Human body needs a maximum of 6-8 hours of sound sleep for its efficient functioning. Think of an overused laptop that hasn’t been at rest since a week. What will happen to it? Eventually it will either break down, or some technical error might come up hindering your work and the laptop’s otherwise usual functioning. Our bodies work on almost the same principal. For every 24 hours of a day, we need 6-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. But the worst problem these days with adults and kids too is sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation or lack of sleep leads to anxiety, lower concentration levels, forgetfulness, fatigue and the likes of such. To combat to this very issue plus anxiety, weighted blankets have been around for quite some time, and the results are just phenomenal!What is a weighted blanket?As the name suggests, a blanket with some added weight to it is a weighted blanket. As compared to our usual blankets, a weighted blanket weighs anywhere between 4 to 30 pounds. Now you must be thinking why exactly does an already chubby blanket need added weight? Well, that is because added weight in the weighted blanket gives you a sense of being held and hugged, and thereby, lullabying you to a comfortable, deep sleep.How does a weighted blanket work?While sleeping, a weighted blanket works like a deep-tissue massage on the pressure points of your body, thereby grounding you to the bed, and stimulating a deep pressure touch that can help reduce exaggerated levels of stress and anxiety. The grounding effect that the weighted blanket creates on your body, helps it calm down and increases the levels of serotonin and dopamine in your body. The serotonin and dopamine are happy hormones and when these are triggered, the cortisol levels in your body go down. The cortisol levels are triggered when your brain is in stress and anxiety, and increased levels of cortisol can trigger many problems, such as-Weight gainInsomniaDepressionAnxietySmaller concentration spansThe greatest impact that weighted blankets have demonstrated since their inception has been on kids with autism, ADHD, and adults with anxiety, insomnia, and depression. According to a team of psychiatric therapists, recommending weighted blankets to people with depression, anxiety, and those almost on the verge of breaking, has had an apparently positive effect on them. Most of them reported to have felt much better than before, and some swear by the weighted blankets completely now. So we see that weighted blankets are also a great therapy supplement for the people in need.Benefits of Weighted BlanketAlthough the weighted blankets have been around since quite some time, and medical practitioners have been using and recommending them since long, the medical benefits that these have had on the users have very recently come to the fore. And yes, they are remarkable! Some of the medical conditions that have benefited by weighted blankets include:AutismAggressive BehaviorsAlzheimer’s DiseaseAnxietyAsperger’s SyndromeBipolar SyndromeParkinson’s DiseaseDown SyndromeCerebral PalsyBrain Trauma InjuryChemotherapy AnxietyObsessive Compulsive DisorderPainsInsomniaMenopauseRestless Leg SyndromeRestless Sleep SeizuresSensory Processing DisorderTourette’s SyndromeWilliam’s SyndromeIsn’t it impressive? How we keep searching for the right therapist for our kids or parents/grandparents to help them calm down with their respective disorders, and how all of a sudden you find the solution in a simple blanket! Well, weighted blankets are a serious boon to those suffering from anxiety and neurological disorders.And just because it worked for many, doesn’t mean that it will work for you or your loved ones too. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t be trying the weighted blanket if the person you are buying for suffers from either of the following-Circulation issuesChronic health issuesRespiratory problemsBody temperature regulation issueGoing through menopause The Weight of the Weighted BlanketWhile buying a weighted blanket, keeping in mind the weight and size of it is one important aspect you shouldn’t ignore. Ideally, your weighted blanket should weigh 10% of your body weight, and of course you can go up or down with the weight of the blanket depending on how heavy or light you want the weight on top of you to be. For kids, it is recommended to stick to the advised levels by the doctors or therapists and never leave a child unattended under a weighted blanket. Also make sure that your child can easily get out of their weighted blanket. Many companies offer custom made weighted blankets wherein you can choose the weight, the fillers, and even the fabric and colors of the outer cover.It is also recommended to not go by the color scheme of your room or the blanket and focus more on the weight and size of it to help gain the maximum benefits of the therapy that the weighted blankets provide. Women tend to go a bit overboard with their match-match schemes and according to Laura of