What’s one of the key factors that people need to focus on when looking to build quality muscle mass? Rest. How many people out there suffer from insomnia or the inability to get a good night’s sleep (for a laundry list of reasons)? Maybe you’re one of them? I know plenty of people in my life who can’t sleep at night. They’re either not tired, or they toss and turn, which ultimately has them get up out of bed from sheer frustration. They don’t know what to do and are at wit’s end. Then comes along a new product deemed a weighted blanket.
No, this is no product pitch, and there are no links to products for you to purchase. This is truly an informative piece that can help you get better rest so you can not only wake up feeling refreshed but also improve your rest and recovery from your grueling workouts.
Now, you may be wondering how a weighted blanket can help someone fall asleep, but there are a ton of testimonials out there where people swear by them. So, in an effort to learn more and get some feedback, I went to social media and asked my audience while also doing my own research.
To my surprise, there were a bunch of people who use a weighted blanket every night as well as a good portion who said they bought one and didn’t like it for various reasons. If you’ve never heard of a weighted blanket, or maybe you’re considering one, here’s some information you should know before opening your wallet and clicking “submit order.”
What is a Weighted Blanket?
If you’ve never heard of a weighted blanket before, you probably have some questions. The first one may be, “What exactly is a weighted blanket?” If you’re wondering that, you’re not alone. A weighted blanket is just as it sounds. Rather than a blanket being filled with down or cotton, it’s filled with beads, pellets, or some other heavy material – adding some additional weight to it.
In a sense, it’s like putting the vest on at the dentist when you have your mouth x-rayed to check your teeth. That same sensation is what has been found to help people sleep. The blankets come in various weights – anywhere from 2-30 pounds.
The sensation from using a weighted blanket can be compared to that of getting a hug from someone. It’s a gentle pressure that seems to calm people. The weight of the blanket can help reduce stress and, depending on the weight, can even help target some pressure points on the body that can help relieve tension.
A study found that the deep pressure stimulation from a weighted blanket has the ability to reduce stress by 33%, a 63% decrease in anxiety, and 78% of people in the study mentioned they preferred sleeping with the weighted blanket versus without one after trial.
Here’s a little side note or example for you. Have you ever heard of those “thunder shirts” for dogs? The ones where you put them on your furry little friend when they get anxious such as during a thunderstorm or even car rides? The tightness from the shirt helps the dog remain calm and aids in reducing felt anxiety for your four-legged friends. The same concept applies to weighted blankets for people. That very same sensation that calms your dog is what a weighted blanket is supposed to help with.
Who Should Use Such a Product?
While anyone can benefit from using a weighted blanket, there are some specific instances where a weighted blanket can truly help someone get better quality sleep. Some examples of people who may benefit from such a product are:
- Those suffering from anxiety
- People who are overly stressed
- Individuals with autism or ADHD
- Those who toss and turn at night
What Can a Weighted Blanket Do for You?
As I’ve been mentioning, the key thing that a weighted blanket can do is help people sleep better. There are other moving parts to this as well that can provide some additional benefits, such as:
- Improve sleep quality
- Increase recovery time from exercise
- Boost serotonin levels
- Produce oxytocin
- Relieve pain and stress
- Decrease anxiety
- Reduce restlessness in bed
- Decrease cortisol levels
What Weight Should You Purchase?
When buying a weighted blanket, it’s a very personal investment. While it is recommended to take your weight in pounds and get a blanket that is around 10% of your body weight (you can size up to the next weight of a blanket), your individual preference may differ from what is recommended.
For instance, if someone weighs 160 pounds, they could get a 16 or even an 18-pound weighted blanket. If that is too heavy, they could size down, or if it’s not heavy enough, they can size up.
Are There Any Drawbacks?
A common complaint that I saw from the survey I conducted on social media was that the blanket causes you to get extremely hot. As you can imagine, the role of a blanket is to keep you warm – now add in some heavy materials that weigh the blanket down on top of you, and you can probably imagine that you’re going to retain your body heat much more efficiently.
Summer months could be interesting as you’re trying to stay cool, and the blanket is making sure you stay warm. I’ve actually read comments from my survey that people find they can’t use the blanket in the summer months, which can be a drawback if you count on the blanket to help you sleep and get better overall recovery.
So, are there any concerns you should be aware of, and are there people who should not use a weighted blanket? If you fall into any of the categories below, they recommend you do NOT use a weighted blanket to sleep.
- You have sleep apnea
- You snore
- You have any type of breathing issues
- You’re always hot when you sleep
- Do NOT sleep with it over your face or neck
- NOT for children under the age of three
- NOT for children who weigh less than 50 pounds
So, Can This Blanket Help Improve Rest and Recovery?
Assuming you enjoy sleeping with one, it can absolutely help improve your rest and recovery. What can this mean to your strength and muscle gains? A LOT! If you were getting minimal rest and walked around on a daily basis like a zombie from The Walking Dead, you could see almost immediate changes and benefits from getting the recommended minimum of seven hours of sleep a night.
Is this blanket for you? Only you can answer that. If you have any of the conditions listed above in the article, it may be worth investing in one to try. You could always consult with your doctor prior, to get another opinion on the subject before you shell out some cash (after all, they aren’t cheap). Sleep and overall rest are extremely important for all of us, and when you aren’t getting enough, the side effects can be extreme. If you want to put on lean muscle weight, the answer could very well be putting on a weighted blanket.