Gravity blankets have, for the most part, become a well-known and famous sleep accessory for many children and adults. Most gravity blankets are filled with plastic beads or glass in order to make them denser and more substantial compared to standard quilts and blankets.
More often than not, the blankets are, believe it or not, available in different weight options. Furthermore, they are padded or filled with polyester fiber material for added softness and smoothness. The feeling of resting beneath a gravity blanket contributes “happy hormones” that can help improve or refine sleep duration and quality.
Gravity blankets are also best for children and adults with particular mental health issues, for example, autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and depression. Unsurprisingly, weight is the most crucial and vital consideration for those people looking for a gravity blanket.
These blankets are sold these days range from five to thirty pounds. An excessive or too much weight can build up undesirable sleep experiences, specifically for children. The material composition of the cover is another factor to take into consideration because some fabrics are more breathable and softer than others.
Many people have or suffer from stress-related sleep problems, having a hard time dozing off to sleep, and difficulty from staying asleep with anxiety from the mind and body. The gravity blanket was engineered and designed based on a substantial amount of research with the needs of the human body in mind.
For those who have not heard of the weighted blankets in general or gravity blanket specifically, consider it like a Thundershirt for humans. The idea or notion behind gravity blankets is that sleeping underneath evenly and constant distributed pressure will create a relaxing and calming effect.
In fact, according to studies, weighted blankets can also aid those with insomnia, high anxiety, ADHD, and autism spectrum disorders (ASD). But basically, gravity blankets mostly just feel like a tender and lenient hug.
It is designed and created to provide you a “hugging” feeling representing about ten percent of your body weight. In general, these blankets aim to deliver instant relief from stress and anxiety, deepen REM sleep, and increase relaxation.
It is not only intended for sleep purposes because you can use it while reading a book in bed, relaxing on the couch, meditating, or recovering from a long tiring day. Having sleep problems is not entirely a modern problem. However, it does appear like there are a lot of reasons to toss and turn these days.
There might be an epidemic of anxiety tormenting the United States and other places of the world, but the silver lining is we are living in an era of technological solutions as well. And that is where gravity blankets take place.
Weighted blankets are, for the most part, designed and created to be seven to twelve percent of your body weight to ease the nervous system by giving the feeling of being hugged or held. For this reason, it increases melatonin and serotonin levels and minimizes cortisol levels—boosting your mood and helping you have a restful sleep at the same time — all of these without ever filling a medicine prescription.
This gravity blanket review includes suggestions and tips for people who would like to buy a weighted blanket. Read on!
What Is a Gravity Blanket?
The popularity of the weighted blanket primarily comes from its guarantee to promote better sleep and reduce anxiety. It is more or less precisely what you would expect: a quilt filled with small things like beads, discs, or pellets of polypropylene glass or plastic, giving it an extra or more weight that mildly hugs the user.
Some companies blend or mix a soft material such as cotton with the weights to preserve a more conventional duvet feel. Adult gravity blankets range from around ten to thirty pounds, while lighter options for young kids exist as well. However, take note that weighted blankets are not ideal for infants.
A gravity blanket is, for the most part, sized to a person. By that we mean, it will not necessarily change your current comforter. The goal of the gravity blanket is to apply or put soft, well-distributed pressure to your body, which is helpful when it suits you snugly.
However, gravity blankets also come in sizes that match different mattresses, if that is what you are looking for. Even if gravity blankets are, more often than not, one piece, other blankets come in pieces, with a weighted inner layer, and an outer cover. Both elements are typically washable. Plus, the cover provides more flexibility with regards to color and style. The soft outer cover dries much faster compared to the all in one blanket.
Weighted blankets in general calm stress and anxiety, according to science. For the most part, blankets have been used, in history, in treatment and therapy for people with autism, especially children.
However, research claims their benefits and perks extend to other forms of disorders and ailments as well. In fact, according to a small pilot study in 2006, at least three-quarters of the people in the study prefer relaxing and calming with a blanket. And at least sixty-three percent reported having lower anxiety levels after using the blanket.
According to another study in 2015, weighted blanket extends average sleep time and minimize disruptive and troublesome movement of people experiencing insomnia. Furthermore, research shows that the subjects liked resting with the blanket and found it uncomplicated to sleep and settle down and had a better sleep, where they felt more energized in the morning.
Gravity blankets are new to the market. It is quite bigger as compared to the other or usual blankets. Plus, it is one of the first to be intended for adults with insomnia and anxiety.
Here are a few of the advantages that you can enjoy with a gravity blanket. Through this, you will surely have an idea if it is a worthy investment or not. Well, you decide!