Mosaic Weighted Blankets, the weight of the blanket should be on the child (if using for your child), and not be scattered around the bed. So opt for a blanket that is smaller than your bed and evenly covers its weight on your child for maximum benefits. So think of the weighted blanket as a potential tool for therapy, rather than an aesthetic addition to your room or child’s room.DIY Weighted BlanketWeighted blankets are an investment, for real. These are expensive and may or may not be within the affordability limits of everyone. So if you know sewing, then you can spare one family get together DIY session and make a weighted blanket all by yourself. This could cut off some expenses, and the joy you will derive working as a team is incomparable. So here’s what all you need to make a weighted blanket at home-1 pound of white Quality Plastic Pellets per 10 pound of user’s weight2-2.5 yds of top fabric for the blanket2-2.5 yds of bottom fabric for the blanketAny fabric you likeMeasuring tapeRulerScissorsThreadSewing MachineSmall scalePinsMethodThe above materials will make a blanket that will easily fit a twin bed, and should measure approximately 40″ x 76″.After determining the size of your blanket, measure two inches inward on two of the long sides and one of the short sides, and sew them on the lines. This will leave you with one side open which will be used for filling.Turn the fabric inside out, iron on the sewed lines to make them neater.Measure a grid out of the remaining area of the blanket, and divide it into a grid of equal squares. So if you’re making a square of 6″ x 6″, then you should be having six squares in breadth and 12 squares in length.Use this simple formula to divide the pellets into the right sized portions- Blanket weight (ounces)/number of squares on the blanket= number of ounces of pellets per square.Now sew along the long lines so that the channels are six inches apart from each other, and this gives you the space where you will fill in the pellets.Once all the channels are ready, fill each square with the right amount of pellets, and give them a little shake so as to help them settle in nicely.From the bottom seam, measure six inches, and sew a line breadth wise, so as to seal that line of filled squares. Repeat the same until you reach the top row of squares of the blanket.The leftover 2 inches at the top that you have now, seal them shut to seal the top row of the squares that you filled in, and voila! You have your own weighted blanket ready!Are Weighted Blankets Really Effective on Insomnia?There have been demonstrative effects of the weighted blankets on patients with Autism and ADD, but does the weighted blanket actually help people with insomnia? Well, for that the Journal of Sleep Medicine and Disorders conducted a research to probe into the positive effects of a weighted blanket on insomnia. They studied the effects of a chain weighted blanket developed by a Swedish company, on patients suffering from insomnia. In the end they concluded that the chain weighted blanket improved the quality of sleep in insomniacs to great measure, both objectively as well as subjectively. Weighted blankets provide that warm, cocooning effect, inducing comfort and thereby leading to a calm sleep. The study says that based on the sensory integration, deep pressure and heavy weight on the body can work wonders on the physiological well being. The most important thing that one must keep in mind while buying a weighted blanket is that the weight must not be too heavy or too light on the body. It must be evenly distributed throughout the blanket to provide constant sensory stimulation to the body, which the Swedish chain weighted blankets provided to their subjects. The result- lower levels of insomnia. In another case, a user of a weighted blanket said that on an average it used to take him around 45 minutes to go to sleep, but after he started using the weighted blanket he slept within 7 minutes!From where to buy a weighted blanket?While you can always buy a weighted blanket online, you can also visit a few company websites that do custom made weighted blankets to suit specific needs like size, color, fabric, weight, etc. There are some big names that have been making weighted blankets and have won enough accolades to their name because of the response of the customers. So if you’re really looking for an expert to make one weighted blanket for you, consider one of the following-Mosaic Weighted BlanketsLaura LeMond, the owner and founder of Mosaic Weighted Blankets was herself an ADD and SPD patient since childhood. She still doesn’t like loud music and has certain strong dislikes. After she gave birth, she engineered a way to put weight in her blanket using sandbags to help her sleep. After this, she started researching for the poly pellets that will evenly distribute the weight in her blanket, and this is how her company Mosaic Weighted Blankets was born in 2011. These blankets are made in Austin, Texas, and have a huge support and admiration from people having ADD and SPD patients in their families, for whom the blanket has worked like a miracle. Their blankets are made of non-toxic homo natural commercial grade poly pellets and a bit of polyfill to weigh the blankets. If you want a couple weighted blankets, then shop with Mosaic for they do double, queen, and king size weighted blankets for couples.The weight of the blankets they make range from 2 lbs to 30 lbs and can be adjusted according to your height and weight. You can visit their website and shop for their line of products that are engineered around the weighted concept. 