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Stressed and Anxious while renovating/building your home? Find out how quality sleep can be the perfect antidote.

In conversation with Emer Flannery of Kocoono

Story Highlights
  • "A house that is being renovated has very few home comforts and this can deteriorate our sleeping environment.”
  • “A colour that is too bright creates a sense of alertness instead of a sense of relaxation.”
  • “The durability of Kocoono is also key: You buy Kocoono as a once-off.”
Renovations are famously stressful. They disrupt our regular routine and can negatively affect our sleep quality. Whenever possible, it is essential to stick closely to your routine and have enough Sleep.

Emer Flannery, the founder of Kocoono, an Irish Wellness company that produces Kocoono Weighted Blankets and wellness accessories, knows perfectly how stressful it can be: “My Dad used to build houses, and we used to help out with the cleaning, and there are so many moving parts, and everything has to work at the one time.

Everything has to happen in a timely fashion, so it can be stressful getting it all to coordinate,’’ states Ms Flannery. She tells us today how Kocoono Weighted Blanket can help you keep your quality of sleep and give you some tips to help you relax during this stressful time.

Build & Renovate: How can the Kocoono Weighted Blanket help ease the stress during a renovation project? 

Emer Flannery: People will have different stresses so it can be hard to switch off as our nervous systems react to different environments and stresses in different ways.

Making decisions when you are building or working on your house is stressful as items such as sockets need to be placed in the correct place as you can’t make changes easily at a later stage! Kocoono Weighted Blanket is an excellent product to throw over you when you’re in bed as it will improve the quality and quantity of your sleep whilst reducing anxiety and restlessness, so needed to make the right decisions and deal with the stresses during a renovation project.

Kocoono Weighted Blankets are designed to calm the Nervous system and give the user an instant relaxation to their body. The equivalent weight distribution of the Kocoono makes sure to touch all the body’s pressure points, which switches off the sympathetic nervous system, which controls “fight-or-flight” responses and stimulates your Parasympathetic Nervous System, which leads to a “rest and digest,” response. The activation of the PNS slows the heart rate, making the user feel embraced, comforted and reducing cortisol levels associated with stress. This pressure stimulation can be connected with the feeling and the benefits of a hug.

B&R: What are your tips to have an optimal nights sleep during a remodeling project?

EF: A house that is being renovated has very few home comforts and this can deteriorate our sleeping environment. I would make sure that your bedroom remains the same as it was before you started renovating your house. If your bedroom is part of your remodelling project, that should be left to the end.

When you are remodelling your room, I would suggest having a cosy and relaxing corner where you have all you need to have a proper sleep. Kocoono Weighted Blanket, in combination with a good mattress, can be the ideal item for this corner. The gentle pressure of Kocoono can help you fall asleep faster and deeper, so you will wake up refreshed. Its integrated shoulder embrace imitates a hug, and that will make you feel embraced and calm.

It is key to keep our relaxing space tidy to allow our brain to switch off so that we do not feel that we have unfinished things to do. We also need to keep an optimal temperature of 15 – 19 degrees, open the windows every morning, and let some cool air in or use air filters to keep the dust from interrupting our sleep.

This space should be your sanctuary where you don’t allow any equipment, tools and materials in and where you can find your Kocoono Weighted Blanket ready to cocoon you into a deep sleep.

B&R: Is there any way to decorate our newly renovated room for a better sleep?

EF: There are so many ways we can optimise your bedroom for a night of better sleep. You should banish the TV and other electronic devices in your bedroom. Exposure to screens lowers our melatonin levels and negatively affects our sleep.

An old-fashioned alarm clock on your bedside table can be the best option to wake you up in the morning. It may also be worth investing in blackout curtains to keep your bedroom dark to guarantee a deep sleep, which can also have insulative benefits that help you keep the right temperature in the room.

The colour has a huge impact on our mood and psychology, thus our sleep quality. I had red walls myself when I was a teenager, and I felt stressed. A colour that is too bright creates a sense of alertness instead of a sense of relaxation.

