If you are one of the 40 million Americas struggling with anxiety, then you are probably dealing with some insomnia, too – since anxiety and insomnia are like best friends who do everything together.
Also, you and I should be best friends, too, because I feel your pain.
The struggle is real.
That’s why when I kept reading testimonials about how weighted blankets were transformative for getting a good night’s rest and chilling the flames of anxiety inferno – I figured I had no reason not to jump on board the weighted blanket train.
But, after my husband generously gifted me a gorgeous weighted blanket for Christmas, I slept with it exactly two times before it was tossed, fairly haphazardly (sorry, those things are hard to fold) in the corner of my bedroom.
Why? Well, nobody told me that at first – weighted blankets can actually make your anxiety worse.
Let me explain:
Weighted Blankets & Anxiety: What To Expect
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The reason weighted blankets are supposed to be good for anxiety is because the heavier weight, with blankets ranging from 4 to 30 lbs., create a sort of calming cocoon around your body.
The weight in weighted blankets comes from little beads that shift and transform around your body, so while you end up with less bulk than a stack of traditional blankets – you get more pressure.
This pressure is what is good for anxiety – it simulates deep pressure touch, a form of therapy used to ground the body with firm pressure known to help with pain, anxiety, depression and insomnia.
The idea is somewhat similar to a deep tissue massage and the comforting aspect of both the deep pressure and the increased awareness of your body. When we are more in tune with our body, or more “grounded“, our minds hunker down as well and stop running in circles like a rolodex on crack.
So, while the research is pretty consistent that weighted blankets should be helpful for both insomnia and anxiety – that is not what originally happened with me.
My First Experience with a Weighted Blanket:
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The first night I slept with the blanket, the weight was so distracting, I actually had a harder time going to sleep.
I felt like I couldn’t get out from under it fast enough to get to one of my kids that was crying and that paranoia caused me have nightmares about being stuck, unable to get out, and confined.
After the first night, I was nervous to try it again, but didn’t want the cost of the blanket to be a waste, so I used it again.
This time, my son came into bed with us in the middle of the night and the weight was too much for him, too, so his side and my side all ended up one me.
Now I had double the weight.
Double the nightmares.
I woke up exhausted, dragged the blanket off the bed and lumped it in the corner of my room until further notice.
My Second Attempt at Using a Weighted Blanket:
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A few months past before I wanted to think about that blanket again.
But, in those months, a few things changed – my kids all started sleeping through the night much more frequently (HALLELUJAH!) and my anxiety shot through the roof.
A combination of things happening in our family and an uptick in attempted burglaries in our area left me sleepless, anxious, and rapidly reaching an exhaustion point that was not healthy.
Although I have a nice nighttime routine of bedtime tea, collagen, magnesium lotion and nighttime gummies that usually put me out despite my mind’s best efforts, that wasn’t getting the job done.
And since my one experience with sleeping pills 10 years ago left me with a 30-minute period of amnesia before passing out, during which I had conversations with people that I couldn’t remember, an attempt to leave before falling asleep in my kitchen with my keys in my hand and ordering an excessive amount of Crayola markers on Amazon, I have decided that going that route just isn’t for me.
That’s why I found myself looking over at my poor dejected weighted blanket with a newfound interest.
Just maybe this could work for me, I thought.
So, my husband drug it back on to the bed and I started attempt number two with the weighted blanket.
Me + Weighted Blanket = Bliss:
Now that I’ve been actually sleeping with the weighted blanket for awhile, I can say that they are actually an excellent natural solution for nighttime anxiety and insomnia.
After adjusting to the additional weight, I find that I drift off to dreamland faster than normal and stay asleep much more soundly.
Once I’m asleep, I’m not waking up over and over again and because weighted blankets are also more cooling than a pile of blankets, I’m not struggling with the usual blankets on, blankets off, blankets on, blankets off, routine all night long.
It would be remiss for me to recommend a weighted blanket to anyone with at least sharing my first experience in case you unpack your weighted blanket only to find it makes your first few nights of sleep worse.
But, I’m here to tell you that if you stick with it and make adjustments as needed, you’ll probably find it to be a very relaxing, therapeutic way to catch some extra zzz’s.
The Best Weighted Blankets for Anxiety:
My personal recommendation for weighted blankets best suited for anxiety would be blankets that are also cooling, so you don’t end up sweating and feeling trapped under the blanket.
Also, it’s best to get a personal sized blanket, such as a twin, if you share a bed with someone. Unless you are similar in weight, you won’t want to share a weighted blanket, since your blanket should be approximately 10% of your weight.
If you don’t share, you can get the same size as your bed. Then, place it right over your sheet and under any other blankets, so it can form to your body.
While I personally have this one from Amazon and do really like it, there are a lot of options that I’ll share, too. These are affiliate links, btw. Keepin’ it real.
YnM Weighted Blanket with 100% Cotton, Oeko-Tek Certified Cover and Glass Beads:
I really like the design on this one and how well made it is. It’s a bit on the heavier side for me, so I think I would’ve preferred a 10 or 15 pound blanket, but now that I have adjusted – I love it.
Weighted Idea Cool Weighted Blanket (affordable):
Comes in 8 colors at time of posting, including some patterns, lots of sizes at affordable price points:
ZonLi Cooling 100% Cotton Weighted Blanket with Glass Beads:
Comes in 4 saturated colors, several sizes, great reviews:
Gravity Blanket Weighted Blanket with Soft Micro-Fleece Exterior:
The super soft exterior on this gravity blanket makes it a fan favorite. Comes in two beautiful colors and 3 weights at time of posting. Gravity is a top player in the weighted blanket game:
Luna 100% Cotton Oeko-Tek Certified Cooling Weighted Blanket:
An earth-friendly option designed in the USA with glass beads for a soothing, cooling weight. Comes in a ton of sizes and lots of colors and patterns, so you can find the right one for you. Hypo-allergenic, non-toxic comfort for you.
Thirdream Weighted Blanket with 2 Removable, Washable Covers:
I really love this one with the removable covers. This gives you a very easy way to keep your blanket clean. Especially great for families and people with animals, as you know something is going to get on that blanket at some point. Plus, one cover is a soft, minky cover and one is a cooling cover. Honestly, if I were buying one right now – I’d want this one: *****
Have you tried sleeping with a weighted blanket? What was your experience?
If you love natural remedies, you might also like these posts:
- I drank celery juice for two weeks and this is what happened
- My natural remedies for insomnia
- 10 supplements I take for my autoimmune diseases
- 6 real health and beauty benefits of apple cider vinegar
- How to get rid of a headache fast
Have a fabulous day,