Healthy Sleep

How Weighted Blankets Have Improved Over the Last 10 Years

Weighted blankets have gained immense popularity over the past decade due to they’re calming effects while you're in bed.

The blankets have weights distributed, applying a deep pressure effect on the body, which has been exhibited as a way to reduce tension and anxiety.

Likewise, weighted blankets have shown improved sleep quality of people living with fibromyalgia, sleep disorders like chronic insomnia, sensory processing disorder, and even for autistic children.

Occupational therapists have been advising the use of weighted blankets as a therapeutic procedure for over 60 years, and it's only in the last decade that it has made its mark in the mainstream market.

We look at the different ways weighted blankets have improved and how these improvements can help you get better sleep quality.

Before anything, how do weighted blankets work?

The main science behind weighted blankets involves what's called Deep Touch Pressure or DTP.

Deep touch pressure is applying the right amount of evenly distributed weight to your body to increase production and release of serotonin (your happy hormone).

In the purest sense, think of DPT like a lovely hug.

Apart from the decrease in anxiety levels when sleeping with a heavy blanket, the extra weight of the sheets can limit your movements as you sleep, making you more comfortable.

Sleepers living with restless leg syndrome also take advantage of the extra weight and deep pressure input from the blankets.

For other people, weighted vests are being used as they sleep to create the same effects. But, generally speaking, a blanket is significantly more comfortable.

How are the weighted blankets different now?

There are now different blanket weights

Experts point out that weighted blankets should factor in the bodyweight of the person using it. Blanket weight should approximately weigh around 10-15% of the user's body weight.

Weighted blankets aren't a one size fits all purchase, it may be too heavy for some people, which can cause discomfort in sleep or it can be too light which may not give you the same effects.

Manufacturers of weighted blankets are now offering the blankets in different availabilities; popular options are 7kg, 9kg, and 11kg.

Using a weighted blanket doesn't feel as hot anymore

One of the reasons why weighted blankets didn't initially gain popularity was the inconvenience of using one while you sleep.

Due to the extra fillings used to increase the weight of the blankets, they felt significantly warmer than your standard duvet filled with down.

Instead of having a good night's sleep, users tend to wake up annoyed, warm, and sweaty since earlier weighted blankets restricted airflow.

Using blankets like the Ecosa Bamboo Weighted Blanket would keep you cool as well as calm. 

Having an outer layer made from all-natural organic bamboo fibres; weighted blankets can now be moisture-wicking, cooler, and even hypoallergenic; this allows the blankets to help improve sleep.

They now come with different filler options

In the earlier days of weighted blankets, manufacturers would use lead as a filler material to ensure that your blanket can weigh you down.

But we all know lead can cause health problems and too much exposure to lead can lead to various medical conditions, especially for young children.

Some weighted blankets use different materials such as plastic pellets, rice, or millet which are not that easy to wash.

Weighted blankets today (at least, the better ones) have begun using micro glass beads as fillers - this allows for more even weight distribution, they can be more equally dispersed and are significantly easier to wash.

Final thoughts

Weighted blankets have come a very long way, especially in the last 10 years or so. They're much better now and are more widely available.

Although they're a little pricier than your conventional blankets and duvets, the quality of sleep you get from the two are immensely different - it's definitely an investment!

Take the weight off your mind, and onto your body using pressure therapy to promote a feeling of calm and wellbeing with a weighted blanket.

Ecosa's Bamboo Weighted Blankets are shipped free to anywhere in Australia, click here to find out more.