by Irene Kim
Remember when you were young and crawled into your parent’s bed with them when you couldn’t fall asleep? Most people agree they’ve done this before, but when I hit the 4th or 5th grade, I felt a little too embarrassed to find comfort in having my mom snuggle me to sleep at night -- I never dared go near her door anymore. Instead, I would lay awake until the harsh hour of 11 PM, trying not to let all the worries of my 10-year old self steal my chance to catch a few Z’s.
Fast forward about 10 years or so; my sleep anxiety was at an all-time high. I actually felt afraid to go to sleep -- it wasn’t that I was afraid of having a nightmare or accidentally snoozing on my alarm, but the actual process of waiting and allowing myself to fall asleep became one of the most daunting things in the world. Because you see, this was when I would do the most thinking, and you know how people get when they think too much….
Eventually, anxiety and insomnia became some of my worst enemies and sleeping became the most frustrating thing in the world. The only times I would feel calm and safe enough to sleep, would be when I was sleeping next to my mom, best friend or boyfriend, which is ironic because I actually hate sharing a bed with anyone. Yet, it was still the only time when I would get a good night’s sleep. On the frequent occasions when I didn’t have a sleeping companion by my side, I would pop on some Netflix and fall asleep to the noise of Friends playing in the background. Soon enough, I realized I just hated the feeling of being alone.
Over the years, as my mental and physical health started to heal, sleeping became a lot easier for me, but I can’t say it was ever great.
Enter: Weight Blankets. I wish I knew about these blankets a lot sooner to help kickstart my sleep journey into a much healthier place, but until my boss gifted me one for Christmas this past year, it’s was one of those unknown products I now truly don’t know how I lived without.
We’re right in the middle of Sleep Awareness Week and there couldn’t be a more perfect time to pay homage to one of our favorite products yet. Weighted blankets were originally used by children and adults with autism, depression, anxiety, etc. but recently became popular with a wider population of people who have trouble falling asleep at night. They’re filled with weighted pellets that make blankets weigh anywhere from 4 to 25 lbs, depending on users’ preference and weight; for the purposes of comfort and safety, it’s recommended to buy one that is approximately 10% of your body weight.
I know it sounds a little strange to find comfort in hiding under X-pound covers, but there’s no better way to describe it than feeling as though someone is hugging you to sleep every night. Some even say it feels like curling up with a weighted X-Ray apron placed onto you at the dentist’s office (which I’ve always strangely found comforting). It’s like going back in time to the age when it was more socially acceptable for us to sneak into bed with our parents (but better, because now you don’t have to hear your dad snore or your mom mumble as they sleep). Are my sleeping habits perfect now? Hell no. It’s still a journey, but at least I can say I’m not afraid of falling asleep anymore.
Irene Kim is the Assistant Editor at the The Sunday Issue and Marketing Assistant at Sunday Forever. When not creating magical content you can find her dining with her friends at some cool new place every single night. Follow Irene @_irenekim