Weighted blankets. You've probably heard them touted on Podcasts and in mom groups. Have trouble sleeping? Have a kid who has trouble sleeping? You've likely received the advice to give a weighted blanket a shot. After all, they're supposed to help with all kinds of ailments — from insomnia to ADHD and autism, a weighted blanket is claimed to make a difference with any sleepless situation.
But, if you're anything like me, you probably googled weighted blankets, read about them for five minutes, then gave up. Sure there are plenty of testimonials about how great weighted blankets are, but there's not a whole lot of easy-to-find science behind them (although I later learned deep pressure touch has been shown to increase serotonin and dopamine production to help you sleep). Mainly, it was just overwhelming to know which weighted blanket to order.
Sure I could pick one for about $40 at Target, but I spent so much time making my bed "non-toxic" that I didn't want to just use the cheapest option with the least expensive components. Nor did I want to rush out to spend hundreds of dollars on something with sourced materials but no real guarantee it would work. Add in the fact that I didn't know what weight I should choose for my blanket and I hit analysis paralysis.
Accordingly, I brushed my dreams of trying a weighted blanket aside and kept working on my pesky "momsomnia" in other ways (who knew the real trouble sleeping could come after my kids grew out of the baby phase?!). As it turns out though, I'm definitely not alone. So many moms experience sleep disturbances postpartum (and beyond!) that have nothing to do with their children. Thanks, hormones(?) and bad sleep habits.
And, while I did make progress on my sleeplessness with all the usual contenders (diet, exercise, routine), I still needed a little help from time to time. Accordingly, when someone suggested (yet again!) that I try a weighted blanket, I decided it was finally time. I forced myself to read a little more about the materials used to make these blankets (and confirmed in my mind that the cheaper ones probably weren't the best).
Eventually I landed on Baloo, a company that makes their weighted blankets with a cool cotton and lead-free glass beads (the cool part is relevant because often people worry about getting too hot). I also think it's important to note I approached Baloo about their blankets, not the other way around (so this testimonial is definitely not an ad). For $150, the blanket is an investment, but a worthy one when you consider the value of deep sleep. And, Baloo made picking a weight for my blanket easy. You're supposed to go for about 10% of your body weight, but you can add a couple pounds to this if necessary, and the larger the blanket (queen vs. twin) the more the weight is disbursed. All this made me realize I was overthinking it. I went for the 12lb twin option and finally called it a day.
Here's what happened when my blanket arrived...
First of all, these blankets are pretty heavy! I lugged my 12lb box inside and opened up my blanket to find high quality materials. The pockets holding the beads were small enough that the weight was fairly distributed (a common complaint in the less expensive blankets is that the beads shift around too much). Moreover, the cotton really was cool to the touch, which will be nice in the warmer months and can be layered in the winter.
Even though it was the middle of the day, I had to know if it worked. First I sat on the couch with it, which was immediately therapeutic. Next I lay down even though I should have been at my desk working. Before I knew it, I was in a deep sleep and jolted awake by my barking dog. Thankfully only 20 minutes had gone by, but the blanket had truly helped me relax. The weight felt grounding. Needless to say, I was excited to give it a whirl come bedtime.
As a mom of two small kids, I intentionally chose the twin-size option. That way, I could just slide it into my side of bed and not have to worry about anyone else (because, let's be honest, my bed sometimes hosts my entire family at night!). The twin-size was perfect for not having to share with anyone. And, I was so excited to try it out that I actually went to bed a little earlier than usual...
The result? Night one went well! Like many reviewers, it took a little getting used to, but I never felt like the weight was too much for my body (even though I have a small frame). In fact, I found myself reaching for it in the middle of the night after waking up and having kicked it off — putting it back on helped me ease back to sleep, which is often the hardest part of getting good rest for me (I wake up and can't go back to sleep).
I now have been sleeping with the blanket for a couple weeks and have found it has made me less restless at night. In fact, I'm not getting up to use the restroom some nights, which is a new phenomena. Instead, I'm sleeping until morning — something I had forgotten was possible! And, when I am waking in the night, it helps soothe me back to sleep. I'm a fan. I'm sold. I will be traveling with this thing and also hoping the cool cotton gets me through the warm months (seems promising, but I do live in a hot climate!).
If you're on the fence? Try it! Baloo has a 30-day return policy and I bet you'll want to keep it.