Weighted blankets are an excellent alternative to drug or psychotherapy treatment that people with special needs often require. These heavier blankets provide just the right amount of pressure and stimulation to the Deep Pressure Touch (DPT) receptors of the body to help them relax and have restful sleep.
While the benefits of weighted blankets are exhaustive, helping people on the Autism spectrum to ADHD, anxiety, depression, insomnia and many other psychosocial issues to find sleep, people with heat sensitivity might have trouble using them as using the wrong weighted blanket will cause excessive perspiration.
How hot or cool a person feels while using a weighted blanket comes down to the type of material it’s made of. Finding the right weighted blankets for a heat sensitive person is as simple as understanding the nature of the fabrics.
Knowing the type of sleeper you are is the first step in finding your ideal weighted blanket.
Ideal sleep temperature
According to science, our bodies experience a rapid drop in temperature within the first 4 hours of sleep. This helps to cool down essential body organs and slow down vital processes.
The ideal temperature for restful sleep is around 62 – 70 degrees Fahrenheit. However, some people develop more elevated body temperatures during sleep which could cause them to wake up intermittently. If left unchecked, it could even affect the body’s natural circadian rhythms.
Are you a hot sleeper?
Do you often wake up in the middle of the night drenched in sweat, or find your beddings soaked in the morning? If that’s you, then chances are you’re a ‘hot sleeper’, or you have heat sensitivity.
People with heat sensitivity may find it difficult to keep their bodies cool at room temperature, and it only gets worse during the warmer periods of the year with the possibility of having ‘heat flashes’.
On the other hand, if you often feel cold during the night, even at ambient temperature and no air conditioning, then you’re likely to be a cold sleeper, and this article isn’t for you.
Although not an actual term in the English dictionary, ‘hot and cold sleepers’ have become common terms for referring to people whose bodies overheat during sleep and those who don’t.
Now you know what heat sensitivity during sleep means, I bet you know at least one hot or cold sleeper. I’m a hot sleeper myself, but my younger brother can literally sleep throughout the night without a bead of sweat on his face!
Can people with heat sensitivities use weighted blankets?
Absolutely. Because everyone is different, some people may perspire more than others during sleep. Getting a weighted blanket that generates the minimum possible amount of heat will be crucial for such people.
Before you make the decision to buy a weighted blanket, it’s always recommended that you consult a physician or qualified medical personnel. If you are asthmatic or have temperature regulation issues, you will need to get a prescription from your physician before buying a weighted blanket.
Is heat sensitivity a serious medical condition?
Being a hot sleeper mostly comes down to genetics, and there is no apparent risk of developing serious complications in people whose bodies generate more internal heat.
Also, studies have shown that men are more prone to be hot sleepers than women. The female body has a more evenly distributed layer of body fat that helps to conserve body heat.
How does this affect your weighted blanket choice?
Since weighted blankets are heavy, they could generate a substantial amount of heat underneath for some. These set of people will need to use ‘cooler’ blankets that will provide maximum comfort to ensure a good night’s rest.
The good news is many weighted blanket manufacturers are aware of this issue and have developed blankets specifically for hot sleepers. The fabric used to make cooler weighted blankets is carefully selected to retain as little heat as possible.
Factors that influence body temperature for weighted blanket users
The three main factors that determine how warm you feel under a weighted blanket are:
- The weight of the material
- The nature of the material
- The color of the blanket
The weight of the material
The weight of a blanket depends on the type of material used, and the amount of stuffing added to the individual ‘pockets’ of the design.
Weighted blankets are usually quilted to support the weight of the fillings, and distribute the weight evenly. Some materials are denser than others, leading to increased weight, and more heat generated as a result.
How heavy should a weighted blanket be?
Ideally, a weighted blanket should be around 10% of a person’s body weight, although personal preferences are important as well.
If you are claustrophobic or have breathing issues, you might want to adhere strictly to the 10% rule.
Nature of the fabric
A weighted blanket will feel cool or warmer based on the type of material. Fabrics made with natural fibers are generally cooler than those made with synthetic materials.
We’ll be discussing 6 of the most commonly used materials for making weighted blankets.
Weighted blankets made from cotton come in a plethora of print, textures, and quality, from regular grade cotton to satin cotton, to high-durability ‘Kona’ cotton with a dense threading pattern.
Blankets made from cotton are simple to clean and store away. Regular cotton can be a very breathable fabric, making it a material of choice for most users. If you would like to go for this option, you should get cotton material that is lint-free.
Bear in mind that not all cotton are born equal. As a rule of thumb, a more intricate pattern with denser threading leads to more warmth underneath. It’s a good idea to consider the various types of cotton blankets available and the peculiarities of each one.
A general rule of thumb to follow when choosing weighted blankets for a hot sleeper is to look for fabrics that are light, soft and breathable. A good fabric should wick away excess moisture to keep the skin as dry and comfortable as possible during sleep.
There is a diverse range of material that could be used to make a weighted blanket. The following are a few cotton fabric types ideal for hot sleepers.
Satin cotton has a plusher, silkier feel than regular cotton, and is incredibly light. It’s an ideal fabric for hot sleepers due to its breathability.
Satin cotton features threading that is less intricate, providing an overall comfy weighted product. The blanket is usually stuffed with either poly-pellets or tiny glass beads.
Kona cotton is a Trademarked high-grade cotton variety highly recommended for people with heat sensitivities. It’s a great heat-repellent material.
Weighted blankets made from Kona cotton are usually quilted and are highly durable. Kona cotton features dense threading that is soft, light and breathable.
People who used weighted blankets made from Kona cotton remarked that they could feel the flow of air through the material. These blankets are also suitable for people with texture sensitivities as well.
Because of the quality of Kona cotton, the blankets might be a bit more expensive than expected, but the quality and comfort it provides makes it worth every cent.
Polyester-based weighted blankets are soft and pliable, giving the user maximum comfort while retaining the necessary weighting properties. It could also be blended with regular or satin cotton for the inner parts of the weighted blanket for added durability.
Many users find the smoothness of the surface is ideal for very comfortable and reassuring sleep. These weighted blankets are also easy to clean and store away.
However, Polyester might not be ideal for hot sleepers or people who live in warmer climates. Being a synthetic fabric makes it less breathable than regular or satin cotton. However, for those who live in the cooler hemisphere, it could be your fabric of choice.
This type of fabric is extremely soft and plush. It’s the very same material used in making baby clothes.
While Mink fabric feels incredibly comfortable on the skin, it’s made from synthetic fibers that are less breathable than cotton, so they are not ideal for hot sleepers.
Fleece is a woolly, synthetic material with a tactile feeling on the skin. It is a heat-absorbing material that could generate considerable warmth underneath.
Fleece is generally not recommended for people with heat sensitivities. If you have texture sensitivities or you’re allergic to woolly clothing, you should look at other fabric options.
The color of the blanket
An often overlooked factor that influences the temperature of your weighted blanket is its color.
Did you know that brighter-colored blankets ward off more heat than those made with darker colors?
Darker colored anything tends to absorb more radiation from the sun and draw in more heat, and weighted blankets are no exception to the rule.
People who live in warmer countries may want to opt for lighter-colored weighted blankets to repel heat from external sources.
Being a hot sleeper shouldn’t stop you or your loved ones from enjoying the quality of sleep a weighted blanket has to offer. Armed with the knowledge of various types of fabric from this article, you should be able to make a more informed buying decision.