As a lover of anything that promises comfort, I instantly gravitated towards the idea of owning a weighted blanket. My astrological sign (Taurus) tells me that this love of stability and comfort is quite typical. This explains why I am on a mission to turn my bedroom into a serene sanctuary rather than somewhere to simply fall asleep.
A weighted blanket looks like your average run-of-the-mill duvet, but remember what your mother told you: There is always more than meets the eye! These blankets are filled with 10-25 pounds of material to weigh you down and induce a soothing effect on your body. The blanket I used, the Baloo Weighted Blanket, is filled with nontoxic and lead-free microbeads that are made of glass. The cotton used to create this blanket is certified free of harmful chemicals by Oeko-Tex’s Standard 100.
The study behind the weighted blanket found that 63 percent of participants reported lowered anxiety after use, and 78 percent preferred the blanket as a calming modality. I keep this in mind as I head off to bed with my 15-pound blanket that I lugged up the stairs on my own. Baloo recommends picking a blanket that is 8-12 percent of your body weight. As if it couldn’t get any better, weighted blankets are shown to reduce cortisol levels, increase serotonin and release dopamine by using deep pressure touch to “ground” our body down during sleep. As serotonin increases, so does melatonin, the hormone that helps regulate your sleep cycle. Armed with science, I used this blanket for the first time on Sunday night, when my anxiety is at its highest. I felt slightly overheated considering it was 80 degrees in Houston that night, but once I lowered my thermostat, I immediately felt comfortable underneath the weight. This was shocking to me, as I am not someone who enjoys to cuddle or sleep in a bed with others. Is this how swaddled babies feel each night? I reminisce over the youth I no longer remember but am sure is tucked away somewhere deep in my muscle memory.
My wallet is exhausted after years of buying countless products that did not work the way they were advertised to. “But you promised to change my life!” I scream into the abyss. Regardless of the many positive claims I read online, there was a looming skepticism on whether this blanket would work for me — as if I were the exception. However, the blanket did work, and I now fall asleep within minutes each night sans anxiety. The past few mornings I have jumped out of bed well-rested and unnaturally chipper. The only dilemma now is that I am too comfortable to get out of bed.
Not ready to take the plunge yet? Sleep on it.