The first time I used my new sleep secret I knew it was a keeper. I fell asleep almost immediately and woke rested. I felt like I had truly gotten the benefit of sleep for the first time in forever. The problem was; I was always tired because I could never stay asleep long enough to become fully rested. The doctor said I was a nervous sleeper and could find no reason I was waking in the middle of the night. I would try to coax myself back to sleep, but it was usually to no avail. This situation got worse as I began to approach menopause. Every morning I woke at 4 am, only returning to slumber as the alarm was sounding.
As my lung issues increased, my breathing problems further prevented me from getting any restful sleep. I coughed and gasped for air for most of the night, even when I was sleeping. I eventually got a BiPap that helped my breathing but it did not prevent me from waking at 4 am. Now I go back to sleep, just as everyone else’s alarm goes off, for another few hours.
The Princess and The Pea
For as long as I can remember I have always slept with multiples of blankets, like the Princess and the Pea in reverse. It was the key to my sleep secret. Instead of sleeping on that pile of mattresses I slept under them. When I pile the blankets not for the warmth but for the weight. A while ago I realized that it wasn’t the warmth that I was after, it was the weight of multiple blankets that allowed me to fall sleep.
I have spent a small fortune on goose-down duvet, quilts and wool blankets but they never quite lived up to my expectations. They just were not heavy enough so I would pile the wool blankets on top of the quilts and then on top of duvet.
My favourite were Queen size quilts. Preferring the heavy ones, I could fold them into quarters. Sleeping with 2 of them was like sleeping with 8 quilts on my feet. Then I would use two other quilts on top of my covers. It was the pressure of the weight that had a calming effect for me.
Vacations would find me with everyone’s coats piled all over me like blankets because having the weight of the coats on me helped relieve my anxiety and in turn helped me sleep. While in hospital, I would ask the nurses for 6 flannel sheets so I could fold them in quarters and arrange my bed.
Then my German Shepherd began sleeping on our bed and she would cuddle up to my feet. Now that she is getting older and can’t get up on my bed anymore I really miss the weight of her on my feet.
Then I started reading about weighted blankets and my mind began to wonder? Could it be possible that a weighted blanket was my answer? I began to investigate and it seemed like something I could love.
I had a hard time finding data on the evidence of adults sleepers without autism. Then, I began to see data that talked about how weighted blankets are used to combat anxiety in adults with PTSD and sleeping disorders. Bingo!
Benefits of Weighted Blankets
Promoters say that a weighted blanket can release hormones such as Oxycontin that lowers blood pressure, serotonin that reduces stress and finally melatonin that helps to regulate sleep patterns.
Just like getting big hug or the equivalent of a baby being swaddled, The slight pressure gives me a sense of safety and warmth easing my mind and allowing me to relax.
One pound of blanket to every 10 pounds of your weight. So, for a 150 lb person, a 15 lb blanket. Don’t get me wrong, the first night I slept with it I was ready to return it. By night two, I am hooked. .
My blanket, came from Amazon and is 60 x 80 inches and made of washable cotton. It is baffled in small sections like a duvet so that the weight, that comes from small plastic pebbles, stays evenly distributed. An add-on feature is a covering somewhat like a duvet cover. The blanket fits into it like a pillow case and allows for easy laundering.
I love my weighted blanket and can not imagine sleeping without it.