It doesn’t take long to realize that cozying up with a weighted blanket is pretty much the pinnacle of comfort. All seems right with the world when your blanket feels like a hug and is made from “ahh”-inducing fabric like minky or bamboo. But did you know your cuddly new sidekick can actually reduce anxiety, fight insomnia, and minimize sleep restlessness, too?
Weighted blankets create deep-touch pressure stimulation, which tells your brain to release melatonin and feel-good hormones like serotonin. Those chemicals provide a slew of benefits that help you sleep and boost your mental and physical health. Take a look at 10 benefits of weighted blankets you might not know about.
1. Get Higher Quality Sleep
While you may not be the type of person to stay out partying til 3 am or to stay up all night cramming for a test, you do take your sleep seriously, and except for the occasional Netflix binge, you’re in bed at a reasonable hour. So if you still wake up feeling fatigued, it could be a sign of poor sleep quality. Luckily, sleeping with a weighted blanket can help you combat that midday snooze fest, making you more likely to fall asleep faster, go into a deeper sleep, and stay asleep longer.
2. Reduce Insomnia
As anyone who’s experienced insomnia knows that sometimes sleep problems go beyond tossing and turning a few times in the night. About 30% of adults have so much trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, it affects their work performance, cognitive abilities, and overall quality of life. A weighted blanket can reduce the effects of insomnia by providing firm, gentle pressure that releases serotonin and promotes sleep.
3. Minimize Anxiety
At times you might go to bed with your head spinning: “Did I turn off the stove? Is the thermostat still set to 75 degrees? Do I have time to squeeze in a workout tomorrow morning? Where did I put my glasses?” But sometimes those everyday worries become so burdensome that they interfere with everyday life, or even turn into a full-fledged panic attack. Thankfully, a weighted blanket is an effective form of treatment for the 40 million adults who deal with anxiety. So sit back, cuddle up, and let your anxiety diminish.
4. Feel Calmer
You don’t need to suffer from chronic anxiety attacks to know what it’s like to feel a bit panicked. Whether you’re worried about money troubles or fitting even more into your overloaded schedule, sometimes you just crave a sense of calm. And when you cozy up in a weighted blanket, you’ll quickly feel that sense of peace amidst the chaos of life.
5. Improve Focus
You probably don’t head to your bed to get your most productive work done. But a weighted blanket can actually improve focus in adults or children who struggle with ADHD, autism, or other sensory processing disorders. In fact, it’s so effective that occupational therapists use weighted vests to help students with ADHD to finish tasks more quickly.
6. Lower Stress Levels
Stress isn’t just, well, stressful—it can also have a major impact on your physical and mental well-being. Prolonged stress can lead to depression, a weakened immune system, and even increase the risk of a heart attack. So if you’ve been looking for an invitation to slow down, this is it. Save the expensive therapy session for another day and pull on your plush weighted blanket. The even pressure from the blanket reduces cortisol levels and delivers instant stress relief.
7. Boost Your Mood
Ever go to bed at night feeling a little blah? It’s not that you had a terrible day, but you could definitely use a pick-me-up. In those situations, a weighted blanket is the perfect cure. Light a candle, turn on your favorite jam, and slap on a smile. Since a weighted blanket boosts serotonin and lowers cortisol, that forced smile will soon be au natural.
8. Pain Relief Without the Drugs
Pain medication and over-the-counter drugs can only do so much to help with chronic pain, and many people are eager to explore natural alternatives. A weighted blanket may be one effective treatment for pain of many types. So, whether you’re suffering from chronic back pain, a splitting migraine, or muscle soreness, pull up your weighted blanket and say goodbye to your aches and pains.
9. Travel More Comfortably
You love a trip to the Bahamas as much as anyone, but that doesn’t mean you’re looking forward to the journey it takes to get there. Many people dread the whole to-do of flying—coordinating Uber rides or navigating public transportation—but a weighted blanket can make the whole experience less stressful. Wrap up in your weighted blanket next time you board a plane and let out a sigh of relief as you experience those feel-good vibes.
10. Enjoy the Comfort of a Warm Hug
Even if you’re not typically the touchy-feely type, there’s research-backed power in getting a good hug now and then. Hugs release the “love hormone” known as oxytocin, which can help fight off illness, boost your mood, and lower your stress. And because a weighted blanket mimics the feeling of a good hug, you’ll enjoy all those benefits every time you use it.