
Unfortunately, with aggressive marketing of these blankets, we only hear about the good things.
They do have a potential downside and people need to know about it.
Should I Buy a Weighted Blanket?
Weighted blankets are believed to be helpful with restless leg syndrome. They may help you sleep.
If you’re thinking of buying one you’ll probably want to shop around to find a color and style that you like. Don’t forget not to buy one more than 10 percent of your body weight.
You can easily spend several hundred dollars on a weighted blanket. But I would suggest you don’t.
Prices should drop as these blankets become more readily available. One good source is Mosaic Weighted Blankets, which regularly runs sales. Try to hit one of these sales.
For More Reading
Bedtime Habits To Help You Sleep
Dr. Axe Article on Weighted Blankets
Use of Ball Blanket In ADHD Sleeping Problems
Do Weighted Blankets Really Ease Sleeplessness?
These statements have not been approved by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.