(CONSUMER REPORTS/WTVF) — Whether you're considering rolling back into bed or looking forward to getting some rest later tonight, you may have thought about trying a weighted blanket.
Consumer Reports has more on what you should consider if you're in the market for one.
Many of these popular weighted blankets claim to calm you when you’re anxious, help with your insomnia, or even make you feel like you’re being hugged. What exactly is a weighted blanket?
"Basically a weighted blanket is a quilted blanket, that each of these little pockets is filled with glass or plastic beads. And the pockets keep the weights from shifting around while you’re sleeping,” said Bernie Deitrick with Consumer Reports.
Many find the weight comforting. Weighted blankets have been used for years for kids with autism.
Sales of weighted blankets have been climbing, but sleep experts say although there isn’t a lot of evidence-based research on whether they work, her patients like them.
“I do recommend weighted blankets for some of my patients that struggle with sleep, especially if they feel very restless, and the feedback has been positive,” said Sleep Medicine Dr. Fariha Abbassi-Feinberg.
Will they work for you? Consumer Reports tested weight and warmth and found blankets sold with the same weight can vary in size, changing the pressure you feel. Are weighted blankets hot? Consumer Reports used a device -- dubbed the Tin Man -- to measure each blanket’s heat retention.
“Our tests found that models with duvet covers were slightly warmer, but all the blankets add about the same amount of warmth that you’d get from a fluffy down comforter,” said Deitrick.
Manufacturers say you should pick a weighted blanket that’s around 10% of your body weight. So if you weigh 150 pounds, you should choose a 15-pound weighted blanket.
You spend about a third of your life sleeping, and there are other ways to help make it great.
”A few things I often recommend is avoid caffeine at nighttime, avoid watching or reading anything that's agitating or disturbing to you, and avoid forcing yourself to go to bed when your body's not ready for bed yet,” said Dr. Abbassi-Feinberg.
Another reason to make sure you're getting enough shut eye is that your sleep affects your immune system. The better you sleep, the better your body can fight off viruses.