You may be wondering should I get a weighted blanket? Weighted blankets have risen in popularity dramatically over the last couple of years, with sales skyrocketing.
Did you know weighted blankets were invented in 1998? Keith Zivalich, a California native, was the first to invent the “Magic Weighted Blanket”. So, what has caused weighted blankets to rise drastically in popularity over the last couple of years?
Weighted blankets, just as their name suggests, are made with heavy materials that can make them weigh as much as thirty pounds. These blankets are said to relieve stress and anxiety, alleviate tossing and turning, and provide a better night’s sleep.
With stress on the rise, because of the pandemic, more and more people are purchasing weighted blankets. Those who use them compare weighted blankets to receiving a nice, warm hug.
Weighted blankets are being sold by the millions all across the world. These blankets not only help comfort people when they sleep, but they can also be used for autistic children and even for other needs.
Using a Weighted Blanket for Muscle Recovery – Do They Help?
As stated above, there are multiple ways weighted blankets can be used. One of the ways many people are using these blankets is for muscle recovery.
You know the soreness and muscle fatigue that is often felt after a long workout.
While the burn feels good, the recovery is not always as inspiring. Weighted blankets have been proven to help with soreness during the recovery process.
If you think about it, using a weighted blanket is the same as using compression on sore muscles. Before understanding how a weighted blanket can help, it is important to understand what happens during recovery.
When you work out, micro-tears occur in your muscle tissue. As your body heals these tears, the muscle gets bigger. Many people mistakenly think they are gaining muscle during their workout, but the muscle gain only comes during the recovery period.
The fastest and most efficient way to recover and grow bigger muscles after a workout is with rest. A weighted blanket eases the soreness and allows you to sleep better, so your body can heal through the night.
These blankets offer deep tissue therapy to help calm the nervous system and bring about pain relief. It is almost like wrapping your body in one big and comforting ACE bandage.
If you have ever experienced delayed onset of muscle soreness, you know the pain it brings. Having a weighted blanket on hand can relieve that discomfort and help you get the best night’s sleep, even after a long and tiring workout.
How Do Weighted Blankets Help with Anxiety?
Anxiety can be crippling. Often, people suffer most at night, when things are quiet and they are attempting to sleep. One of the primary reasons for the invention of weighted blankets was anxiety. Can these blankets soothe the symptoms of anxiety and bring comfort?
Do you find yourself lying awake at night? Do you find yourself worrying to the point you cannot sleep? Although many people seek their doctors for prescription intervention, these often cause unwanted side effects.
Thankfully, there is a drug-free option being embraced in the form of a weighted blanket.
While you may think a weighted blanket filled with plastic beads could not possibly help someone with anxiety, there is actually a medical basis that supports this relief.
Weighted blankets work in much the same way as swaddling a newborn snuggly. This simulates a warm hug. We have all felt anxious and then received a big hug and felt relief. Using a weighted blanket offers the same concept.
Do these blankets actually work? Although scientific evidence is still lacking, many people swear by these blankets and their ability to relieve anxiety.
If you choose to use a weighted blanket for anxiety, make sure you have realistic expectations. Weighted blankets are not miracle-workers, and if you expect them to be, you will be disappointed. A weighted blanket can be used as a tool but is often more beneficial when coupled with therapy and other treatments.
Can Weighted Blankets Cause Back Pain?
While many consider weighted blankets to be life-changing, some have reported adverse reactions. Some people have experienced new or worsening back pain, making them give up their blankets.
While it does not happen often, people have reported experiencing back, hip, and even knee pain after using weighted blankets. It is important to note that doctors recommend patients use a weighted blanket that is no more than ten percent of their body weight. Using too heavy a blanket can result in discomfort for some.
There are a lot of schools of thought on why a weighted blanket may cause back pain. Some evidence suggests weighted blankets lead to sounder sleep. Think about it. If you are lying in the same position all night, pressure points can develop, especially if you sleep on a subpar mattress.
If you decide to try a weighted blanket and wake up with back pain consistently, stop use and see if the pain goes away. If in doubt about using these blankets, consult with your doctor first, especially if you have back pain already.
Who Should Not Use a Weighted Blanket?
As stated above, weighted blankets can sometimes cause discomfort for some individuals, and they should not be used by everyone. Before purchasing a weighted blanket, do your research and talk with your doctor. If any of the following applies to you, a weighted blanket should be avoided.
· Sleep apnea
· Excessive snoring
· Breathing difficulty
· Chest congestion
Because weighted blankets offer compression, they can place pressure on a person’s chest, making it more difficult for them to breathe. In some cases, weighted blankets can make sleep apnea worse and should never be used during times of sickness, such as pneumonia.
Weighted Blankets: Pros and Cons Summarized
Are you on the fence about getting a weighted blanket? With so much curiosity surrounding these blankets, it is important to learn the truth about what they can and cannot offer.
To ensure you are making the right choice, it is important to understand the pros and cons. Let’s examine both.
There are many pros to using weighted blankets, and they include the following.
· Weighted blankets have been found to improve mental health by decreasing stress and anxiety.
· Through deep compression, these blankets help the human body to release serotonin and dopamine, which offer calming effects.
· People with restless leg syndrome will often find their symptoms are relieved.
· Weighted blankets can even be used to help those who suffer from dementia feel better grounded and safe.
· Unlike prescription drugs, a weighted blanket does not cause any recurring charges.
· Weighted blankets have proven beneficial in helping autistic and ADHD children remain calmer.
· These blankets offer better sleep, so individuals do not wake groggy.
As with anything in life, there are going to be negatives too. The following are some of the cons involved in using a weighted blanket.
· Some people experience pain when using weighted blankets, especially if they do not heed the warning of only using one that is ten percent or less than their body weight.
· Weighted blankets are not always easy to clean. If you purchase one, look for a blanket that has a removable cover that can be machine washed.
· Because they are so bulky, it is difficult to travel with a weighted blanket.
· Weighted blankets can be expensive, rising as high as $200 or about £147.
· These blankets are not always comfortable. You may need to try more than one to find the blanket that feels best for you.
For many people, the pros far outweigh the negatives, but the cons are still worth exploring. Those who are new to using weighted blankets may find it takes a few nights to grow accustomed to the weight being placed on their bodies.
Should I Get a Weighted Blanket? – Conclusion
Now, you know a lot more about weighted blankets, including what they can and cannot do for you. No, a weighted blanket will not take away all your symptoms magically, but they have helped many.
Compression therapy has been used for decades, proving it works to help with pain and restlessness. Could a weighted blanket be the answer to helping with your anxiety, pain, or sleeplessness?
Trial and error may be the best approach. If you feel inclined to purchase a weighted blanket, do your homework and find the best you can afford. Remember, you typically get what you pay for.