SAN ANTONIO – Weighted blankets are popular as many people swear by them as comforting ways to ease their restlessness, calm anxiety and help insomnia. They’re marketed as a way to help you sleep and even feel like a hug.
“Basically, a weighted blanket is a quilted blanket with little pockets filled with glass or plastic beads,” said Bernie Deitrick, with Consumer Reports. “The pockets keep the weights from shifting around while you’re sleeping.”
Some people find the weight comforting. Weighted blankets have been used for years for children with autism.
So, do the blankets help?
Sleep expert Dr. Fariha Abbasi Feinberg says there isn’t much evidence-based research on whether they work, but her patients like them.
“I do recommend weighted blankets for some of my patients who struggle with sleep, especially if they feel very restless,” she said. “The feedback has been positive.”
Consumer Reports weighed in, too, finding they are not all the same in weight per area. Manufacturers say you should pick one that’s around 10% of your body weight.
Are they hot? Consumer Reports performed temperature tests and found most add about the same amount of warmth as a fluffy down comforter.
There are other weighs to improve sleep. Experts advise avoiding caffeine at night and avoiding reading or watching anything agitating.
“Avoid forcing yourself to go to bed when your body’s not ready for bed yet,” Abbasi Feinberg said.
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