Who doesn’t love the feeling of hugs? Well, weighted blankets can imitate the feel of hugs from a real person. Sleeping with a soft and cosy covering is a relief and helps you doze off better. Weighted blankets were made for kids, teens, and adults to improve their sleep and even regulate their emotions.
This article illustrates what a weighted blanket is and how you can make one that will suit your comfortability. Read below to know what benefits you may get from using a comfy cover and how it can even improve your lifestyle.
In a literal sense, weighted blankets are heavy blankets. These are sheets of cloth sewn together stuffed with plastic pellets to feel soft and weigh heavier. In an interview with NBC News, a medical doctor explained that weighted blankets had the underlying theory of deep pressure. Since these sheets are heavier than most blankets, it is said to have a soothing effect as it feels like being hugged or swaddled.
These blankets are made based on the different pressure points in the body targeted. This is why the main design of the blanket is similar to a grid. This design evenly distributes the weight of the cloth onto the body, which then evens out the pressure applied.
Do not be confused with comforters and weighted blankets. A weighted blanket is much heavier and bigger than a comforter is. The use of a weighted blanket is not a substitute for the latter, but rather it is more of a throw blanket, an extra sheet.
To keep these covers safe for use, there is an advised weight. Each blanket must weigh around 10% of your body weight. Adults, especially when used by children of age seven and below to prevent any untoward incident, must supervise using a weighted blanket.
These heavy sheets boomed in popularity in 2017. Almost everyone wants to get his or her hands on a weighted blanket. The surge is said to be because of the claims that these blankets can improve one’s sleeping condition, reduce anxiety, and relieve stress. However, no studies certify the effectivity of these weighted blankets.
One of the studies conducted to test the effectiveness of these blankets was by the Occupational Therapy in Mental Health. The results of this study showed that it was safe for human use but did not necessarily improve health. In another study conducted by the Formosan Medical Association, the blankets were useful for people who felt stressful circumstances. Nevertheless, medical practitioners are still facilitating observations and researches to verify the value of these weighted blankets.
BENEFITS OF WEIGHTED BLANKETS
According to David Fuchs, the maker of this weighted blanket, the idea behind it was the feeling that his daughter had with difficulty in sleeping. The calming effect of feeling like they were held helped some people fall asleep.
Opposing studies that dismissed the effectivity of weighted blankets is the research done by Swedish professionals. From the interview of their participants, 31 men and women found the weighted blanket very soothing, and it had helped them doze off quickly and deeply.
Listed down below are three general benefits of using a weighted blanket.
1. It calms and soothes the nerves.
Aside from being used for sleeping, these blankets also help people calm themselves down whenever they fuss around. Medical practitioners have had patients with autism who fret, but once they use the weighted blankets, they calm down and can sleep well. These blankets have also been used by psychiatric clinic for patients who are in distress.
2. It can improve sleep.
When you’re using the blanket, it keeps you in one place, meaning less body movement. You will be able to sleep deeply if you don’t move from time to time, finding a cosy position. Lying with a soft and warm blanket like that of a weighted one relaxes your body and mind. A relaxed mind and body will improve your sleep pattern.
3. It can reduce anxiety.
Being anxious does hinder a person from functioning fully and even from sleeping soundly. A medical professional said that a weighted blanket is like receiving a good, long hug. That feeling of warmth can help ease the tension one feels; thus, reducing anxiety.
Though science has not yet proven the effectivity of these weighted blankets, there is nothing wrong with trying something new to feel better. Doctors may agree that there are distresses that can be solved without scientific interference. If you feel that something is bothering you in your health, consult a doctor.
CRAFTING THE BLANKET
You can make your weighted blanket at home. The better thing is the weights, or the stuffing you can use could be detachable and replaced with new ones. Follow the steps below to have a do-it-yourself weighted blanket.
Step 1: Gather the needed supplies and materials.
For a regular-sized blanket, you need the following:
- 1 ½ yard of cotton fabric
- 1 ½ yard of flannel fabric
- 3 ½ yards of muslin fabric
- Two pieces of 1 ½ yard of batting fabric
- Small pieces of at least 6inches of any fabric
- 1 ½ yard of any cloth
- Polyfill pellets, plastic pellets, or glass beads (even grains could be used as stuffing)
- Ruler/measuring tape
Once you gathered everything, proceed to the next step.
Step 2: Prepare the stuffing.
Make little bags out of 6 inches cloth, keeping one side open. In making the stuffing, you can prepare as many bags as you can. If you aren’t able to use them for making the first one, the extras can be your stock in case you want to replace the stuffing. Once the cloth bags are ready, pour in an equal amount of stuffing in them. After this, get a piece of cloth, which is the same size as the cotton fabric. To prevent the cloth bags from moving, sew the bags onto the cloth. You can also pin them securely, and either way can work. Set that aside and proceed to step three.
Step 3: Wash, iron, and measure the cotton and flannel fabrics.
Wash the fabrics with cold water. This will prevent the fabric from shrinking once you sew them together. Iron the fabric to remove the wrinkles. Then, measure and cut out the excess fabric on the sides.
Step 4: Piece together the fabrics.
The cotton and flannel fabrics will serve as your outer covering. Make sure that they are of the same width and length. The muslin and batting fabrics must also be the same size as well.
Step 5: Assemble the fabrics.
Span out all your fabrics on a working table. Put the either of the cotton or flannel at the bottom with its face up. Then, put one piece of the batting. Then layer it with the muslin cloth. Atop of it, place the cloth of the stuffing. Put the muslin on top of the stuffing. The other piece of batting is put on top. Finally, place the other piece of outer covering face down. Sew them together. Pull them inside out.
Voilà! You have your weighted blanket. It’s easy to do. Doing your weighted blanket will mean a wider choice of materials to use according to your wanting. What’s also good with the stuffing sewn on one cloth is that when you feel that it’s not comfy enough, you can pull it out and change with a new one.
Making your weighted blanket is a way to make it more personal; thus, therapeutic. Choosing the colour, style, texture, size, and weight help you adjust the material to your need or want. Though it may be challenging to assemble, it can save you money from purchasing a pricey one, which does not suit your taste.
A gravity blanket is a more developed type of weighted blanket. It is more therapeutic than the regular weighted blanket. This type is made up of a plush cloth on the outer covering of one side and a piece of velvet fabric on the other outer covering. Because of the materials used, it is cosier and fuzzier to cling to.
Therapists prefer the gravity blanket for their patients due to its more calming effect. The feel of a hug is more similar to a gravity blanket than that of a regular weighted blanket. The blanket is very inclined with the deep pressure theory because of its heavier weight.
A fine line of differentiates a weighted blanket with a gravity blanket. They both are non-prescribed medical treatments as some professionals say. They both aim to calm a person and reduce anxiety.
A weighted blanket is just a blanket for some. However, to those who need something to hold onto to feel safe, it is their security, their comfort zone. The blanket, being a way to reduce anxiety and stress and improve sleep, can help you enhance your overall lifestyle.
Naturally, we can sleep if we are comfortable. The linen we sleep on must be cosy and warm for you to be able to sleep soundly and wake up relaxed.