- What is the Best Weight Blanket for Insomnia?
- What Causes Insomnia?
- Do Weighted Blankets Help with Insomnia?
- Different Types of Insomnia Weighted Blankets
- Key Components of a Weighted Blanket for Insomnia
- The 7 Best Weighted Blankets for Insomnia
- FAQ regarding Weighted Blankets for Individuals with Insomnia
Have you ever had a night when you simply couldn’t fall asleep, despite being tired? Or maybe you were able to fall asleep but woke during the night or too early in the morning and couldn’t fall back to sleep. Both of these are characteristics of a sleep disorder called insomnia that affects roughly one-third of American adults at some point in their lives.
Insomnia affects millions of people in the United States and, for some people, it is an occasional problem that doesn’t require treatment. For about 10% of insomnia sufferers, however, it is a chronic disorder that occurs at least three times a week and significantly affects the quality of life.
Treatments for insomnia vary on the underlying cause and the severity of the condition. Unfortunately, the pharmaceutical medications that are frequently used to treat insomnia come with a high risk for dependence and side effects. If you’re looking for a natural remedy to relieve insomnia and to get a good night’s rest, you might want to consider a weighted blanket.
What is the Best Weight Blanket for Insomnia?
What Causes Insomnia?
According to the Mayo Clinic, insomnia is a sleep disorder that makes it difficult for you to fall asleep, stay asleep, or fall back to sleep after waking. Many people who suffer from insomnia wake feeling unrested which can result in daytime fatigue and low mood. Chronic insomnia occurs at least three nights a week for a period of three months or more, and it can have a significant impact on your ability to work and your quality of life.
The most common symptoms of insomnia include the following:
- Having trouble falling asleep at night
- Waking up several times during the night
- Very shallow sleep or laying awake most of the night
- Waking too early and not being able to go back to sleep
- Feeling unrested upon waking in the morning
- Irritability, anxiety, or depression
- Trouble focusing on tasks or remembering things
- Increased errors and accidents at work or school
There are two types of insomnia: acute and chronic. Acute insomnia is a short-term problem commonly caused by stress, changing schedule, family obligations, or a traumatic event. This type of insomnia typically only lasts for a few days or weeks and may resolve without treatment. Chronic insomnia lasts for a month or more, and most cases are secondary.
Secondary chronic insomnia occurs when insomnia is a symptom of an underlying condition or side effect of a medication or substance. Chronic insomnia can be caused by changes to the environment such as sleeping in an unfamiliar place, unhealthy sleep habits, or use of substances such as caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol. It may also be related to an underlying medical condition like nasal allergies, acid reflux, arthritis, hyperthyroidism, neurological conditions, or chronic pain conditions.
Chronic insomnia is also sometimes related to other sleep disorders like restless leg syndrome or sleep apnea and can also be triggered by medications such as antidepressants, blood pressure drugs, and over-the-counter drugs like pain relievers, allergy medicine, and weight-loss products.
Do Weighted Blankets Help with Insomnia?
When it comes to the best treatments for insomnia, it is largely an individual preference, though it also depends on the underlying cause. In cases where stress and anxiety are the primary cause, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a very beneficial treatment. It helps you identify and alter the negative patterns of thought and behavior that are contributing to your problems. For others, lifestyle changes such as improved sleep habits, reduced caffeine intake, and a more active lifestyle are beneficial.
In many cases, pharmaceutical medications can help insomnia sufferers achieve a more restful night of sleep either by helping them fall asleep or keeping them asleep. Even if you choose to take sleep aids, you might also benefit from using a weighted blanket at night. In fact, there is a great deal of research on weighted blankets that supports their use for insomnia sufferers.
Here is an overview of some of the scientific research on weighted blankets for insomnia:
- A 2015 study published in the Journal of Sleep Medicine & Disorders showed that 32 people with moderate insomnia who slept with a weighted blanket slept longer and moved less during the night.
- A 2011 study published in the Nordic Journal of Psychiatry tested weighted blankets for children aged 8 to 13 who suffered from ADHD and found that they fell asleep more quickly and had fewer awakenings during the night.
- A 2014 study involving 73 autistic children aged 5 to 16 who had severe sleep problems preferred sleeping with a weighted blanket over a regular blanket.
A weighted blanket is simply a blanket that is filled with a weighted material. When you sit or lay down with a weighted blanket, the weight provides a gentle and calming pressure that feels almost like a hug. The science behind it is something called deep touch pressure or DTP which is an even distribution of pressure on the body that provides a calming or soothing sensation. DTP actually increases serotonin production in the brain, reduces cortisol production, and decreases nervous system activity.
