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The Science Behind Weighted Blankets

By Taylor Smith

Weighted blankets have been used in niche medical communities for many years, but only recently have the suggested health benefits taken off as a newfound trend. Without a prescription or dramatic changes in one’s routine, weighted blankets have allowed some people to fall asleep faster and to feel less general anxiety.

These specific blankets are engineered to be 7-12 percent of your body weight to relax the nervous system and mimic the sensation of being held or hugged. Also known as “deep touch pressure stimulation,” many weighted blankets are designed to apply gentle weight to pressure points on the body. Similar to what is experienced during massage or yogic exercises, these pressure points can correspond to improved mood, feelings of safety, and relaxation.

Deep touch pressure stimulation in medical terminology has been shown to increase serotonin and melatonin production, the hormones responsible for calming relaxation while decreasing the release of cortisol, the stress hormone which is linked to wide varieties of mental illness, weight gain, and sleeplessness.

Weighted blankets are safe for anyone to use. The physiological approach to their design may be worth a try for those seeking to experience a gentle, subtle way to reduce stress levels and improve mood and sleep patterns.

Deep, restful sleep is so important to overall body-mind wellness that physicians have stated that sleep deprivation and inconsistent sleep habits can ultimately contribute to the development of high blood pressure, weakened immunity, chronic headaches, body aches, and more.

One of the highest-rated weighted blankets on Amazon is YnM Weighted Blanket, priced at $69. Reviewers state that the seven-layer design system effectively surrounds your body. Remember to choose the blanket that weights about 10 percent of your body weight (the 15-lb. weight is intended for individuals weighing about 140 lbs.).

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