Weighted blankets becoming a popular remedy for sleep, stress problems

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NEW YORK — Danielle Kerr is a busy, full time college student.

“I am constantly stressed out.”

So while she does her homework, she snuggles up with her weighted blanket

“It just feels like you are being continually hugged. I do think it helps reduce stress and anxiety big time.”

More and more people are embracing the embrace of 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 with Mount Sinai Hospital.

The blankets first became popular to help children with sensory issues.  Dr. Shah said more research is needed to confirm if the blankets are effective and cautions they may not be for everyone.

“Overall the safety profile seems to be okay, 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.”

Kelly Weber has always had trouble staying asleep. She 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.”

Thanks to her blanket, she’s finally sleeping through the night.

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