Makes You Think About Fidgeting and Moving
A gravity blanket is large enough that can cover an adult’s entire body. As compared to other models that are intended for children with autism, the weight is more spread out and less concentrated. It will feel like you are under five duvets flattened into one, without the heat. There is a subtlety to it as well because it will not pin you down or put pressure on your body entirely. However, it does make every movement feel more deliberate and more conscious.
Melts Anxiety Away
As we have said before, gravity blankets can calm and relax a person who is suffering from anxiety. Whenever a person feels stressed and gets anxiety attacks, they will find a way to ground themselves. For example, if you are on the streets, you can take long deep breaths to calm yourself. If you are at work, do a quick meditation. And at home, you can use your blanket.
The pressure it provides promotes a feeling or sense of groundedness. Blankets, specifically gravity or weighted blankets, stimulates a hug-like or womb-like feel, serenity, and tranquility universal to humankind.
Let You Fall Asleep Quickly
When it is the summer season, people tend to like and prefer the weight of a hefty blanket to fall asleep more quickly. That is what a gravity blanket will do, even if it is not yet summertime. When using the gravity blanket, you will surely fall asleep in less than five minutes.
You Will Stay Asleep Longer
Some people find it hard to stay asleep longer for various reasons. For example, peeing at an absurd hour or hearing undesired sounds. But with the gravity blanket, you can avert or delay such things until morning.
Although the gravity blanket offers tons of perks that you can enjoy, there are also some disadvantages and downsides from using it. There are a couple of things about the gravity blanket that is less than ideal. So, here they are.
Yes, there is no denying that weighted blankets are somewhat addicting. As we have stated above, it can make you stay asleep longer, which is perhaps unhelpful for many, especially those with early work hours. It makes getting out of the bed more difficult than it already is, especially when it is winter season and mornings are colder and darker.
Challenging to Transport
Gravity blankets are hard or challenging to transport. According to some users, their gravity blankets were delivered via Uber because the cost of transporting it via Uber is lesser than the shipping fee itself. Dragging it up the stairs is also a challenge for some as well, and it is rather challenging to move it around the house.
The size can be overwhelming, especially if you live in a small house. And when you fold the blanket, it is at least a foot deep. Although it is not necessarily a disadvantage it is something to take into consideration.
It Can Be Suffocate Your Pets or Children
We all know that these blankets are heavy, right? That it is why, it is important to make sure that nobody, especially your small kids and pets get caught in the blanket as it will be hard for them to escape or break free from the weight.
They Are not Cheap
Gravity blankets sell for seventy dollars to three hundred dollars. The heavier the weight of the blanket, the higher the quality of the materials used, the larger the size, the higher the cost.
Tips Before Buying
From custom pillows to memory foam mattresses, it looks like every set of bedding is, for the most part, getting an upgrade these days. And one of the latest item to make a name for itself is the gravity blanket or weighted blanket in general.
For sure, chances are you have already heard family or friends examining them. Or perhaps you saw someone receive one as a present. However, while gravity blankets have skyrocketed in popularity over the years, this revolutionizing product is not necessarily brand new.
As a matter of fact, it has long been used or utilized in the special needs community, supporting people on the autism spectrum and other conditions. Nevertheless, it was not until companies such as Gravity Blanket took their flagship designs to the broader audience that they began regarding it as a medical device, but a common sleep aid.
Do you want to know more about what the hype is all about? Well, lucky you, here is everything you need to know with regards to weighted blankets.
When it comes to buying your own gravity blanket, there are a couple of factors to take into consideration. First of all, you want a weighted blanket that is somewhat ten percent of your body weight. For instance, if you weigh 150 pounds, a fifteen-pound blanket would be great or best for you. If you come to a situation wherein you fall in between the standard weights of gravity blankets, it is much better to opt for the heavier and hefty option.
Gravity blankets arrive in plenty of different kinds of fabric, just like other blankets. So, ensure that you select a fabric that you like, and, if, for example, you have sensory issues, will not cause irritation.
Return Policy is a Must
Whatever you are buying or purchasing, you need to make sure that it contains a return policy. Some sellers give trial periods so that you can return the item or product for an exchange for a different gravity blanket or refund.
Why Buy One?
Gravity blankets are, for the most part, an increasingly well-known way to tackle the symptoms of sensory processing disorder, a health condition in which people are having a hard time dealing with the information they take through their senses such as smell, sight, taste, touch, and sound. And this condition affects both adults and kids.
Since young kids and children with developmental retard usually have a hard time expressing what’s making them uncomfortable or bothering them, it is not always easy for caregivers and parents to identify the symptoms of sensory processing disorder. We, human beings, take in info from our senses all the time.
