Weighted blankets are a proven aid in reducing night time stress and in encouraging a longer, deeper sleep. They have been in use for special needs children for many years, and just now are becoming popular with the regular population for their non-chemical, non-intervention benefits.
There’s no mystery or complicated explanation needed about weighted blankets. They are just what their name implies; regular blankets that have small weights sewn into them in a wide pattern to help keep the blanket in place and to give a slight feeling of weight to the person underneath.
The extra weight material used in blankets often determines just exactly how the blanket will feel. It also impacts their laundry requirements. To add weight to the blanket material either glass or plastic beads are the most common additives. They are considered the safest and quietest. Other common weight increasers include organic grains such as millet and rice. In Third World countries the weights are often made of lead; these should be avoided because of the danger of one of the lead pieces coming loose and being ingested by a child.
The rule of thumb for weighted blankets is that they should weight about a tenth of the bodyweight of the person they are intended for.
The deep touch pressure of a weighted blanket is what brings less activity to the nervous system at night. The body naturally wants to relax at night, and the slight extra pressure of a weighted blanket causes the brain to slow down faster and stay less stressed all night.