Weighted blankets have surged in popularity lately. Chances are, you've probably heard of them. So, what is all the fuss about? Why are weighted blankets so popular? How do they work? This page summarizes the latest weighted blankets science with links to the actual scientific articles provided at the bottom of the page. Read on to discover how these heavy blankets lower anxiety and blood pressure and promote better sleep.

Weighted blankets effectively reduce anxiety and stress

Are you or a loved one struggling with anxiety symptoms or sensory overload? A weighted blanket can help calm the central nervous system by a process called "deep pressure stimulation" or "deep pressure therapy". The deep pressure touch proprioceptive input of massage therapy works in a similar way.

Several scientific studies have demonstrated that the deep touch pressure stimulation provided by weighted blankets lowers stress hormone levels (cortisol and adrenaline) and triggers the release of neurotransmitters, which improve mood and soothe aches (serotonin and dopamine).

These are the same neurotransmitters released in your brain when you receive a hug from a loved one. How cool is that? These actions calm the sympathetic nervous system and lower your heart rate. You feel more relaxed. Your blood pressure goes down. 

woman stressed out and suffering from a headache 

Weighted blankets are a natural sleep aid

If you chronically struggle with falling or staying asleep, you know painfully well how frustrating and exhausting it is. Poor sleep quality is not only tiring and annoying, it can lead to or exacerbate a myriad of health problems such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Unfortunately, sleep problems are very common in the United States, affecting as many as 50-70 million adult Americans. Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder.

A weighted blanket can help both children and adults relax and fall asleep. The gentle deep pressure of a weighted blanket helps you toss and turn less at night and results in a more restful sleep. Users tend to stay asleep longer and report feeling more refreshed in the morning.

In addition to helping with insomnia, weighted blankets can alleviate the symptoms of restless leg syndrome. And the awesome thing about weighted blankets is that they accomplish this safely and naturally.  

young boy sleeping on his desk at school

There are many additional benefits of weighted blankets for children

They can help kids relax and focus on the task at hand. They can reduce tantrums, self-injury behavior, and stem repetitive behavior. In addition to helping children with insomnia and anxiety, weighted blankets can be beneficial to children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder, sensory processing disorder, and obsessive compulsive disorder.

 a young boy reading a book on the couch with his legs crossed

Other benefits of weighted blankets for adults and the elderly