Weighted blankets are increasing in popularity for those in the special need’s community as well as families outside of it. High volume stores such as Target are even starting to sell them due to the influx of demand. What kind of benefits do these blankets have? What kind of research has been done for these claims? Can a weighted blanket help me or my family?
Research has been limited and with mixed reviews within the special need’s community. Major studies have stated that there are moderate improvements noted in those with autism ranging in age from 3-6yrs, including decreasing the amount of time to fall asleep and increasing the length of restorative sleep achieved. Occupational therapists have been using weighted blankets or other weighted modalities as part of their therapies for those with autism spectrum disorder or sensory processing disorder just to name a few.
Other sites are claiming benefits that range in improving quality of sleep all the way to decreasing fibromyalgia pain, easing the symptoms of restless leg syndrome, or helping manage OCD. Overall, many people are very happy with the results they receive with their weighted blankets. Everyone is different, but many have claimed:
Improved Sleep Quality Helps with Sensory Regulation
Restorative Sleep Decreases Anxiety
Decreased Stress Improves sense of Calmness
Is a weighted blanket right for me?
Everyone is different! Safety should be first considered. Make sure the blanket is a safe weight especially for small children or the elderly. Be sure anyone using a weighted blanket are able to move the blanket off of themselves if needing to get out of bed. A weighted blanket should only be 10% of their body weight plus 1-2lbs. Not everyone will get the same benefits from using a weighted blanket. The cost can be between $60-$300 depending on weight and material, so be sure to find websites or stores that allow a trial periods or a return policy that allows you to test the product.