The Best Weapon in the Fight Against Chronic Disease Is A Bearaby Weighted Blanket
Let’s be real: it’s not easy getting old.
The CDC reports that around 49% of seniors suffer from arthritis, and another 25% suffer from either depression or anxiety. Add in a myriad of more serious conditions—like dementia or Parkinson’s—and entering your twilight years can be painful, not to mention costly.
The good news is that while these ailments are all different in cause, they do share one common remedy: better sleep. Numerous studies show that a good night’s sleep not only helps seniors recoup their physical and mental abilities, it actually prevents more serious health problems.
Despite the positive effects of good sleep, a staggering 40-70% of all older adults suffer from chronic sleep problems. While sleeping pills can often be addictive or make users feel groggy, this simple and all-natural sleep aid has been proven to help everyone from seniors to new mothers get better sleep: weighted blankets.
We outline the benefits and our top choice below.
How Weighted Blankets Are Helping Seniors Sleep
Weighted blankets induce sleep through something known as “deep touch pressure,” which mimics aspects of human touch such as being held or hugged. This sensation relaxes the nervous system and activates dopamine and serotonin, neurotransmitters responsible for the feeling of happiness and calm.
“I did not feel the need to take a nap during the daytime, a desire that has been present with me nearly all of my adult life.”-Jannet Geddis (psoriatic-arthritis.com)
For those with arthritis or similar joint pain, a weighted blanket can help with bodily compression, which in turn can reduce inflammation. One individual suffering from psoriatic-arthritis even recounts after using a weighted blanket, “I did not feel the need to take a nap during the daytime, a desire that has been present with me nearly all of my adult life.”
Weighted blankets are also especially helpful for seniors with Parkinson’s. Not only does the weight of the blanket help limit physical movements while sleeping, but it also activates the sensory processing part of the brain (which translates brain signals into physical movements), helping to reduce the feeling of mental stress arising from the body.
Not all weighted blankets are created equally. After testing the most popular brands available, our unanimous recommendation for seniors looking to get more rejuvenating sleep is Bearaby’s hand-knit Cotton Napper—voted “Best Weighted Blanket” by The Sleep Foundation.
Many comforter-style weighted blankets are filled with plastic pellets that clump and shift around, which can feel claustrophobic and even make sleeping more difficult. What differentiates Bearaby’s Napper is that its weight comes entirely from thick cotton yarn that distributes weight evenly across the body, making the benefits of deep touch pressure most effective.
Bearaby’s open-looped knit design also allows for air-flow, which means the blankets are breathable and cool enough to sleep with all year long—even for hot sleepers.
Which Weight Is Right For Me?
Everyone has their own preference with weighted blankets, but with seniors it’s best to err on the side of caution—particularly for those with a smaller frame.
Bearaby recommends selecting a blanket that weighs no more than 10 percent of your body weight. The Cotton Napper starts at a minimum weight of 10 pounds, ideal for seniors between 100 and 125 pounds. Those lighter than 100 pounds can opt for the kid-sized “Nappling.”
While many prefer the firm feeling of a heavier blanket, you’ll want to check first if you (or the intended blanket user) are comfortable and able to move under the weight of the blanket without assistance. It’s best to do a supervised test of at least an hour, including full out-of-bed movements such as a trip to the bathroom.
A short adjustment period is sometimes necessary to get used to a weighted blanket, so the full benefits of good rest may not be apparent immediately. We advise allowing at least a week to determine whether or not a weighted blanket is a good fit.
(Note: While weighted blankets are extremely safe, those with sleep apnea or other respiratory conditions should consult with a doctor before using one.)
Will Medicare Pay For A Weighted Blanket?
The short answer is it depends.
Regardless of whether you (or the relevant senior) are on Medicare or private insurance, the first step is to check with your provider to see if they cover the cost of weighted blankets. This is usually done under coverage of “necessary durable medical equipment” (DME for short). If your insurance covers DME, a medical professional can then write a prescription for the blanket.
The good news is that if insurance doesn’t cover it, the cost of a Bearaby blanket is very reasonable given the long-term benefits. The Cotton Napper starts at $199 with free shipping, and Bearaby offers the ability to pay in monthly installments with Affirm. Even better, they offer free returns or exchanges within the first 30 days.
Our Final Thoughts on Bearaby
Bearaby has helped people of all age groups achieve the best sleep of their lives, and it shows—the Cotton Napper has more than 2,000 glowing reviews from happy nappers nationwide. Whether you or a loved one are dealing with chronic health conditions or sleep issues, we couldn’t recommend Bearaby enough.
For seniors who struggle with sleeping, Bearaby is making good quality rest natural and accessible. Deep, restorative sleep and all of the healing benefits that come with it is just a click away!