If you look up the benefits of weighted blankets online, you’ll find that it could help with anxiety, PTSD, or improve overall sleep quality.
People in the area have experienced some of those benefits, which ended up evolving into an at-home business for a seamstress in Minot.
“I strongly recommend trying it. If you get a good night’s sleep, it’s worth a try,” Niki Brose said.
After a sleep study, she was diagnosed with sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome.
“I just don’t sleep that well, up five or six times a night and very restless.”
That’s where her friend Crystal Lewellyn comes in.
“I was actually giving the blankets away because I didn’t believe they worked that well. I was trying them on people with PTSD, anxiety disorder, autism, the list goes on and on.”
As a skeptic herself, she couldn’t help but notice her custom-made blankets really were helping people.
“When I put the weighted blanket on I just totally relax. It just gives you a little bit of pressure and you don’t feel like moving,” Brose said. “I’m up maybe once a night instead of six times a night.”
Brose said that it used to take her at least an hour to fall asleep. But now, she said she’s sleeping in about 15 minutes.
Although it’s become a business, Lewellyn said she doesn’t get rich off of these things. She does it to help people.
“They try the weighted blanket and sometimes they say, ‘that’s the best night sleep I’ve had in a long time,'” Lewellyn said. “So it’s a pretty good feeling.”
It’s led to more products, too, like a one pound sleep mask, weighted stuffed animals, and even a creation of her own that’s patent pending.
“This is an apron that wraps around your neck and then it goes down to your knees,” explained Lewellyn. “It’s not too heavy and it’s not too light, because you want to be able to feel the effects of it.”
The apron is designed to help people in wheelchairs but could be used by anyone in search of some extra comfort.
“Sometimes I come home from work and it’s not time for bed yet,” said Brose. “I just need to take a break before I conquer my family. So I just put it on and sit down for a while and it just calms you down.”
The blankets are made to order according to weight. They’re 10% of a person’s body weight. Plus, all of Lewellyn’s products are machine washable.