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'The One Item I Swear By When I’m Having Trouble Sleeping’
It's cheesy but true: I always fall asleep faster with the weight of my boyfriend's arm around me. But since that's not really a fair thing to regularly demand, I did some research, and decided to experiment with a weighted blanket instead.
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I'd heard that weighted blankets were widely used to help kids with sensory disorders and autism relax and fall asleep, and when I looked into it, I found some small studies that found these blankets could also help adults reduce anxiety and insomnia. The idea: The pressure (which can range from four to 24 pounds) may trigger your brain to release calming neurotransmitters—kinda like when you get hugged.
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I was surprised at how well mine worked to help me fall asleep, even on nights when my mind was racing. When I tell people about it, some have an immediate "I need this in my life!" reaction, but others think it has to be a placebo effect. "There are no large, peer-reviewed studies on the topic, but just like mattress and pillow firmness, a certain type of blanket may help some people sleep better," says Nathaniel Watson, M.D., a neurologist and sleep specialist at the University of Washington.
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As for me, I'm convinced that my heavy blanket has helped me sleep, and I've heard the same sentiment from other people who've tried them.
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