When it comes to getting a good night’s sleep, its been revealed Aussies are turning to some unusual solutions. Picture: Instagram/Therapyblanket
When it comes to getting a good night’s sleep, its been revealed Aussies are turning to some unusual solutions. Picture: Instagram/Therapyblanket

$200 sleep trick giving Aussies eight hours

There's nothing worse than heading to bed at a reasonable hour for some much-needed shut-eye, only to find no matter how hard you try, sleep is all too elusive.

Sleep deprivation is a problem for many, with 7.4 million Aussie adults claiming they are sleep-deprived, according to a report by the Sleep Health Foundation.

Although the occasional bad night isn't too much of a concern, over time, a lack of sleep can affect your health and leave you struggling.

But rather than turn to pills or potions, some are now embracing an unusual solution - one that comes in the form of a weighted blanket.

The blankets, which are slowly becoming more mainstream, are a must-have in the home of Sydney-based Eugenie Pepper, a mum-of-two and psychotherapist.

"I have used them for almost two years," she told news.com.au "Not long after I bought the first, I bought more so we could have one each."

Mum-of-two Eugenie Pepper said she and her whole family used weighted blankets to get a good night’s sleep. Picture: Supplied
Mum-of-two Eugenie Pepper said she and her whole family used weighted blankets to get a good night’s sleep. Picture: Supplied


She explained she heard about the use of weighted blankets through other colleagues where they had been trialled as a therapeutic tool.

"I had heard that the benefits included stress relief, improved mood, sleep support, stress management, and that they could be helpful for those with ADHA and Autism."

Ms Pepper, a self-described "poor sleeper", said the blanket had helped her get a better night's rest because they were so "soothing".

"It (the weighted blanket) was very soothing and comfortable and it helped set the stage for a good night's sleep," she said.

Weighted blankets are filled with small objects like pellets, discs or beads of polypropylene plastic or glass.

The weight, known as the "hug effect", is thought to lowering the heart rate as well as increase serotonin and dopamine.

Weighted blankets by Australian company Neptune blankets range in price between $99 and $235. Picture: Instagram/Neptune blankets
Weighted blankets by Australian company Neptune blankets range in price between $99 and $235. Picture: Instagram/Neptune blankets

As well as helping her to get off without too much effort, the mother-of-two children, aged 10 and 11, said the blankets were also a hit with her kids.

"Like most children, my kids don't like going to bed on time," Ms Pepper said.

"They go through stages where their sleep is not great. "But they love their weighted blankets.

"I initially bought just one to try out and quickly had to buy more as my kids were arguing over the first one I bought, they both wanted it."

Her clients also benefit from the "hug effect" of the blankets with Ms Pepper saying she offers them to people during therapy sessions to help them to relax.

"I allow all my clients to use it in their hypnotherapy sessions to reinforce relaxation and a sense of comfort," she said.

I Quit Sugar founder Sarah Wilson also swears by the benefit of using a weighted blanket. Picture: Instagram/Sarah Wilson
I Quit Sugar founder Sarah Wilson also swears by the benefit of using a weighted blanket. Picture: Instagram/Sarah Wilson

I Quit Sugar founder Sarah Wilson is also a fan of using weighted blankets, an item she said has helped put an end to her chronic insomnia.

On a recent blog post, the author of First We Make The Beast Beautiful said over the years she had experimented with all "all kinds salves" to help her sleep.

However, she revealed a weighted blanket had proven to be one of the more beneficial solutions - and had revolutionised her night's slumber.

"I decided to give one a go based on recommendations from mates with anxious kids who'd benefited from one," she said.

"I chose a Neptune Blanket which has the smallest pocket squares on the market (ensures even weight distribution) and is TGA-approved as a medical device."

She said the blanket helped with restless legs along with providing a feeling that reminded her of being "tucked in by your grandmother when you're a kid".

Those who’ve tried the blankets swear by them, however, solid evidence-backed research is lacking. Picture: Instagram/Therapyblanket
Those who’ve tried the blankets swear by them, however, solid evidence-backed research is lacking. Picture: Instagram/Therapyblanket

While those who've tried the blankets swear by their efficacy, scientists say concrete evidence is "unfortunately lacking".

"There are no reputable scientific studies to back up the claims, said Dr Cristina Cusin, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

"A randomised clinical trial to test the blankets would be very difficult. A blind comparison is impossible because people can automatically tell if the blanket is heavy or not."

The blankets are available in Australia from a range of outlets. Prices vary depending on the size, weight and type of blanket.

Neptune blankets, used by Sarah Wilson, range in price from $99 to $235 and the Australian-owned company also offers a knitted variety for $339.

Therapy Blanket, another Australia retailer, currently offers blankets in an adult single size for the reduced price of $279.

Its Therapy Premium weighted blanket, on offer in weight sizes from 5kg to 11, is available for $379.


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