I am not sure when I started to develop sleep issues. I didn't think I had ANY sleep issues, to begin with. I was always able to fall asleep with ease and achieve deep sleep. BTW, this is called Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. It's the type of sleep that makes you not want to get out of bed. You never know how stress will show up in your body or life. And for me, it decided to show up in my sleep patterns. I would go to sleep with a million things on my mind. And – I used to have an unhealthy habit of suppressing the fuck out of emotions. I wouldn't allow myself to feel the uncomfortable ones. You know, the ones that make you cry, fumble your words, and shit. So, naturally, I would just go to bed with a heavy heart and a confused mind. I allowed this behavior to continue for nearly a year before I decided to do something about it.
I think I was scrolling through my Facebook feed when I stumbled across a Facebook ad for Gravity Blankets. I was curious, so, I clicked on the ad. It brought me to a website that designed and sold weighted blankets. In early 2017, Gravity Blankets was a new product funded through Kickstarter. The product received over $4.7 million in funding. I was interested. The blanket was designed to be 10 percent of your body weight and aimed to provide relief. It's commonly used in the medical field to help relieve stress, anxiety, and help autistic patients.
I never invested in good sleep before, so I decided to start.
I placed my order. I was a little heavier at the time, so I ordered the 20-pound blanket. I spent a whole $249 on a blanket. I don't even spend that much on regular bedding, let alone anything else I own. It took a while for my blanket to be delivered. I came home one night after work and found a big box sitting outside my apartment door. I was excited to use it. When it was time for me to go to bed, I climbed into the right side of my bed. I have a thing about sleeping on the right side of the bed. I just have to. Anyway, I pulled the blanket over me and covered my body with it from head to toe.
And – that's when I fell in love with a weighted blanket. That night I fell asleep in a matter of minutes and with ease. It was like cuddling with your man, younger siblings, or falling asleep with a baby. I was relaxed and comfortable. I used my new favorite blanket every night. My sleep improved. I even used it while I was reading, working, and Netflix binge-watching.
But first, let me explain some of the science behind a weighted blanket, its benefits, and where you can buy yours.
What Is A Weighted Blanket?
Did you know weighted blankets have been a long time tool in the mental health space? Weighted blankets were designed to relieve stress and create a sense of calm. This is done by providing pressure to the body. The blankets are filled with beads for added weight. The beads are either glass or plastic. How does it work you ask?
Well, weighted blankets emulate an occupational therapy technique called Deep Touch Pressure (DTP) or sensory integration therapy. It helps calm the arousal level in the nervous system by releasing serotonin and dopamine. These are the neurotransmitters that help people feel relaxed.
Benefits Of Sleeping With A Weighted Blanket
There is a plethora of benefits from sleeping with a weighted blanket. According to Gravity Blankets, weighted blankets can help with the following:
- Reduces stress, anxiety, and PTSD
- Manage sleep disorders
- Lessens panic attacks
- Alleviates Restless Leg Syndrome
- Deepen sleep and improves sleep quality
- Helps achieve a well-rested mind
- Promotes emotional well-being
I can attest to all of the above. I was diagnosed with anxiety, PTSD, depression, and panic attacks in late 2017. So, my weighted blanket helped me to stay calm and improve my sleep quality. In a weird way, I just felt safer sleeping with it every night.
Where You Can Buy Your Weighted Blanket
A weighted blanket can cost you $50 to $250 depending on the brand, size, and weight. Forbes also created a list of "The 8 Best Weighted Blankets In 2020". You can also try Amazon and any other online retailer. In-store buys include Macy's, Bed Bath & Beyond, Kohl's, Costco, Sam's Club, Nordstrom, and Walmart.
For the past three years, I have slept with a weighted blanket. Now, I can't sleep without it. It's to the point where I feel naked or something is missing. My homegirl just purchased one and loved it. Then, she went and bought her daughter one too.
If you have trouble sleeping, I suggest you invest in one. I promise you, it's better than sleeping next to a warm body aka your significant other. You won't regret it queen. It's time we as women invest in better sleep.
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