Using a weighted blanket is one of the best ways to enjoy better sleep, particularly for those with conditions such as insomnia or ADHD. Since a weighted blanket works differently than your normal comforter, you might wonder if there’s a trick to using these blankets. To ensure you’re using it correctly, safely, and getting the most out of it, we’ll teach you everything you should know about using a weighted blanket.
What Are the Benefits of a Weighted Blanket?
Using a weighted blanket soothes the body so that it is easier to fall asleep and get deep sleep. Weighted blankets use deep touch pressure (DTP) to relax the nervous system, much like how a swaddle calms a baby. It causes your brain to release serotonin, which helps you feel calm.
At the same time, deep pressure stimulation reduces the body's stress hormone, cortisol. This helps your brain produce melatonin, the chemical that helps you fall asleep.
This is why weighted blankets can help relieve stress and anxiety. Studies have found that using a weighted blanket can lower blood pressure and pulse rate, helping you feel less anxious and stressed.
These soothing effects mean weighted blankets can help people with conditions ranging from restless leg syndrome to autism and insomnia. They have even been used in occupational therapy for individuals with PTSD.
Needless to say, there are plenty of good reasons to ditch your old blanket and make an upgrade.
How To Use a Weighted Blanket For Sleeping
You won't have to make dramatic changes to get great results from a DTP blanket.
First, your Hush blanket should match the size of your bed (a twin blanket works well on a twin-size mattress). Keep in mind that the larger the blanket is, the more the weight will be distributed.
Then, choose a blanket according to your body weight. We recommend choosing a blanket that’s 10% of your body weight. If you’re between sizes, go with the lighter option. For example, if you weigh 225 pounds and sleep on a queen-size mattress, we recommend a queen 25-pound Hush blanket. See the graphic below for reference.
You can either replace your current comforter with your weighted blanket (our personal recommendation), or you can place an extra blanket on top of your DTP blanket for added warmth.
Once you've placed the blanket on the bed, slip under the covers. For best results, the blanket should cover your entire body below the neck. However, you can keep your feet uncovered if they get too warm.
When using a weighted blanket, we recommend sleeping on your back so the pressure is evenly placed throughout your body. However, you can still sleep on your side or stomach if you prefer.
Of course, the right sleep environment combined with a weighted blanket can help you get even better sleep.
- Stop using your smartphone in the bedroom, as blue light makes it harder to fall asleep. Your Instagram feed can wait until morning.
- Make your bedroom as dark as possible with the help of blackout curtains or a sleep mask.
- Reduce visual clutter, which can make you feel more stressed. A clean, organized bedroom promotes a sense of calm that makes it easier to fall asleep.
- Use a white noise machine or earplugs to drown out noise (like your spouse’s snoring).
- Keep your bedroom nice and cool. Warm temperatures can disrupt sleep. Think refrigerator, not sauna.
How To Use a Weighted Blanket for ASD, ADHD, or PTSD
Your mental health can have a direct impact on your ability to get a good night's sleep. It can also make it challenging to manage daily activities that other people take for granted.
The good news is that with pressure therapy, a weighted blanket can lower your heart rate and help the body relax. That means those who struggle with sleeping due to PTSD, anxiety, or other challenges can use a weighted blanket to get better sleep quality. So how can this blanket help during the day?
Weighted blankets can help users manage daytime stress and anxiety related to mental health conditions or the day-to-day stresses of life. Weighted blankets are closely related to weighted vests, which also rely on deep touch pressure to produce a calming effect. Studies have found that children with ADHD were better able to focus and stay on task when wearing these vests.
The difference, of course, is that weighted blankets aren’t designed to be worn as clothing during the day. If you're running errands, you don't want to take your blanket with you and end up looking like Linus from Charlie Brown (or maybe you do, in which case we totally support that).
Those with ADHD, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), PTSD, restless leg syndrome, and more can enjoy the calming effects of deep pressure therapy at home simply by draping their blanket over their shoulders and wrapping it snugly around them. For kids with ADHD, this makes it easier to concentrate on things like homework. Or, an adult suffering from a PTSD attack could wrap themselves in a weighted blanket to regain control of their emotions when panic sets in.
Now that you know how to use a weighted blanket, use the following tips to help you create a relaxing home environment during the day:
- Just like in the bedroom, eliminating household clutter will help you feel calm and relaxed. If you have a lot of stuff, it might be time for a garage sale!
- Keep plants in several rooms around the house. Houseplants have been found to reduce stress and anxiety while also improving concentration and memory.
- Don’t let your home feel like a cave! Let in plenty of natural light, which can boost mood and productivity. Adding a mirror to a darker rooms can help reflect light from a window to make a room feel brighter.
- Consider aromatherapy. Soothing candle scents or essential oils can help you relax. This is an easy way to turn every day into a spa day.
Weighted Blankets Are for Everyone
The calming effect of a weighted blanket can help those who wish to experience a deeper, more restful sleep, or help reduce effects of some mental illnesses. Now that you know how to use these blankets properly, you're ready to snuggle up and get the rest you deserve.
At Hush, our weighted blankets deliver cortisol-lowering, serotonin-boosting sleep with unbeatable quality. Our duvet covers use an internal zipper system to prevent sagging. Our super comfortable and breathable inner microfiber blanket wraps around you like a warm hug for the best sleep of your life. Try one for yourself with our 100-night guarantee of better sleep, and feel the difference.