Different Types of Insomnia Weighted Blankets
Whether you’re currently seeking treatment for your insomnia or not, using a weighted blanket is a great idea. It won’t interfere with any medications or other therapies, and it can help you feel calmer and more comfortable for sleep. All you need to do now is pick one!
Here is a quick overview of the different types of insomnia weighted blankets:
- Box Construction – This type of weighted blanket looks similar to a down comforter. It consists of a box-like construction in which each box is filled with the weighted material.
- Channel Construction – In this type of blanket, the weighted material is contained in channels rather than boxes. This allows the material to move more freely for even weight distribution.
- Removable Cover – This is a feature that many weighted blankets offer. By removing the cover you can wash it without damaging the actual weighted blanket.
- Fully Sewn – This type of weighted blanket is all one piece which means that you may or may not be able to wash it in a washing machine, depending on the construction and materials used.
For the most part, weighted blankets are not specifically designed for insomnia – it is simply the weight of the blanket itself that provides the benefit. This is good news, however, because it means that you can purchase whatever blanket suits your preferences. Keep reading to learn what you should look for when shopping for weighted blankets.
Key Components of a Weighted Blanket for Insomnia
Because weighted blankets are typically not designed for specific conditions, you have the freedom to choose the blanket that best suits your individual needs and preferences. Before you start shopping around, take the time to familiarize yourself with the different features you’re like to see in a weighted blanket. Here is a summary of some of the components to look for:
- Size – Weighted blankets come in a wide variety of sizes. If you’re using your blanket for sleep, you’ll need to choose one big enough to fit on your bed or to at least cover your whole body.
- Weight – The proper weight for a weighted blanket is about 10% of your body weight. These blankets usually range from 5 pounds to 25 pounds, so you’ll have no trouble finding one.
- Fabric – Because you’ll be sleeping with your weighted blanket, the material is very important. Heavier materials will keep you warm in the winter but might make you uncomfortable in the summer. If you want a blanket you can use all year, choose a lightweight fabric and layer it with other blankets for warmth, if needed.
- Filler – The weighted material in one of these blankets can be synthetic (like glass beads or plastic pellets) or it can be natural (like rice or millet).
- Cover – Some weighted blankets come with removable covers that you can wash in the washing machine. You might even find some that come with two covers for winter and for summer.
Now you understand the makeup of weighted blankets and the different options that are out there which means that you are ready to start shopping! Keep reading to learn about our top 7 picks for the best weighted blankets for insomnia to help you get started.
The 7 Best Weighted Blankets for Insomnia
Now that you’ve learned the basics about insomnia and how weighted blankets can help, you’re ready to start shopping? Still wondering where to start in finding the best weighted blanket for insomnia? Don’t worry! We’re here to help. Here are our top 7 picks for insomnia weighted blankets:
|Our Picks: Best Insomnia Weighted Blankets in 2019|
Overall Best Weighted Blanket for Insomnia: If you’re looking for a weighted blanket that conforms to your body for maximum comfort, look no further than the Magic Blanket Chenille Weighted Blanket. This blanket comes in a wide range of colors and in weights from 6 to 20 pounds. It features a super-soft chenille fabric and it is sewn without visible stitching which gives it a smooth appearance like a normal blanket. The Magic Blanket is made from premium materials and designed by professional sewing contractors and made with plush chenille fabric for optimal comfort. Plus, the duvet cover is securely sewn into the blanket, so you don’t have to remove it for washing or worry about adjusting it. Simply throw the entire blanket in the washer to clean.
- Pros: Super-soft chenille fabric, sewn-in duvet cover for easy washing, weight range 6 to 20 pounds, sewn without visible stitching, can be machine washed, lifetime warranty
- Cons: Sizing is not quite standard, chenille fabric can get very warm
6 More Top Rated Weighted Blankets for People with Insomnia
If our top overall pick doesn’t seem like the perfect fit for you, there are still plenty of options out there. Here are six more top-rated weighted blankets for people with insomnia:
Uniquely designed for sleep, stress, and anxiety the Gravity Blanket is a popular choice. This weighted blanket comes in three weights (15, 20, and 25 pounds) and is engineered for comfort. It comes in a generous 72×48-inch size and is made with gridded stitching to ensure that the fine-grade glass beads remain uniformly distributed. This blanket comes with a machine washable duvet cover that is kept soundly in place with internal clasps.
- Pros: Designed for sleep, three different weights, gridded stitching keeps glass beads evenly distributed, machine washable duvet cover, cover is easy to remove and replace
- Cons: Very expensive compared to some models, only comes in one size, only three weights
If you’re looking for a weighted blanket that is easy to clean and extremely soft, look no further than the Harkla Adult Weighted Blanket. This blanket comes in five weights ranging from 5 to 25 pounds and comes in four color options. It features a plush Minky duvet cover that is easy to remove for cleaning and it stays soft through machine washing. This weighted blanket is made with a box construction for even distribution of the weighted material and the Minky duvet cover features sensory dots for therapeutic benefits. Best of all, it is covered by a 100% satisfaction guarantee and lifetime warranty.
