At one point in my life I had anxiety, I had sleep apnea, I had not sleep well.
I tried a weighted blanket for three nights and it actually worked!
If you go on YouTube, you see a lot of videos, a lot of personalities talking about this weighted blanket worked for me, it didn’t work for me.
I’ve written about mattresses, bedding, pillows. I’ve written about sleep science and sleep studies.
I wanted to lend my expertise to the weighted blanket issue.
Table of Contents
How Weighted Blanket Feels
What weighted blanket actually feels like?
I’m a larger person, so for me I got a 25 pound weighted blanket. It’s pretty heavy, feels a little bit strange at first, almost like when you’re at the dentist and you have that weighted vest laying on top of you.
They say it’s supposed to be like a deep hug.
Anyway it’s heavy and it feels like they sewed 40 bean bags together and threw it on your body.
It’s also pretty hot as well.
You have that extra fill, it’s less breathable. I heated up underneath, I got a little bit sweaty and clammy.
That’s more of a general thing that might happen with weighted blanket.
I want to get into my three night experience with weighted blanket.
My Experience With Weighted Blanket
First night, it’s weird, it feels very, very strange at first. It’s that extra weight. Also it holds me back when I’m trying to move around. I’m a combo sleeper so I’m moving around at night. It’s stopping me, I’m actually waking up a few times.
The end of my first night, waking up the next day, I actually did not feel that rested, it felt strange. I didn’t feel in a good mood, I was like this is not working for me, my anxiety feels worse.
But I said, you know what, I’m gonna pull through, I’m gonna keep doing it.
So the second night I did it again.
It was a little bit better. I woke up a few times as well, still getting used to it, still stopping myself when I’m moving around.
Finally though on the third night it completely worked!
I did not move at all. I wake up with these solid lines in my face, like I had not moved one inch. I also felt fantastic.
So overall, the third night was a really great experience and even to this day I still use a weighted blanket.
That’s my personal experience.
What Do Weighted Blankets Do?
But I promised you I’d lend my expertise on the weighted blanket issue.
I want to talk about the science of weighted blankets, how do they actually work.
They work through something called deep tissue pressure. That’s that deep hug I was talking about.
Weighted blanket presses into my muscles and when that happens, it actually increases my serotonin levels and my dopamine levels.
I feel better, I sleep more deeply. It also lowers my cortisol levels, which is associated with stress. I feel a lot better as well.
There are some studies that deal with how it handles insomnia, anxiety and ADHD. I want to talk about those one by one.
With regard to insomnia, in a 2005 study in Sweden, four out five people that used a weighted blanket slept more deeply, have fewer wake ups and woke up feeling more refreshed.
Now about anxiety, my personal favorite that I dealt with in the past.
One study, sixty-three percent of those who had anxiety and tried a weighted blanket woke up feeling refreshed and also felt less anxious.
I can say I’ve done it myself, definitely true!
Finally ADHD. Children in the UK with ADHD were studied. Those who used it slept better and they had fewer disturbances at school the next day.
Overall these are some really good science to back up how weighted blankets work.
Again, for me personally, I had a great experience.
But I’m not a doctor and if you want to try a weighted blanket, you should definitely speak to a doctor before you use it.
If you are elderly, if you want a weighted blanket for your children, if you have respiratory issues or circulatory issues, these could all be issues if you’re trying to use a weighted blanket, so definitely talk to a doctor.
But again for me and my personal experience, a weighted blanket definitely worked.
I’ve tried a lot of weighted blankets and for this specific test I used a Layla weighted blanket.
What sets it apart mostly in my opinion is the very soft outer shell. One side is cotton but the other side is this soft minky feel, very nice to the touch.
A lot of people think that weighted blankets are all the same.
While they’re all heavy, they’re very different as well.
Some are made better for hot sleepers, they’re more breathable. Some are more about the outer shell, the outer feel to it.
Some are better in terms of options. One company may only have a 15 pound, a 20 pound and 25 pound models. Another company may have some more integrals, so 20, 22, 25, 27. Some more options as well.
How to Choose Weighted Blanket
If you’re looking for the right weight for you though, use this easy formula.
You’re going to take your body weight, divide it by 10, plus or minus 1 or 2 pounds.
For me specifically, I’m 230 pounds. Divided by 10, it’s 23 pounds. Plus or minus 1 to 2 pounds. I like a little bit heavier, so 25 pound weighted blanket is perfect for me.
I will add that if you’re looking for a weighted blanket for your child, be very very careful. You want to find that exact weight for them. If it is too heavy, that can be dangerous.