NEW YORK – Weighted blankets have become popular in many homes with claims of a better night’s sleep and reducing stress.
Danielle Kerr is a busy, full-time college student, “I am constantly stressed out.”
So while she does her homework, she snuggles up in this weighted blanket, it just feels like you are being continually hugged. I do think it helps reduce stress and anxiety big time,” Kerr said.
More and more people are embracing weighted blankets. The blankets, which can weigh up to 30 pounds, contain weighted beads or pellets that claim to create a calming, comforting effect that can lower stress and anxiety and improve sleep — specifically insomnia.
“We don’t know for sure from a robust scientific standpoint, but anecdotally — and from smaller studies — they do seem to help some patients,” said Dr. Neomi Shah, who is a Sleep Specialist at Mount Sinai Hospital.
The blankets first became popular to help children with sensory issues. Dr. Shah says more research is needed to confirm if the blankets are effective and also cautions that they may not be for everyone.
“Overall the safety profile seems to be ok, as long as we consider the proper use of the blanket. In children, being extra careful in terms of the size and the weight of the blanket. And in adults, if they have any obvious lung diseases or neuromuscular chest wall disorders I would just be cautious,” Dr. Shah said.
Kelly Weber, who says she has always had trouble staying asleep, started using her weighted blanket several weeks ago. “I wake up and I feel great. I hop out of bed, and I’m ready to start the day.”
Weighted blankets can cost hundreds of dollars and are not usually covered by insurance.
-Giovanna Drpic reporting for CBS News