There is nothing I love more at the end of a hectic day than snuggling into my bed with a warm cup of sleep tea and a good book. As someone who does struggle with anxiety, getting to sleep and staying asleep is something that I have been working on for a number of years. I used to sleep terribly, laying awake next to my snoring husband for hours on end, counting down frantically how many hours sleep I’d get if I could just fall asleep right now. Not surprisingly, this added pressure only served to hinder relaxation, and keep me awake!
As I’ve shared before, more recently, I’ve embraced a sleep routine that helps me to wind down before bed, I get up early in the morning to exercise, and by 8.30pm my bed is calling to me. By and large, most nights I sleep well, but I’m always on the lookout for techniques and tools that might improve it. So, when I was recently given the opportunity to try one of Calming Blankets Bamboo Weighted Blankets to review, I was quick to agree.
The Benefits of a Weighted Blanket
Whilst scientific evidence is currently a bit thin on the ground, anecdotally, weighted blankets are being credited for reliving symptoms of insomnia, stress, anxiety, as well as a range of sensory disorders, and other unpleasant medical disorders such as restless leg syndrome, and fibromyalgia, etc. The internet is full of reviews from people who swear that using a weighted blanket has been life-changing for them. So, how does it work?
“It has to do with proprioceptive input, a concept utilized by weighted blankets,” the Calming Blanket website explains. “Basically, proprioception is one of our rarely talked about senses that, despite being relatively unknown, is highly beneficial to our existence. It informs the brain about your position in space, allowing it to relax and unwind.”Calming Blankets also has weighted blankets suitable for children and teens
The pressure of the weighted blanket puts your autonomic nervous system into ‘rest’ mode, reducing some of the symptoms of anxiety, such as a quickened heart rate or breathing. This can help to provide an overall sense of calm. By providing deep pressure touch, a weighted blanket can promote relaxation and may trigger the release of the neuro-transmitters dopamine and serotonin, which are feel good hormones produced by the brain. These hormones help to combat stress, anxiety and depression.
Whilst the weighted blanket was originally used as a tool by occupational therapists in the 1990’s to help soothe overstimulation in children, they have recently become not only more mainstream, but far more aesthetically pleasing.
The hand woven weighted blanket from Calming Blankets is absolutely gorgeous, and comes in 4 colors – pebble grey (pictured above), dream blue, black and plush pink.
The Calming Blankets Bamboo Blanket
If you are a hot sleeper, or live in a hot climate (unfortunately for me, I tick both of those boxes), the thought of a big heavy blanket on you might not fill you with excitement. I have to say, I was relieved that Calming Blankets wanted to gift me the bamboo version to trial. Like their other weighted blankets, the Bamboo Blanket is designed to calm a restless body, soothe a racing mind and support restful sleep, but it also offers these benefits without overheating you. The unique ultra-high quality bamboo fibres have thermo-regulating properties – which means they can help to keep you cool. The glass beads which provide the soothing weight, also help to dispense heat.
The Lyocell bamboo fabric is also moisture wicking to help prevent sweating, and has naturally powerful and proven antibacterial properties, so it can actively combat odors like sweat too.
My Personal Thoughts on and Experience with the Calming Blankets Bamboo Weighted Blanket
On opening the parcel from Calming Blankets I found that the Bamboo Weighted Blanket comes in a cute reusable bag, so handy for storage! The first thing I noticed when I pulled it out, besides the gorgeous colour, was how heavy it is. I mean, I know it’s a weighted blanket, but it was heavy that I had expected!
Note on blanket weight: The Calming Blankets come in a range of weights. The website guides you to select the correct weight for you based on your body weight. In a weighted blanket and insomnia study researchers found that a blanket that weighs about 10% of an adults body weight, was most effective. So don’t fall into the trap of thinking that the heavier the blanket, the more benefit you’ll get. If in doubt, we’d recommend trying a lighter blanket first.
For children over the age of 3, a blanket weighing 5% of the body weight is recommended. Weighted blankets should never be used for children aged 3 years and under.
The first time I put the bamboo weighted blanket over me, I’ll admit, I wasn’t a huge fan. My initial feeling was one of being too closed in. I didn’t feel less anxious at all – in fact I probably felt more so. However, having done research beforehand, I’d read advice by people who swear by their blanket to give yourself a period of adjustment. So, I tried again the next day, and was surprised to find that it felt much more pleasant than it had initially. By day 3 I didn’t even wait until bedtime to crawl under my blanket. I was working from home, spread out under my blanket on the sofa. I was hooked!
Not only have I been falling asleep more quickly at night, I’ve also been waking less throughout the night. I feel better rested and get more from my day. It feels like being hugged, and gives you a real sense of safety and security, that I really love. However, if my family is anything to go by, whether you enjoy that feeling of deep pressure is highly subjective. My husband doesn’t last more than 5 minutes under it before he has to take it off – he just doesn’t enjoy the sensation. Whereas, my 15 year old (with ADHD) who is prone to fidgeting, pretty much turns into a human sloth when he lies under it and loves the way it calms his body. So while I can personally say that I love it and highly recommend them, I think it’s worth noting that it isn’t for everyone.
If you are interested in trying one, but concerned about whether it will be right for you, Calming Blankets offer a 30-day trial. If you don’t love it, you can return it and get a refund. You can’t really say fairer than that.
Check out Calming Blankets range here...
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Disclosure: The Bamboo Weighted Blanket was gifted to me for the purpose of providing an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own. This review contains affiliate links. If you find my review helpful in deciding whether or not this product is right for you, and make a purchase, Mums Lounge may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.