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For as long as I can remember, I’ve had trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. I struggle forever to nod off, wake up at 4 AM unable to quiet my mind, and my brain goes into overdrive, hopscotching from money worries to future grocery lists to imminent story deadlines. When my alarm goes off in the morning, I wake up dazed, confused and exhausted. And as it turns out, I’m not alone. According to a study released by the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, roughly 25 percent of Americans experience acute insomnia each year.
Enter the weighted blanket
After years of restless rest, I heard about the Gravity Blanket. It’s a weighted blanket that, according to the manufacturer, provides “deep touch pressure stimulation” to help boost your mood and promote solid sleep. The science behind these blankets is inconclusive, but to put it in simple terms: Since you’re all snug inside it, you kick and shift around less and in theory, sleep much better. The blankets come in different weights, to cater to different sized sleepers and personal preference.
Now, I’m not a scientist. I barely passed botany in college. So I don’t know why, but the Gravity Blanket works! When I crawl under it, it feels like the best kind of warm, all-encasing hug. I opted for the lightest version because I tend to get hot at night; it’s juuuuust right for me. Not too hot, not too cold and weighted the ideal amount. Unlike your average flimsy blanket, it doesn’t shift or roll off or wind up on the floor. It stays put — heavy and velvety — and brings a sense of deep ease, so that you can just exhale. I can only compare it to the calm that would descend on my newborn when I used to swaddle him.
Beneath my new velvety bedmate, I’ve slept through the night for two weeks straight.