In many instances, we do not even think that we are actually doing it. As you move past through a crowded place, you are attacked with a lot of noises coming from different directions. While you watch movies, your eyes consume different flashes and colors of light as the screen changes. Well, these are normal, everyday happenings that aid you in relating the world around you.
For those who suffer from sensory processing disorder, the brain does not always process info in the usual way. Some medical professionals say that this disorder is like a mental traffic jam. Information comes in, but they cluster together and get mixed up. As the brain strives hard to take all of the info it is receiving, the person can feel anxious and overwhelmed.
For youngsters, this mental traffic jam can lead to social, behavioral, and learning challenges. Although there is still no cure for sensory processing disorder, there are effective ways to handle the symptoms. Studies showed that firm but mild squeezing or pressure, called deep touch pressure therapy, can aid people with sensory processing disorder feel less anxious and calmer. It is like getting a full firm body hug.
Health professionals and occupational therapists can, without a doubt, perform deep touch pressure therapy. However, there is also a way to get or reap all of these benefits at the luxury of your home. Gravity blankets or weighted blankets provide consistent, gentle, and firm pressure utilized in deep touch pressure therapy.
How Big Should It Be?
Your gravity blanket’s size depends primarily on two things, how you plan to use it, and your personal size. If you are ordering one for your kid that’s at least six years old, the small blankets are ideal. For children between six and twelve, the medium blankets are ideal.
For taller adults and teens, you will need a large one. But, here is the thing, people arrive in all sizes and shapes. So, if you have questions about which weight or size you should go for, you can always contact the company to discuss your needs.
A crucial thing to note is that your gravity blanket must fit your body and not your bed. It is not like your usual comforter or quilt, and the gravity blanket should not exceed the sides of the bed. If it hangs over or drapes down, the weight of the blanket will drag the blanket to the floor. And of course, nobody wants to spend the nights dealing with your blanket as it falls to the floor over and over again. So, to get the best of the blanket, select a size that suits your entire body, and not your mattress.
Although gravity blankets can be of great help to anyone, they are most especially useful for intermittent and restless sleepers. The weighted blanket mildly presses or puts pressure on the user’s body, keeping them well-supported and still until morning.
This gentle pressure lessens cortisol, the primary stress hormone of the human’s body, and promotes the production of serotonin, a hormone related to the well-being and feelings of happiness. According to research, the deep touch pressure provided by the gravity blanket provides users the sense of comfort, relaxation, and safety.
Some studies inspecting or scrutinizing the use of gravity blankets found similar results as well, with most of the respondents showing lower anxiety. Gravity blankets can also, believe it or not, relieve symptoms in people suffering from restless leg syndrome, chronic pain conditions, and insomnia. These blankets are best for deeper psychological reasons as well, with tons of benefits for those people who are suffering from autism, depression, and other mental health issues.
Weighted blankets in general, which might weigh from five to thirty pounds, are somewhat heavier compared to standard quilts, duvets, and comforters. Gravity blankets aid in improving sleep quality since they promote the production of melatonin, a hormone that manages your natural sleep cycle.
They also promote the production of happy hormones that can have a relaxing effect or impact on the nervous system. Gravity blankets give a feeling known as a grounding that put moderate pressure to the body of the sleeper and shoves them further into their sleep surface.
This grounding sensation also promotes the release or production of hormones that relax the nerves and lead to a good night’s rest. The weight of the blanket is key for maintaining the quality of sleep and harnessing the right amount of sleep each night. Gravity blankets should be suited or fitted to the individual user.
Most people reach maximum comfort levels using a blanket that weighs around five percent to ten percent of their own body weight. Young kids can also use gravity blankets that weigh at least ten percent of their body weight.
Gravity blankets carry safety and health risks for kids under eight years of age. Children in this age group must avoid using gravity blankets unless a licensed therapist or physician have recommended it.
Weighted blankets help sleepers in many ways. First, it minimizes cortisol levels. Although this hormone is not bad, cortisol production in the night can block or impede the production of melatonin, which can lead to an adverse effect of the quality of your sleep.
Next, it aids in producing more melatonin. People who use gravity blankets for insomnia associated with low levels of melatonin usually experience significant sleep improvements. Weighted blankets promote happy hormones. As we have said before, the grounding sensation caused by the mild pressure of the blanket triggers the production of happy hormones like dopamine.
These hormones ease the nervous system and make people feel less anxious and more relaxed. It also triggers the release of oxytocin, a hormone, for the most part, released during hugging. Lastly, it lessens sleepwalking episodes. Gravity blankets can be very beneficial for sleepwalkers, especially young children and toddlers.
Co-founder of Counting Sheep and Sleepaholic