- Pros: Very soft, removable 2-piece duvet cover for easy washing, even weight distribution, sensory input, several weights and multiple color combinations, lifetime warranty
- Cons: Very expensive for the larger sizes, cotton filling may make it too warm for some users
The YnM Weighted Blanket for Adults comes in a wide range of sizes, weights, and color options so you can choose the best one to suit your needs. It is generously sized to fit on your bed and comes with a removable duvet cover for comfort and easy cleaning. This weighted blanket products a gentle pressure with a unique 7-layer system and is filled with more glass beads and less fiberfill than other models. Choose from a premium cotton duvet or cooling bamboo duvet for warm weather or a Minky duvet for cooler weather. This blanket comes with a 3-year replacement policy and 100% satisfaction guarantee.
- Pros: Even distribution of weight, 5 to 25 pounds, breathable fabric, less fiber means better temperature control, comes with 3-year warranty, perfectly sized for sleep
- Cons: May not withstand machine washing, seams may tear easily
If you’re looking for a weighted blanket that is perfect for sleep, the CuteKing Weighted Blanket for Adults is a great option. It is generously sized at either 48×78 inches or 60×80 inches and comes in 20 and 25-pound weights. This weighted blanket is made from 100% high-density cotton fabric that is breathable and durable, plus it is filled with tiny glass beads and less fiber fill for improved temperature regulation. It is made with new sewing technology to keep the beads in place and to ensure maximum durability. It also comes with a 30-day return policy and a 3-year repair policy.
- Pros: Affordable price, 100% breathable cotton fibers, glass beads for weight, even weight distribution, less fiberfill for improved temperature regulation
- Cons: Limited availability for sizes and weights, no removable cover, not as durable as some models
For a weighted blanket that offers numerous color options, consider the Deluxe Calmforter Premium Weighted Blanket. This blanket comes in a generous 60×80-inch size which is perfect for sleep and it has an ultra-luxurious Minky fabric cover. This weighted blanket is filled with mini glass beads that offer even distribution of gentle, calming pressure and the cover is silky on one side and textured on the other for an added sensory experience. Simply put, if you’re looking for a weighted blanket that is uniquely engineered for sleep, this is the one to choose.
- Pros: Two-sided exterior, SensaDot texture provides sensory input, 2-part construction for washing and durability, even weight distribution, 7 color choices
- Cons: Only available in one size and weight, may be too warm for some users
The Sonno Zona Weighted Blanket is uniquely designed for sleep. It features a soft Minky cover that has sensory dots on one side and is smooth on the other. It features a simple box construction for even distribution of the sand-like glass beads – they are securely woven into the quilted design to prevent leakage. This weighted blanket comes with a machine-washable cover that is easy to put on with security ties and a flexible zip close. It comes in two weights and a lovely rose color.
- Pros: Ultra-soft minky fabric, quilted design for even weight distribution, tiny sand-like pellets, two-sided for dual sensory experiences, comes with a cotton blanket and washable cover
- Cons: Only available in two weights (10 and 15 pounds), very expensive compared to other models
FAQ regarding Weighted Blankets for Individuals with Insomnia
- Can you sleep with a weighted blanket? – Weighted blankets were originally designed for children with autism and were intended for use during sleep. This type of blanket is made to simulate the feel of a hug which many people find comforting. By improving comfort and reducing stress and anxiety, weighted blankets can help you sleep better and they are generally recognized as safe for sleep in persons over the age of 3.
- What weight blanket do I need for sleep?- Generally speaking, adults should use weighted blankets that are equal to 10% of their body weight. For children and teens, the recommended weight is 10% of the body weight plus 1 or 2 pounds. When it comes to sleeping with a weighted blanket, it is largely a matter of preference. Some people prefer a lighter weighted blanket for sleep while others find that 10% body weight is adequate. If you’re using a weighted blanket for insomnia, start with 10% and adjust as needed.
- Do weighted blankets really help you sleep? – Numerous research studies have supported the weighted blanket benefits for insomnia. According to one study published in the Journal of Sleep Medicine and Disorders in 2015, a 10- to 25-pound weighted blanket provided a “beneficial calming effect” which improved sleep for insomnia sufferers.
Insomnia is often a chronic condition that can take time to resolve. If you’ve been suffering for some time and your symptoms don’t seem to be going away on their own, you should talk to your doctor to determine the underlying cause of your condition. In the meantime, however, using a weighted blanket could help. Try one of the top 7 weighted blankets for insomnia we’ve reviewed above!