2. The Weighted Blanket Co.Made in the USA, this company is named after the amazing concept itself. They use a combination of minky to make their blankets, and even provide customers with a one year warranty wherein you can replace your blanket if you come across any manufacturing defects. The Weighted Blanket Co. are the first professionally selling weighted blanket company, based in Tennessee. Unlike other companies, the Weighted Blanket Co. doesn’t believe in providing colors, and fascinating prints to lure customers. They bank on their quality and the purpose for which a blanket is bought by a consumer. You can shop on their website and select your ideal weight ranging from 5-25 pounds. The Weighted Blanket Co. are one of the most trusted names in their field and have the following of non-profit organizations, medical communities, and therapists.3. SensaCalmAnother name in this field, based in Tennessee, SensaCalm is the brainchild of Donna Chambers, who herself is an adult with ADD. In 2008, Donna’s grandson was diagnosed with Autism and that’s when she got to know about weighted blankets. After searching around for long, Donna decided to make one herself. With continuous efforts, she along with her friend Carol made several patterns, and after several hit and trials, Donna made their first weighted blanket. Today her company not just sells weighted blankets, but specializes in high quality therapeutic and other weighted items like vests, lap pads, soaps and lotions, etc. especially for those with sensory needs. If you walk through her website, you will be able to choose from a variety of products and weighted blankets, that can even be custom made.Best Weighted Blankets in the marketNow that you have understood in depth about the weighted blankets, it’s time to shop! So here is a list of some of the best weighted blankets you can invest your money in, and ensure expected results.Gravity BlanketA product of the Gravity Blankets, this blanket is made of ultra soft microfiber, and comes in the weight range of 15 lbs-25 lbs. Price: starts at $2492. SensaCalm Weighted BlanketsA company that promotes awareness for ADD and Autism through its endeavors, you can choose a combination of factors to buy your weighted blanket from SensaCalm, like colors, fabric, patterns, weight, etc.Price: starts at $993. Weighted Blanket by Weighted Idea for adultsThis is one of the best weighted blankets for adults, especially for those having Autism, Anxiety or Sensory Processing Disorder Issues. You can choose from a variety of patterns, and weight ranges from 5 lbs to 30 lbs.Price: starts at $794. Luxury Red Weighted BlanketMade in USA by the Weighted Blanket Co., this rich looking blanket not just looks good, but does exactly what it’s meant to do- help calm you down to sleep better. The company makes blankets using combinations of minky and the right pellet fillings to give you the ultimate comfort and feel while you sleep.Price: starts at $119 for 5 lbs5. Brookstone Weighted Blanket by Bed, Bath, and BeyondThis blanket will give you the exact same pressure as you get while being lovingly hugged, and has a curved neck fit to give you the perfect snug effect. It is perfect for someone who weighs 20 lbs and more.Price: starts at $1506. Brushed Denim Cotton Blanket from Mosaic Weighted BlanketsManufactured by one of the big names in the weighted blanket industry, this chic looking weighted blanket is not just a quirky addition to any room, but also to any disturbed life or home. Price: starts at $957. Weighted Blanket by ZonliMade of 100% cotton fabric, this weighted blanket is a great buy at it price. Perfect for people with SPD, Anxiety and Autism, the evenly distributed blanket weight will help the user have a calming, deep sleep.Price: starts at $188At the end, it all boils down to one point- taking good care of your loved ones, especially those who have special needs. Products like weighted blankets and other weighted items that are available in the market are not there solely for making money, but most of the founders of these blanket making companies, have either suffered through a disorder themselves, or have someone around who is suffering day and night. If you too have someone around who needs special love, attention and care, then gift them the warmth and hug of a weighted blanket today and make a difference in their life.Have a great day!

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