My Weighted Blanket Helps With Way More Than Just Sleep
When my anxiety gets out of control, sleeping is pretty much non-existent for me. I toss and turn, wake up every hour because stress effs with my temperature regulation, or I just lay there and stare up at the ceiling as I overanalyze every interaction I've had with a human being in the past 24 hours. So far, I've tried every insomnia solution and tension-releasing method out there, except sleeping with a weighted blanket.
Weighted blankets, which are commonly filled with glass beads placed within the layers of fabric, can weigh between 10 and 20 lbs. While there's not a ton of research on the subject, they are believed to help reduce nighttime anxiety and insomnia. Not to mention, they're one of Amazon's buzziest products, and are also considered one of the biggest trends in sleep health right now.
How is a heavy comforter any different than counting sheep (a method I've tried 3,534 times with no success), you ask? Some brands claim that because the blanket mimics the feeling of being hugged or held, it helps the body relax, therefore helping you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly. I should mention that, like most quality bed linens, they're not cheap. Most run between $80 and $130, depending on the fabric, what weighted material it's filled with, and the size of the blanket.
In excellent timing, as I didn't think my dark circles could possibly get darker, I was given a weighted blanket as a gift and decided it was time to finally give it a shot.
Let me start this off by saying that weighted blankets are freaking heavy. That's kind of a "No shit, Sherlock" statement, but it looks like any other quilted blanket, so it's a little surprising when you go to try to grab it with one hand. In order to get it home, I had to take an Uber because there was no way I could carry that thing my entire 45-minute commute on the subway.
After huffing up the stairs of my third-floor walk-up with it, I draped it over my bed and decided to only layer it over sheets and a cotton blanket. After showering, I slipped into my bed with no expectation on how it would feel on my body. The weight on you feels strange at first — sort of like you can't move your legs around without effort. I thought that would trigger a feeling of suffocation, but within a few minutes of laying down, I could already feel my body relax. I felt like someone was hugging me tightly, or a comfortable amount of weight was pressing into my legs. I have a problem with scrolling through Instagram before bed, so I think I fell asleep within a half hour, around 10 p.m. For me that's pretty good.
I swear to you, the first night I tried it, I didn't wake up once until my alarm went off at 5 a.m. the next morning. I usually wake up a few times within the middle of the night to use the bathroom, or if I have anxiety, to just stare at the ceiling, so this dead sleep was wild. In fact, getting out of bed was so difficult, not because I was tired, but more because I was so comfortable, warm, and totally relaxed and why would you ever take yourself out of that situation?
I've slept with it a few times since that first night and have experienced improved sleeping patterns every single time. Part of me thinks it's mental. The other half of me thinks there's some magic in those beads. Either way, for someone who has trouble with controlling stress or an overactive mind, a weighted blanket is worth its wait in gold. Or, well, sleep.
Instead of self-care, let's talk about self-maintenance. This month, we're focusing on whatever it takes to get by.