Alright, I’ve struggled with anxiety, and many others do too. It’s no easy thing, and I don’t think there are any quick fixes. But there are ways to get help, ways to cope, or manage.
One thing I’ve wondered is if a weighted blanket would be helpful. It may sound silly, like an adult security blanky, but I’ve heard seriously good things about them. Like they’re legit. And while it seems they’re becoming more popular, I think it’s more than just a fad.
There are some good articles online about scientific studies giving credit to weighted blankets, acting like a big warm hug! Here’s sort of a random few:
Deep Pressure Therapy (harkla.co)
Weighted Blanket Therapy (medicaldaily.com)
Deep Pressure Stimulation (appliedbehavioranalysisedu.org)
I got one!
So, my wife bought me a weighted blanket for my birthday over a week ago. In fact, I happened to get it the day I awoke from a bad dream in the middle of the night with an acute anxiety attack. Apprehension, fear, pounding heartbeat, dry mouth, heavy breathing, couldn’t go back to sleep, the usual. Talk about timing!
I contemplated (fancy word for “thought about”) taking some medication to ensure calm to sleep the next night. But I didn’t since I got the weighted blanket! I was quite thankful and eager to try it out.
The blanket I got is a 20 pounder! It’s by Sharper Image and came from Bed Bath & Beyond. The reviews on Amazon
are overwhelmingly positive. (I don’t get paid for ads or links.)
After sleeping under my new weighted blanket nightly for about 2 weeks, I’m really liking it and don’t want to sleep without it. But I also think I need more time to use it and really see how things go.
One concern I had was if it would make me feel too hot. It will if you pile on too many other blankets of course. Otherwise it’s not stifling or stuffy. And it doesn’t make me feel smothered. On cold nights, it’s especially comfy.
It makes me feel snug, tucked in, secure. After that night I awoke with an anxiety attack, I’ve not had any more bad anxiety episodes. (My anxiety overall in recent months has been better, milder, or quieter, so that’s something to consider.) But I admit I’ve had a few unpleasant dreams. Then again, I’m pretty sure that means I’m getting deeper sleep since I’m dreaming at all. I’d say that’s thanks to the blanket.
The best, and hardest, part of the weighted blanket is waking in the morning. By then I feel so cozy that it’s much easier to stay asleep. Getting up outta bed is extra hard. Also, falling asleep seems, for me, about normal, maybe a little easier lately.
Of course, my weighted blanket is not replacing anything else I do to manage anxiety; it’s an additional thing. But who knows, maybe over 6 months of good restful sleep, my body and mind will be settled into enough calm so I’d need nothing but the blanket.