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- Weighted blankets use deep-touch therapy – similar to the comfort created by swaddling babies – to create deeper, more restful sleep and ease anxiety, stress, and other health concerns naturally.
- I tested out BlanQuil’s 15 lb Weighted Blanket ($169) and was extremely surprised by how well it worked.
- I’ve been sleeping under the BlanQuil for over a week, and I’ve had seven-plus nights of consistently great sleep, disproving the idea that it’s partially beyond our control.
- The BlanQuil comes in 15 – 20 lbs and the general rule of thumb is to order whatever is 10% of your body weight.
If you’ve ever woken up on a frigid winter morning under a pile of heavy, warm blankets and felt – for lack of a better phrase – totally at peace, then you’ve already had a glimpse into what waking up under a weighted blanket feels like every day.
Weighted blankets have been used therapeutically for everything from behavioral and sensory disorders to anxiety, depression, autism, and insomnia for decades- and they work by tapping into some of the body’s deepest and most elemental reactions.
The concept is that a weighted blanket works like deep pressure touch stimulation (DPTS), similar to how a massage works. While light touches wake the nervous system, deep pressure has a relaxing, calming effect on the body – which is why parents swaddle babies to calm them. A weighted blanket is essentially applying this concept to adults, since we don’t outgrow the comfort of what essentially feels like one long, nice hug. A weighted blanket applies pressure to the body throughout the night, creating a sense of calm and “grounding” that relaxes the nervous system, encourages dopamine and serotonin production (which later converts to melatonin, making you sleepy), and actually measurably reduces or eliminates pain and stress.
DPTS is basic, and it’s relatively easy to create – but it’s extremely effective. We see the idea replicated in inventions for animals such as weighted “anxiety jackets” meant to help dogs cope with separation anxiety and stress from storms. Though we see ourselves as much more complex creatures than newborns or puppies, our bodies still respond to DPTS the same way.
Weighted blankets are especially useful for people looking for a drug-free way to counteract their anxiety, depression, trauma, high energy, or sleep disorders, but they’re useful for anyone who wants to fall asleep faster, get better sleep, and potentially even wake up happier.
Recently, I’ve been testing the 15 lb BlanQuil blanket ($169) and I have to say that I have been extremely impressed with how well it works.
I wouldn’t call myself a light or troubled sleeper (my issues normally relate to waking up), but there was apparently a greater level of improvement to be made than I imagined.
I started sleeping with the BlanQuil blanket last week, and I’ve had seven-plus consistent nights of great sleep in a row – a streak that counters a previously held assumption that a good night’s sleep was only partly under my control (exercise, get a good pillow, no blue light before bed, etc.). Apparently, you can stack the deck in your favor every single night.
I fall asleep faster, nearly always sleep through the night, and wake up in about the same position the next morning. It’s the sort of restful sleep that so outpaces the norm that you’re actually aware of the difference upon waking up the next morning: “When did I fall asleep last night?” “Did I dream?” If I do wake up during the night, it takes me only a couple moments of reshuffling to feel sufficiently “grounded” and fall back to sleep.
I can’t truly say whether it has improved my mood in general or if that’s solely a side effect of better sleep, but I have been in a markedly better and more energetic mood since I started using it. Even at night, it creates the sort of safe, warm confinement that does – whether we like to admit it or not – elicit compulsory feelings of safety, calm, comfort, and happiness.
The only cons I have for the blanket are that I wish it was wider (it’s personal-sized at 48″x74″) and the price is lofty – ranging from $169 – $199. However, weighted blankets typically are – and this one looks nicer than many other iterations I’ve seen. The weights won’t move around during the night (a common complaint), and the removable cover makes it more versatile seasonally. The cover is far too thick for summer sleeping arrangements, but I look forward to popping it back on in the winter. It makes me groggier when I wake up in the morning, and it’s harder to get out of bed, but those are prices I’m willing to pay for deeper sleep – and could potentially be combated by alarms that take into account sleep cycles, waking you up when they determine you’re in a lighter stage of sleep anyway.
If you’re looking to get one, the general rule of thumb is that you should select a blanket that weighs 10% of your own body weight. The BlanQuil comes in 15 lbs and 20 lbs, and I’ve been sleeping under the 15 lbs, which is a bit more than 10% of my body weight. Initially, I thought it felt too light right out of the box. How could this make that much of a difference? After sleeping under it, I don’t think I’d go any heavier unless I was a true toss-and-turner and wanted to mitigate sliding the thing off me during the night. It turns out you don’t need much more than 10% to feel a substantial difference in the quality of sleep thanks to DPTS.
All in all, I am surprised and impressed by the impact the BlanQuil blanket has had on my quality of sleep, especially given that I hadn’t even realized how much improvement there was yet to be made anyway. It’s a great option for anyone – from people who want a drug-free way to combat anxiety or sleep disorders to those who just wants a better quality of sleep every night. I love my creature comforts, and this is one of the very best I’ve found thus far.
If you’re in the market for better sleep, this is definitely worth taking a look at.