How putting on weight helped me sleep...
…Well weight ‘on’ me not as part of me…
I was really happy when Mela Comfort offered to send me a weighted blanket to try out. This tired mama needs all the help she can get!Having studied psychology and also suffering with trouble getting to sleep and waking up around 4am, I was aware of weighted blankets as a possible solution, and something that can help people with anxiety in general… here’s how I’ve found it a month after starting to use it.
Doing things the hard way
I’ve always loved trying new / different solutions- my husband jokes that I like to do things the hard way as I try out all the options instead of just picking one and going with it. I know this about myself, and thought why not do something useful with it… so I’m just starting out with sharing my experience with the different things I’ve tried.
There is a lot of scientific evidence to support the use of weighted blankets to help those with anxiety or issues sleeping- historically used more for those with autism or sensory processing disorder. However, they can also be used to help more generally with sleep- i.e. for me- a sleep-deprived mum of an almost 2-year-old. I struggle with switching off after busy days- my brain won’t stop. I use breathing techniques and sleep stories in the Calm app when I can, but I have to say I haven’t yet found headphones I can go to sleep in and my husband doesn’t want to listen. I also am on medication which upsets my stomach a bit so I often find I’m up around 3-4am and struggle getting back to sleep afterwards. I try to avoid medication- that’s a slippery slide if you rely on sleeping pills / medications. So this totally natural option seems brilliant… if it worked!
Getting set up
When it arrived, it was presented in a lovely box (recyclable!) with clear instructions.
It comes in 2 parts- the internal weighted blanket and the external cover. The cover is tied to the weighted blanket with small ties to ensure it doesn’t all bunch up. Easy enough to do, then turn out the right way and you’re ready to go.
Trying it out
Sounds like an obvious thing to say, but it’s amazing just how heavy it is- lifting it up to put it on the bed takes a decent amount of effort! Definitely not one to take on holiday- use up half your luggage allowance!
It did immediately feel very comforting- I guess if you’re tucked in very tightly to bed as you do with young babies- that sort of feeling- very cosy. Would it actually help me sleep though?
I have to say, I struggled a bit as it kept falling off the bed! I think in my half-asleep state I just wasn’t remembering it was a different blanket to normal and so it kept sliding off onto the floor!
Having sorted out the issue ensuring none of it was hanging over the edge, and maybe taking up a bit more than 50% of the bed… I got myself tucked in and when I woke up in the morning definitely felt I had a good nights sleep. It felt easier to relax and turn off.
Once I was used to it, I didn’t want to go back to not using it! I did find as it got warmer (Late April UK) I was getting too hot, but since I was wearing a hoodie and full pyjamas in bed that was easy to fix! We’ll have to see how it goes when the weather gets really warm. I love having a window open normally, but we live near Heathrow airport which means we get woken by the huge flight that comes in around 5am!
How does it work?
When looking at the science behind weighted blankets, you’ll often find the term deep touch pressure, often abbreviated to DTP. This is basically a way of saying weight is gently and evenly distributed across your body the same way you feel in hugs or massages- there is a science behind how these work to calm us down.
They have been shown to raise levels of serotonin in the body- serotonin is a feel-good hormone extremely important for feeling calm, sensory processing, mood regulation as well as helping create melatonin, the hormone of sleep! Ahhh makes sense then!
Different weighted blankets use different fillings- the Mela Comfort uses SGS certified weighted glass pellets which are great as they are anti-rustle (imagine a load of noisy beads every time you turned over!)
Want to find out more?
If you suffer with sleeplessness, or just want to improve the quality of your sleep, I do recommend giving this a try.