Those extra pounds are a blessing from the sleep gods.
Sleep is life. Life is sleep. But even when you go to bed early, cut back on the afternoon coffee, and limit the bedtime Instagram scrolls, it can still be impossible to go TF to bed. Enter weighted blankets.
Notable famous humans like Kourtney Kardashian and Jojo Fletcher swear by weighted blankets—super-cozy covers that contain between seven and 50 pounds-worth of beads or material to weigh it down—so you've probably heard of them. And, turns out, they're not just some Instagram scam celebs are getting paid to promote. Real doctors have prescribed weighted blankets to normal, everyday folks who can't stop tossing and turning at night.
Here's how they work: Weighted blankets mimic a technique used in occupational therapy, called Deep Touch Pressure (DTP) therapy, says psychiatrist Stacy Cohen, MD, founder of The Moment, a medical group focusing on addiction treatment. DTP is used to treat sensory disorders, anxiety, and ADHD, with weighted clothes (and blankets), swaddling, holding, stroking, hugging, squeezing, and therapeutic brushing, according to the journal Occupational Therapy International.
The theory is that applying pressure to a person's body can decrease levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, and increase serotonin and dopamine, which can improve your mood, impulse control, and reduce stressy feels, per Harvard University. And even though there's not conclusive evidence that weighted blankets help frazzled people sleep better, one self-reported study from 2008 found that a majority of adults who slept with a 30-pound weighted blanket were less anxious after using it. So, yes, it's kind of, maybe like sleeping with a bunch of puppies?
But before you go all out and buy a 50-pound blanket, you should ease your way into things. Kathrin Hamm, CEO and founder of Bearaby, suggests that newbies pick a blanket that comes in at about 10 percent of their body weight. So if you weigh 150 pounds, go with the 15-pound option.
See how it feels for one or two nights a week, and gradually work your way up to sleeping with it every night. When your body has fully adjusted to using a weighted blanket, you’ll probably be hooked for the rest of your life. See for yourself by trying one of the best weighted blankets, below.