I’m sleeping more deeply (and having fewer stress dreams) than I ever have before—and all it took was one simple addition to my bedroom.
I take my sleep very seriously. I try to get, at minimum, eight hours a night, though I feel most alert and energized on the rare occasion I’m able to sleep for nine hours. Some people prioritize eating a healthy diet: I prioritize sleep.
The quality of that sleep is a whole other story, though—at least until I started sleeping under a Gravity Blanket. The makers of this weighted blanket call it “the world’s most popular weighted blanket for naturally induced sleep and relaxation,” and the effort raised $4.7 million on Kickstarter to fund the production of its blankets. My own brother swears by his—he called it a total game-changer. “I don’t think I slept badly before,” he told me, “but now I just sleep well.”
Still, I was unconvinced. My sleep was fine, and I certainly got enough of it. The stress dreams that woke me in the night—teeth falling out, forgetting about a test or work deadline, missing a flight—seemed more like an inconvenience than a problem that needed solving. I even told myself that the worried and anxious thoughts that darted around my mind and kept me awake during times of stress just needed to be better managed.
And then I got a Gravity Blanket for Christmas, and everything changed.
It weighs 15 pounds (though Gravity produces blankets that weigh as much as 25 pounds, for individuals weighing 200 pounds or more), and when I curl up under it, it feels like I’m nestled under a mountain of blankets, rather than one thin one. The Gravity Blanket is made with small pouches of weighted material, rather than one large one, so the weighted filling doesn’t bunch up at one end of the blanket. The covering is impossibly soft and warm, and it’s both machine washable and removable (good news for anyone who gets hot at night). It’s an attractive blanket, but what it does for my sleep is the amazing part.
I can’t remember ever sleeping as deeply as I do under this blanket. The added weight took some getting used to, but most nights, once I close my eyes, I’m asleep almost immediately. Even just curling up under the blanket on the couch makes me sleepy. And worried or anxious thoughts seem less pressing when I’m falling asleep under the blanket—I’m able to push them aside easily, focusing on the weight of the blanket instead, and soon I’m fast asleep.
Weighted blankets have been around for a while, but they’re currently on the rise and growing in popularity among those looking for a better night’s sleep (so everyone). Studies show that deep pressure can sooth and calm nerves, and research from 2015 found that adults with insomnia slept longer and better under a weighted blanket.
The Gravity Blanket was developed with this research, and other studies, in mind, and is described as simulating the feeling of being held or hugged, helping to relax the nervous system, increase serotonin and melatonin levels, and decrease cortisol levels, all of which promotes better sleep. Any weight—15, 20, or 25 pounds—costs $249, and shipping is free.
I admit that’s a large sum to spend on what is, no matter how fancy it is, still a blanket, but the sleep benefits may prove to be worth it—they definitely were for me.