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Healthy Sleeping Habits

Anxiously Staring at My Ceiling is My M.O.—So I Tried a Weighted Blanket to See if it Could Help Me Sleep

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Ever since I was about 8 years old, sleeping hasn’t come easily to me. My general anxiety and nervousness about everything (read: planning out my entire future at 11 p.m.) has always kept me up at night.

Throw in the current state of the world (thanks, 2020), and it’s just plain hard for me to feel relaxed enough to log an actual good night’s sleep lately.

I’ve tried plenty of sleep-boosting methods that have helped to varying degrees of success, and in my continual search for a remedy, the thought of a weighted blanket has entered—and truthfully, exited—my mind a handful of times over the last few years.

My pessimistic viewpoint of “it’s just a blanket that weighs more than other blankets” has kept me from ever giving it a shot, but since I was already losing sleep, I figured I now had (literally) nothing to lose. So I took the plunge and added a Tranquility Weighted Blanket to my bedtime routine for an entire week to see if it would help boost my zzz’s.

Keep reading to learn the benefits of a weighted blanket and whether it worked for me.

Photo: Jen | Paisley + Sparrow

Science rules

Before I dive into my oh-so-cozy experience, let’s go into why weighted blankets have this innate ability to help you slip into relaxation mode.

“Weighted blankets were first used in sensory integration therapy,” says Patrick Seiffert, senior vice president of sleep innovations for Tranquility. “They offer deep touch pressure stimulation, a sensory experience similar to a comforting hug.” Prove me wrong: Absolutely nothing feels better than a hug after a long or stressful day.

“[Weighted blankets offer] a sensory experience similar to a comforting hug.”

Seiffert also says the weight of the blanket can remind your body of the sensation you felt when you were swaddled as a baby, so it offers a familiar kind of comfort that alleviates and redirects your external stressors. (The dots are finally connecting.)

All the perks

From the moment I snuggled up with my new sleeping companion, I had a hunch we were going to be fast friends. With ultra soft material that feels like actual (weighted) clouds, it took me back to feeling like a kid when my mom would empty the fresh-from-the-dryer clothes on me. So. Dang. Good.

As soon as I situate it on top of me I feel safe, cozy, and like I never want to move again. And since it has cool-to-the-touch technology (yes, this is a thing!), I’ve yet to wake up with those dreaded middle-of-the-night sweats.

I wound up passing out mid-episode of The Great British Baking Show almost every night this past week (which nearly never happens because I’m too invested), and woke up actually feeling rested and like I got enough shut-eye.

As if these benefits of a weighted blanket weren’t enough, the affordability factor is what really sold me. “In a recent survey, just 20 percent of adults rated their sleep quality as very good,” Seiffert says. “Tranquility weighted blankets are a natural solution, and it’s important that no one be left out from better sleep due to cost or accessibility.” (Insert mic drop here.)

A week into my weighted blanket experience I can report that it has made relaxing at night feel 10 times easier to do. Let’s just say I’ll more than likely be ordering some for all my friends to create their own next-level chill-out zones. Did I just finish my holiday shopping in October?

Do you need a weighted blanket?

Photo: Tranquility

While they don’t prevent or treat anxiety or depression, one of the biggest benefits of a weighted blanket is to help calm and relax those who have troubles with falling (and staying) asleep, says Seiffert.

“For many people, these needs arise from the stress we all experience, resulting from work, family, or other pressures.” And for others, it could be caffeine or blue light exposure, he says. But, guess what? Most people likely fall into both buckets (aka me), so nearly everyone who goes to sleep at night could benefit from this bedroom essential.

When you are starting out, though, be sure to opt for a blanket that is at least 10 percent your overall body weight, Seiffert suggests. I’m only five feet tall, so I went with the standard 12-pound blanket, and well, y’all already know the rest is history.

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Top photo: Getty Images/AleksandarNakic

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