Light blue shades, for example, is an ideal pick. According to feng shui, Neutral and earth colours are calming and promote positive energy flow. Whatever colour we choose, it is best to go for the lighter and pastel shades and make sure that we feel calm.

B&R: There are a variety of Weighted Blankets on the Market. What makes you different?

EF: Many reasons ensure people choose Kocoono over other companies. Comfort is one of them: we have customers who previously bought other blankets and noticed a difference in quality and comfort when they moved to the Kocoono Weighted Blanket.

Also, our Kocoono LUXE version has features that no other weighted blanket on the market offers and this makes all the difference when sleeping. The users can add or remove the inner weighted bands around certain areas. The integrated shoulder embrace allows the weighted pressure to come up around the shoulder area without bunching at the neck.

We use an inner polyfill to plump up the Kocoono, which resembles being “hugged by a cloud”, as one customer put it. Our customers also value that our product is Irish designed and ethically produced in Europe with high-quality fabrics, instead of producing in other locations with low-cost labour where we would have no idea regarding the ethical viability of our production and supply chain.

The durability of Kocoono is also key: You buy Kocoono as a once-off. We spend a lot on a good mattress, and this is a similar sort of long-term purchase.We have a really good customer return rate considering the Kocoono weighted blanket is the type of product you buy once.

Especially in this season, people are purchasing the Kocoono blankets and accessories as presents. They are a thoughtful gift to someone who may benefit from this type of product to reduce anxiety and so forth or as the ideal housewarming gift!

B&R: What tips would you recommend to choose the appropriate Kocoono Weighted Blanket?

EF: One thing really important to consider is the weight selection of your Kocoono Weighted Blanket. The recommendation is approximately 10% of the body weight, so we have three different weights to adjust to people’s needs: 5kg , 7kg and 9kg.

The 5kg is suitable for people who weigh 50- 70 kg (8 – 11stone), 7kg is suitable for those who weigh between 70- 90 kg(11- 14 stone), and the 9kg for those who weigh over 90kg (14 stone). However, everybody’s body is different, and they may need a different weight. Our customers can choose between our two versions of Kocoono Weighted Blanket: Kocoono Luxe and Kocoono Basic.

The LUXE is more versatile as it is customisable, and there are segmented channels that allow the user to add or remove the inner weighted bands and it conforms to the body a bit easier than the BASIC.

Kocoono LUXE has a curved neck that fits smoothly over the shoulders and moves with the user. It has an integrated shoulder embrace that allows the deep touch pressure to come up around their shoulder area, imitating the feeling of someone hugging you.

Most of our customers chose this feature as their favourite. We get fantastic feedback from both Kocoono™ Weighted Blankets, but most of our customers prefer the LUXE. We use silicone balls to plump up the weighted channels for the LUXE version, so it feels cosier and more similar to a duvet, and it moves easier with you, thanks to the segmentation.

B&R: What are your future plans?

EF: We would always see ourselves as a wellness company providing tools, support, resources and products for people to promote positive mental wellness in their bodies and mind.

We have a few new products in the pipeline which we really hope to bring from ideas to reality over the next two years. We are always open to feedback from our customers and new product ideas.

** More information about Kocoono and its founder: The Kocoono weighted blanket is designed to reduce stress, increase quality sleep and support your body and mind.

Kocoono™ is the brainchild of Emer Flannery, a psychology professional from Belmullet, Mayo in the West of Ireland. Emer has worked in psychology for the last nine years, in various care sectors both in Ireland and abroad. Back in 2011, she made the first prototype for a child with autism. Years later, after a bout of sleep deprivation, while working in the homeless services, she designed the first Kocoono™ Weighted Blanket for personal use and developed Kocoono into the business that it has become today.

Kocoono™ was officially formed in 2018 and launched within a year after a very successful Kickstarter campaign in October 2019, raising four times the funding goal needed to commence manufacturing Kocoono Weighted Blankets.



Words: Emer KellyImages: Webpress

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