What are the well-known signs and symptoms of anxiety?
– unrelenting or excessive worrying
– brain fog & difficulty concentrating
– feeling of “being on edge” or irritable
– muscle tension more often than not
– palpitations (feeling your heart beat rapidly in your chest)
– inability to “catch your breath”
– panic attacks
– avoidance of or uneasiness in social situations
– phobias or irrational fears (click to read about my irrational fear)
But, did you know that anxiety can also cause SLEEP DISTURBANCE?
“I have difficulty falling asleep.”
“I can’t turn my brain off.”
“If I get woken up, I can’t get back to sleep.”
Sound familiar? This could all be part of anxiety. I am not diagnosing everyone with sleep problems with anxiety. There are other underlying problems that can lead to these complaints, BUT if you are anxious during the day (see signs & symptoms in the first paragraph), it could be contributing to your sleep problems at night. So, my question for you is,
Have you tried weighted blankets for anxiety at night?!
If not, you definitely should, regardless of whether your sleep issues are anxiety related or from something else. As someone who has checked every single one of those boxes, aside from panic attacks, at some point in my life, I know a thing or two about easing anxiety. Pretty sure I checked every box all at once when I was getting my dive certification 😳 That was the closest I came to a panic attack! And, I have definitely had both trouble getting to sleep as well as issues with waking and never getting back to sleep. I managed well enough when I was younger, but after having kids, the inability to go back to sleep with a newborn was becoming a problem.
Long story short, I stumbled upon weighted blankets and it immediately went on my Christmas list. I did A LOT of research before buying a blanket. It can be overwhelming, but there are studies to prove the benefit of weighted blankets for anxiety and sleep issues. The key features you want to look for are the fabric the blanket is made of, the bead (filler) material, and weight.
If you don’t want to dive into the details of blanket features, click HERE to skip down to the blanket recommendations.
Weighted Blanket Features/Options
- hypoallergenic, breathable, typically washable
- may shrink, can be too hot for some, organic is best to avoid pesticide exposure but it is pricey
- machine washable (follow care instructions), soft, temperature-regulating, durable, anti-bacterial properties
- super soft, durable, no shrinkage, very warm (good for some, bad for others)
- may stretch after awhile
- Plastic Poly Pellets
- Pros – less likely to leak out of blankets
- Cons – sensitive people sometimes feel the lumpiness these larger pellets create, some cause a noise when shifting, overall doesn’t bother most people
- Glass Beads
- Pros -smoother (no lumps), lower profile blanket, no toxin concerns
- Cons – tiny so more likely to leak from blankets (read reviews), uneven distribution IF pockets are not small enough
- The general rule to determine the correct weight for your blanket is 10% of your body weight + 1-2 lbs. The addition of 1-2 lbs is really to help if you fall between standard blanket weights. Ultimately, you do not want to go below 10% of your body weight as the therapeutic effects will wane.
- If you are an otherwise healthy adult, I would recommend erring on the heavier side rather than going too light. I weigh 115-120 lbs, but I use a 15 lb. blanket without issue. I would not recommend going more than 1-2 lbs. over 10% of your body weight for children, elderly, people with joint issues, or for people with breathing issues.
- A weighted blanket is not like typical bedding. This blanket should not cover your bed, and it certainly should not hang off the sides. It needs to be big enough to cover your body.
- These blankets are not meant for sharing either. The blanket needs to wrap snugly around your body, and you don’t want it pulled off!
- So, if you sleep solo in your bed, buy a blanket that is one size smaller than the bed you sleep in, i.e. buy a full size blanket if you have a queen bed
- If you share a bed, I’d recommend a twin to full size based on what size your bed is and your stature. You want the blanket to hug you with a few inches extra on each size. My husband and I each have a twin blanket and sleep in a king bed. It works perfect. Our blankets slightly overlap in the center and don’t hang off the edge.
- Key Points: hugs you with a few extra inches all the way around, shouldn’t hang off the bed (it will slide off), and you need one blanket per person
Recommended Weighted Blankets for Anxiety:
- Top-rated & made in Austin, TX (a rare find)
- Choices! Lots of fabrics, sizes, weights, & designs
- Kid sizes and designs
- There is even an organic option! (also a rare find and only non-toxic option)
- 100% organic, non-toxic, plastic pellets & Poly-fill
- Costs more but one of the highest quality blankets you’ll find from a long-standing company
- 30 day money back guarantee
- This is the blanket I plan to replace mine with when it becomes necessary.
- Top-rated (based on reviews) weighted blanket on Amazon
- Appears to be one of the best choices if you are wanting glass beads
- 100% cotton blanket w/ Minky removable cover
- 13 size/weight combo options & 6 color choices (at time this was written)
- Best Blanket on a Budget
- 100% cotton
- 22 color options
- 14 size/weight combo options & 22 color/patter choices (at the time this was written)
A Few Tips for Your Weighted Blanket…
- A duvet cover is strongly recommended to decrease the frequency you have to wash the actual blanket; if you can swing for an organic duvet, that would be best, especially if you do not go with the organic mosaic blanket option
- If you live somewhere with warm summers, even light duvets can add heat; so, place your weighted blanket between your sheet and your summer quilt to provide some protection without adding another layer
- Allow 2-3 weeks to adjust to the blanket and appreciate the effects – it is normal to note some mild soreness the first few nights
My weighted blanket is seriously one of my favorite things! I strongly recommend it for anyone with anxiety or sleep issues in general. My husband, who has ZERO anxiety (seriously he worries about NOTHING) and can sleep on command, bought one (basically because he can’t pass up a deal and there was a coupon) and he loves it too! If you have a weighted blanket, I’d love to hear how much you love it in the comments! I’m also happy to help if you have additional questions about weighted blankets – comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.