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The Benefits of a Weighted Blanket

Think weighted blankets are a load of nonsense — you may not have the whole picture.

Swaddling is something parents do for their newborns until they are about four to six months old. When done, they kind of look like baby burritos. But swaddling helps a newborn's startle reflex and keeps them calm and relaxed while sleeping. For pets with anxiety and fear of noises, owners often use compression shirts, or Thunder shirts, to relax their animals. It creates firm pressure on the body and can help an animal calm down.

Well, guess what? Now adults have weighted blankets. And they may be experiencing the same benefits that babies and pets have been enjoying for years.

What Is It?

These blankets are often weighed down with plastic pellets spread throughout the quilting. They can weigh anywhere from four to 25 pounds. For some, just a little pressure is nice, while others enjoy more weight. These blankets don't necessarily come cheap. The average is approximately $120 to $250, depending on the weight and the manufacturer.

What Does it Do?

Let's just be up front. There have been some studies done, but on relatively small sample sizes, so more research needs to be done to draw conclusions. However, the preliminary outcomes have shown some promising results. Here's what it may help with:

  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

For those that toss and turn, the blankets give them a sense of pressure — or a hug — and keep them still and calm to sleep. This same hugging sensation can also give comfort to those that are experiencing anxiety or depression. This pressure has been said to offer calmness and ease stress and anxiety.

The Bottom Line

It's a blanket. If you don't sleep well, suffer from anxiety, depression or even lead a stressful life, why not try it? You don't need a doctor's recommendation or prescription. But, while it may help, you should not use this as a replacement for medications or doctor's care.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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