Oh no—another sleepless night, and you have to be at your best! What do you do? Since the dawn of time, people have been trying to figure out ways to get a better night's sleep. Whether it's by fortifying their cave to prevent intrusions by predators or buying the very best mattress and hypoallergenic pillow, resting in comfort has always been an important way for people to ensure they have enough energy to make it through the next day. In addition to providing energy, adequate sleep does a lot for improving your day, your health, and your even your life.
Some of the important benefits of sufficient rest include mental ones, such as improved memory, increased focus, and clearer thinking. Short term physical benefits include agility, dexterity, increased strength, more energy, and regulated appetite. Some of the long-term perks are better weight control, decreased inflammation, which reduces the risk of several chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Benefits like decreased anxiety, depression, and stress fit the short-term and long-term mental and physical categories.
With sleep being so important to all aspects of your life, how do you make sure you get the best night's sleep possible? Some experts suggest that sleeping with a blanket that is the right weight for you can greatly improve your ability to get to sleep quickly, sleep more soundly, and wake up feeling refreshed in the morning. There are several options, and the weighted blanket is an option that has been heavily advertised as a good choice.
What Are Weighted Blankets?
Basically, weighted blankets are exactly what the words say they are—they are blankets that have had weight added to them. Usually, commercially advertised weighted blankets consist of an outer, washable layer that surrounds a layer that uses a bunch of non-toxic Poly-Pellets to add weight and create what is called "deep touch pressure" (or DTP) stimulation. The heavier weight is supposed to provide a pleasant sensation without any uncomfortable feelings of restriction.
Studies have shown that in some people, in some circumstances, this deep pressure created by the weight causes the body to produce feelings of relaxation and calm due to an increase in naturally occurring, sleep-inducing hormones. It is suggested that the best weighted blanket for adults will reduce anxiety, aid in and improve sleep, and then allow the person to wake feeling rested in the morning.
What Makes Sleeping with Weight Helpful?
Originally, weighted blankets and vests were created for and used with children diagnosed as somewhere in the Autism spectrum. It was found that DTP, similar to a hug, would reduce the levels of agitation in the children. The pressure made them feel safe and secure, released serotonin, endorphins, and melatonin, and thereby promoted relaxation. Plus, using the blankets in bed would naturally decrease their body movements and help them "settle down" for sleep. This tended to help them sleep more soundly throughout the night. This experience was supposed to help them have less agitation during the next day, as well.
As doctors began experimenting with other uses for the products, they found that the best weighted blanket for adults was beneficial for a variety of conditions. For example, many people with lower serotonin levels, such as those with anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, ODC, and PTSD often find these heavier covers to be helpful during sleep. They have also been found to benefit people with other conditions, such as the following:
- Anxiety (of any kind)
- Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia
- Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Panic Attacks
- Parkinson's Disease
- Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)
- Sensory Disorders
- Somnambulism (Sleep Walking)
Although these are just a few of the conditions that may find sleeping relief with a heavy blanket, there are many others. In fact, lots of people find that spending the night under a heavy comforter or a fluffy throw is quite pleasant, even during the warmer nights of summer. That's not to say that everyone, however, requires the commercially advertised "weighted blanket." There are a few factors that may delay your choice to purchase one for every bed in your house.
What Are the Potential Problems with Weighted Blankets?
If you don't have medical supervision, you may want to exercise caution when considering buying one of the commercially advertised "weighted blankets." Several studies indicate that although some people experience reduced anxiety in whatever situation the blanket is used, that feeling of calm doesn't necessarily transfer into other areas of their lives. In other words, they may feel calmer while under the blanket but become stressed out when they leave the blanket. Therefore, it's not necessarily a "cure" that carries over. Plus, the amount of weight used in these blankets (sometimes 20-30 or more pounds) makes some people feel claustrophobic and anxious, which is the exact opposite result of the intended one.
Many companies currently sell their version of the "best weighted blanket for adults" for between $150 and $300. Plus, they often come in limited styles and aren't terribly attractive. Since—for the average person—the blankets merely aid sleep, they are likely overkill and therefore a fad. That doesn't mean, however, that there aren't other options on the market. There are many heavy-weight blankets that come in a huge range of styles, colors, and designs that aren't too heavy and don't break the bank.
Heavy-Weight Mink Blankets
If you are looking for bedding options that provide weight but aren't the commercially advertised "best weighted blanket for adults" than a heavy-weight mink blanket is a respectable choice. What are mink blankets? Although many people refer to them as "Korean Mink," "faux fur," or "fleece," they often are unsure what the blankets actually are, where they are made, and what makes them "so special".
Regardless of their name, these super-thick blankets aren't made from mink and most of them aren't manufactured in Korea. In fact, no animals are harmed making the product. Even though they are called "mink" blankets, they're made entirely from synthetic materials, typically acrylic, polyester, or some combination of the two. The term "mink," on the other hand, refers to the incredibly soft feel of the blankets. Most people believe that the covers must be touched and experienced to truly be appreciated.
Considered by many as the absolute softest option on the market, they are commonly offered in 79 x 96-inches, so they fit a queen or king-sized bed. Since they weigh 6-pounds, many feel they are the "best weighted blankets for adults" and yet they're still perfect for year-round use. Plus, they come in a range of vivid images that include the following.
- Americana: Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Route 66, Sons of Anarchy, Sports
- Animal: Bison, Cat, Deer, Dog, Eagle, Horse, Lion, Moose, Tiger
- Animal Print: Giraffe, Leopard, Snake, Tiger, Zebra
- Mythical: Dragon, Fairy, Grim Reaper, Yin Yang
- Native American: Chief, Princess, Totem Animals, Southwestern
- Sea life: Dolphins, Sea Turtles, Whales
Of course, that is only a small example of the choices available. With so many vibrant and dynamic images, there's something for everyone. In fact, often the dilemma is actually in limiting yourself to just one.
Sherpa blankets are some of the softest, as well as some of the most popular. The super-soft and thick faux-fur covers feature a luxury, faux-down side opposite the primary design. With a visually pleasing style, the soft faux-fur blankets are available in King-size at 87 X 95-inches and 9.1-pounds, as well as Queen-size at 79 X 96-inches and 8.1-pounds, making them quite heavy options. Along with being some of the best weighted blankets for adults, these are perfect for use during the coolest months. Because they are 100-percent EF Velboa Micro-Polyester, they're easy to machine wash and they air dry quickly.
These fluffy blankets come in a huge range of styles, colors, and even textures. Animal skin designs come in true to nature colors and in styles like leopard, giraffe, and snakeskin. Others, like the zebra print, are also available in colors like pink, purple, and rainbow, as well as the traditional black and white. There are also deluxe, textured designs like chevron, lattice, paisley, roses, and truffle that come in a range of tasteful colors to enhance anyone's bedroom.
Although the verdict is not yet in on which is the best weighted blanket for adults, or even on how beneficial the weighted blankets are, the fact remains that many people find sleeping under a little more weight to be very calming and conducive to a better night's sleep. Many commercially available options are expensive and boring looking. For the discerning consumer, mink and sherpa blankets provide a bit more security than other options. At 6 to 9-pounds, they may be just the thing to improve your sleep while keeping you warm and adding style to your bedroom. Plus, they're available in so many designs that there's literally something for everyone. Check out snuggly mink blankets and begin sleeping better tonight!