I, like many people in this day and age, find it hard to achieve a good night’s sleep. It wasn’t until I recently discovered weighted blankets, and found out they could be used to improve sleep and reduce anxiety and stress, that I thought to give one a try!
Since becoming the #1 household product across the United States, weighted blankets have grown in popularity throughout the UK. They are even recommended by medical practitioners too!
Here is what I found out after just a few weeks of using a weighted blanket, and why I will never go back to bed without one.
Choosing the Right Blanket
As part of my 2020 resolutions, I wanted to improve my health and feel better in my body overall. I realized one big way to do that was by focusing on my sleep quality. What better way to improve sleep than with a weighted blanket?
Once I decided to go ahead and give one of these products a try, I knew I needed to do my research before buying. This led me to discover that weighted blankets are used throughout the medical industry to help treat anxiety, insomnia, and an array of sensory disorders.
I found a few different brands currently offering these blankets on the UK market. After thoroughly digging into numerous product reviews and FAQ pages, I finally found one I was satisfied with. I decided to buy the Koala Weighted Blanket.
There are several reasons why I opted for this specific brand, mainly because:
I bought my 7kg Koala blanket on a Monday and was surprised to see it arrive by Wednesday, thanks to the Hermes delivery service. I was not expecting the box to be as heavy as it was, but I guess that’s why they call it a weighted blanket!
Trying Out My Koala
On The Sofa
To put this baby to the test, I chose to relax on the sofa with my husband, watching GoggleBox and having a late-night cuppa, curled up under my new Koala blanket.
Again, I was surprised at just how heavy this 7kg blanket was, but it felt amazing when wholly wrapped around the body. This gentle pressure felt so warm, relaxing, and secure, almost like my hubby was giving me a hug (even though he was too busy chowing down on a bag full of crisps).
In the Bedroom
Once our veg-out time on the sofa was complete, it was time for bed. After sleeping with the Koala blanket the first night, my first thought was feeling like I didn’t move around as much. But that was about it. I read that it can take a few days to get used to the weight of the blanket, so I kept at it.
It wasn’t until the second and third nights were done and dusted that I started feeling more awake in the morning, more well-rested. I typically move around a lot when getting to sleep and when sleeping. When under this blanket, that has effectively stopped. I can still move around, but it feels like I am being cocooned by clouds. The soft fabric feels so warm, and the added weight calms my whole body, allowing me to relax easier. My mind also feels less active, which has decreased the time it now takes me to fall asleep too.
Overall, after two weeks of sleeping with the Koala blanket, I was achieving at least a solid seven hours of sleep every night, which was previously unheard of for me! Besides occasionally having to get up in the middle of the night to use the loo, I slept through the night!
How I felt Before and After Using the Koala Blanket for 2 weeks
- Used multiple alarms to wake up
- Groggy mornings
- Exhausted at my desk most days
- Cranky throughout the day
- Stressed out in the evenings
- Overactive thoughts at bed time
- Awoke before my alarm
- More energy and focus at work
- Happy mood throughout the day
- More able to relax in the evening and in general
- Easier to get to sleep and stay that way
Coworkers have commented on the fact that I look less tired, my husband has noticed how much easier I am to get along with in the mornings, and my family thinks I am overall a happier person!
So why exactly am I feeling so much better thanks to a heavy blanket?
The Science Behind the Benefits
Weighted blankets help thousands of people achieve a good night’s sleep by way of Deep Touch Pressure. The added weight of the blanket creates a gentle pressure around the body, which in turn creates these changes in the body…
- Aids in the production of melatonin: known as the sleep hormone, melatonin typically floods the body when the sun goes down as a way to signal to our mind its time for sleep. People with insomnia typically produce lower levels of melatonin. By sleeping with a weighted blanket, individuals can improve production of this important sleep hormone.
- Triggers happiness hormones: Serotonin, known as the happy hormone, is responsible for our mood. Using a weighted blanket causes deep touch pressure which triggers the body’s production of these happy hormones. Serotonin is then used to produce melatonin, making it doubly effective.
- Reduces cortisol levels: Cortisol is a steroid hormone triggered by stressful situations, and when produced at night, can counteract the effects of melatonin. Deep touch pressure reduces the production of cortisol to help people relax and destress.
What To Keep In Mind When Buying A Weighted Blanket
When choosing to purchase a weighted blanket, it is important to keep in mind a few different factors.
Almost all weighted blankets sold in the UK are priced higher than £100. One of the reasons I chose the Koala brand was because they had an amazing deal on at the time. Private sellers can offer cheaper prices, but they do not typically come with free returns or warranties, like Koala does.
You must use your body weight to calculate the weight of the blanket you should be using. Typically 10% of your body weight is recommended for the total weight of the blanket. However, some people like it lighter or heavier, so shoot for a range of 7 to 13% depending.
Depending on your health conditions, a weighted blanket may not be suitable for you, such as people with sleep apnea or respiratory issues. If you are unsure about using one, talk to your doctor beforehand.
Your Sleep Temperature
Do you sleep hot or cold? Some people find weighted blankets to feel stuffy and too hot, or possibly too breezy. Different brands offer various materials for the weighted duvet. Koala has two different sides – a breathable bamboo side and a warm minky side- for both hot and cold sleepers!
Some people take to sleeping with a weighted blanket right away. For others, it can take a few weeks. Depending on how you usually adjust to new things, opt for a blanket that comes with a trial period or product warranty.