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#8 Put the Load Right on Me

December. I’m having trouble sleeping. Elderly Dog is sick and her coughing sounds like a flock of geese has landed in the apartment. Add to that the typical year-end anxiety and some unexpected and distracting Boy Drama — it feels like I haven’t had a good night’s sleep for a month.

I’ve tried teas, tinctures, essential oils and a sleep app where a guy tries his best to bore you to sleep. But nothing works. I'm normally a champion sleeper, so this run of insomnia has me feeling freaked out.

Last year people started talking and posting about weighted blankets. Ads popped up in my Instagram feed and there were a lot of “I’m so single, I had to buy one of those blankets that feels like a hug” jokes at open mic nights.

So, I start researching. Several articles mention that weighted blankets and other weighted items have been used for years for people with sensory processing disorder which is sometimes associated with autism, but sometimes just occurs on its own.

I remember that a friend of mine used to buy weighted bean bags for her kid as therapy. Something about "sensory seeking" behavior.

Sensory seeking behavior. That sounds a lot like me. I’m a very tactile person and I’m curious. So I’m always reaching out to touch surfaces, object, people.

The curiosity part gets me in trouble. Like one time I saw this cool-looking electrical outlet. It was oddly-shaped and, upon visual inspection, I could see these 2 metallic copper-colored bits. I thought if I just stuck my finger in there, I could see if the copper bits were cold or hot.

They were “hot.”

This is why we child-proof electrical outlets.

I was 37.

If it helps, I was in Paris and the outlet really did look cool. And also, why was I even able to do that? Where was the Colleen-proofing?? Clearly, I am blameless here and the French have some explaining to do.

But back to the weighted blankets.

I look more closely at ads full of (predominantly) white women sleepily snuggling under cozy blankets with captions that say things like:

“Improved quality of rest."

“Promotes the production of serotonin and melatonin."

“When life gets to be a little too much.”

When life gets to be a little too much?

Yes, please. To Amazon I go.

The box is really heavy (duh?). Despite the misleading name, the blanket is not cute, but it’s functional, and filled with tiny glass pellets to add the weight. Moments after unpacking it, I drape it over me and…wow.

It feels great.

Like I can finally exhale.

Like… a hug.

That night, I go to bed a little worried that the blanket will make me feel claustrophobic or will be too warm when added to my duvet.

I have the best night’s sleep I’ve had in months.

The blanket doesn't make Dog better, or make the guy text me any faster, but something about being swaddled up just puts me at ease. It’s now permanently on my bed and makes occasional appearances in the living room on Netflix days.

The trouble is, now that I bought this blanket, I’m getting served all these other sleep/comfort ads. Body pillow shaped like a giant panda, anyone?

Are you on the weighted blanket train? What helps you get to sleep at night? Let me know in the comments below. And don’t forget to hit “subscribe” above if you want to get my semi-monthly newsletters with blog updates and other brain candy!


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