Once upon a time, sleep came easily (and without the need for melatonin supplements, lavender bath salts and breathing techniques). But now, I’m willing to try pretty much anything to fall asleep faster. So, when I heard about the Gravity Blanket, a weighted blanket that’s currently all the rage in the fight against insomnia, I knew I had to give it a shot.
But how does a super-heavy blanket help one sleep, you ask? Here’s the lowdown: Most weighted blankets have pellets sewn into individual pockets that make up the lining and weigh between 10 and 25 pounds. The blanket’s weighted pressure is evenly distributed across your body and meant to simulate the feeling of being hugged. (Kind of like your dog’s Thunder Shirt.)
The Gravity Blanket claims to “naturally reduce stress and increase relaxation through deep pressure stimulation.” And a quick search online reveals rave gravity blanket reviews from former insomniacs now able to get a decent night's shuteye. While I was hoping it would specifically help me with sleep, the blanket can also be used on the couch while watching Law & Order: SVU reruns, meditating or basically anytime you’re in need of a warm embrace.
I slept with the 20-pound version (it offers 15-, 20- and 25-pound options depending on your body weight) at the recommendation of the company, which is a bit more than 10 percent of my body weight. The blanket is designed for one person, so it’s larger than a twin-size comforter but smaller than a full. Read: Not meant for sharing. (Sorry, husband.)
Full disclosure, I didn’t love sleeping with the Gravity Blanket. It was so comforting and relaxing while I was watching TV as I fell asleep (who doesn’t love a warm hug?), but as the night went on I became overheated. The comfy micro-plush outer shell is removable, and you can sleep with just the cotton inner shell to lighten things up, but it doesn’t feel nearly as soft or luxurious.
Instead of sleeping, I kept worrying about my seven-pound Chihuahua, who wanted to snuggle (or get under the blanket with me). I also struggled to muster up enough strength to throw the thing aside just so I could get up to pee in the middle of the night. Aesthetically, it was also a bit of an eyesore when left out on my king-size bed, and at 20 pounds it’s not something that can easily be folded and stored on the regular.
With a hefty price tag of $249 (buy it directly from the retailer or on Amazon), the Gravity Blanket isn’t for everyone. While it didn’t necessarily solve my sleep issues, it did temporarily decrease my anxiety and totally upped my binge-watching game. As a relaxation tool? Definitely give it a try. For sleep? I’m not 100-percent convinced yet.