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 a.m. 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 recent 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.
Gravity Blanket, $249, Amazon
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. “As advertised, the weight helps me sleep like a baby!” crowed one Amazon reviewer.
Beneath my new velvety bedmate, I’ve slept through the night for two weeks straight.
Weighted blankets in a range of prices
Mine is one of the higher-priced weighted blankets on the market, but there are less expensive options with equally positive reviews. Most blankets are sized to fit one person, so check measurements, and if you co-sleep, get two. As for maintenance, shake out your blanket out every few days to keep the beads inside well distributed. Here are some more affordable options:
YnM Weighted Blanket, $60, Amazon
This is Amazon’s top-rated blanket, and reviewers rave about its supersoft texture.
Alwyn Home Nixon Anti-Anxiety Weighted Blanket, $60, Walmart
This square-stitched blanket “really helps to calm anxiety,” wrote one reviewer, and it’s machine-washable.
Brookstone Weighted Blanket, $150, Bed Bath and Beyond
What’s cool about this option: a curved neck that makes for a snug fit, and beads that are BPA-free.
Ourea Natural Weighted Blanket, $66, Amazon
Another Amazon customer favorite, the inner layers are made from organic cotton and are breathable. Glass pellets provide the weight.