Are Weighted Blankets Worth the Wait?

Are+Weighted+Blankets+Worth+the+Wait%3F

Taylor Perline, Junior Staff Writer

One of the most eagerly anticipated gifts this past Christmas season was the weighted blanket.  All major retailers sold many of these products, touting their benefits in helping people cope with holiday pressures. What’s surprising is that these products have been around for years. According to an online source: “For decades, weighted blankets were used by a small community to treat children with autism and adults with PTSD and other conditions. The blankets purportedly work by using deep-pressure therapy – similar to the comfort created by swaddling babies or getting deep-tissue massages – to create more restful sleep.”  

Couldn’t they then be beneficial to a segment of the population that is often overly tired?  That segment would be teenagers, and it is a well known fact that teens do not get enough sleep.  According to a 2014 CDC study, 72.7% of high school students report not getting enough sleep, with around 20% of these reporting getting less than six hours per night. There are a variety of ways to help improve sleep such as melatonin supplements, but not all students want to turn to medication to help them get better sleep. So what is the solution? The answer is simpler, and fluffier, than some may think–weighted blankets.

However, weighted blankets are said to aid sleep in people of all ages, not only teens. These blankets are filled with either discs, poly pellets, glass, or polypropylene. This filling then puts pressure on the user’s body and muscles. It can reduce anxiety, increase blood circulation, and give people a better sleep. One satisfied user of a weighted blanket, junior Sydney Vaupel, states, “I love my weighted blanket. It helps with my sleep anxiety.”

It is said that sleeping with a weighted blanket for even one night can be beneficial to a person’s well-being. This benefit can leave one wishing that he or she owned one. One such student, junior Adam Yoder, states, “I don’t have a weighted blanket, but I want one really bad. I’ve read all the benefits, and my friend had one that I tried. Best sleep ever.”

 With all of these benefits, it is obvious to see why so many turn to weighted blankets as a means to sleep improvement. Certainly their popularity is peaking right now.  States one online source: “Manufactured in China and sold for $249 at a number of retailers including Bed Bath and Beyond and Target, Gravity Blankets made $26.5 million and sold over 128,000 units over the past two years.” That’s a pretty hefty profit tied up in fluff and pellets.  It is beneficial, however, for potential buyers to check the correct weight of the blanket to match up with their own body weight, as to make sure it is not too heavy for the user. 

So if you’re looking for a cure to insomnia and anxiety, and have been waiting for an answer other than drugs or hormones, that answer may be found through the purchase of a weighted blanket.