Long ago, humans discovered the comfort and security of sleeping under a pile of blankets. This instinctual action prompted behavioral scientists to research why this practice seems to improve sleep. Results suggest the method mimics the effects of baby swaddling. The mental health community began using early versions of the weighted blanket to calm patients. Word spread to special needs communities, and therapists found that weighted blankets help relax children with autism. Today, many adults with sleep disorders turn to weighted blankets to ease their anxiety and improve their sleep quality.


1. What Is a Weighted Blanket?

Weighted blankets look like normal blankets. Manufacturers fill them with glass or plastic beads or pellets to increase their weight, then sew the beads into pockets inside the blanket to ensure even weight distribution. A layer of polyester fiberfill makes the blanket softer. When assembled, the blankets weigh between three and 30 pounds. Manufacturers recommend a blanket that weighs about 10% of the user's body weight. A 200-pound person, for example, should choose a blanket weighing 20 pounds.

fill plastic pellets MiguelMalo / Getty Images


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