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When you push yourself to the limit, you need to replenish your body’s resources—and that includes rest. Weighted blankets are proven to improve sleep. And good sleep can speed athletic recovery by allowing the body to rest more fully, allowing the muscles to more completely relax and rejuvenate themselves.
How Do Weighted Blankets Speed Recovery?
The theory is that weighted blankets work by providing firm, deep pressure stimulation. According to Psychology Today, the pressure provides a reassuring, cocoon-like feeling, and the weighting material inside the blanket produces a stroking, soothing tactile sensation when you move.
Like a hug, that soothing caress stimulates the release of serotonin and melatonin, decreasing anxiety and ultimately leading to sleep. The article went on to cite several other studies that showed weighted blankets help children with ADHD and autism relax and get better sleep.
If you’re thinking about trying a weighted blanket to improve your sleep and speed athletic recovery, there are some considerations. Experts say a weighted blanket should never be so heavy that it restricts your movement or is difficult to manage. A good rule of thumb is it should weigh about 10 percent of your total body weight. That means, 200-pound man should look for a blanket in the 20-pound range. Make sure the weight is evenly distributed throughout the whole blanket, and that the fabric dissipates heat easily.
Ready to give it a shot? Listed below are nine great weighted blankets you can have delivered directly to your house. We started with a typical 15-pound weight; if you’re a bigger guy, you’ll find the right weighted blanket for you a bit further down the list.
And take our advice: Weighted blankets are—wait for it—heavy. So to ease the cleaning process, you’ll want to splurge on an appropriately-sized duvet cover. Consider yourself warned.