I bought a weighted blanket and I honestly think I needed it for more reasons than I initially thought.

Last week I had a terrible anxiety ridden PMDD meltdown. I sobbed for hours about being overwhelmed at home and work, feeling underappreciated, and like multiple things in my life were completely stalled or heading in the wrong direction. None of this is actually true, it was just my brain telling me they were. After a night of feeling entirely burnt out and emotionally wrecked, I called in sick and gave myself a day to figure out my mental health. This included an impulse purchase of a weighted blanket, which I have wanted forever but felt like I needed it at that moment.

The 20lb box showed up that evening and I hauled it up the stairs. The pellets are small and round if you rub the blanket pockets between your fingers, but once spread out they are unnoticeable. Crawling under it didn’t seem excessively warm, a genuine concern since I am a tiny furnace of a person who overheats easily at night. It mostly just felt snug. And safe. Not life changing, but definitely soothing.

Every night this past week I’d crawl into what I’ve dubbed my human thunder shirt and go to sleep. I still flail around a little if I’m dreaming, but there’s less of it with a far less likely chance I’ll whack my girlfriend in the face (this has happened, I call it fair game since she’s a sleep talker). Despite the weight of the blanket, I haven’t stubbornly kicked it off the bed for being too hot. The density of a folded up blanket is a lot less noticeable when spread evenly over the body, it mostly just feels like a slight pressure all over. I’ve never had too much trouble falling asleep, but I have noticed it has helped me stay asleep, which is a gift since I wake up to every mumble, snore, and dog grumble during the night. I don’t think it’s had much impact on me waking up refreshed, but it’s long been established I’ve got other issues in that department.

Laying under it does give a strange sense of calm. I don’t feel the need to reach for my phone to have something playing to get my mind to stop, I don’t spend my last waking moments thinking or worrying about things, I can just focus on drifting off. I’ve hauled it out to the couch (not recommended, it’s heavy and I should just get a couch blanket), and it is nice for when I want to actually focus on one thing (a movie, writing, etc) instead of juggling several random things all the time.

So what is it that I needed so badly out of this blanket that I purchased it at the spur of the moment? Turns out, I’m not the only person who has felt this way lately. A few days after receiving my blanket, I saw Tiffany Haddish singing the praises of hers on Colbert.

After that, several women I follow on Twitter also started talking about their weighted blankets:

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I think beyond it being the latest #selfcare item, I think a lot of us are just looking for ways to self-soothe through the steady thrum of constant anxiety. And if you’re anything like Tiffany Haddish, you just need a hug at night before drifting to sleep, and a blanket is basically the hug we can give ourselves, no other person needed. Jia Tolentino wrote about the Gravity Blanket back in February and things in the world have just gotten much tenser since then, especially for women. It’s a security blanket that artificially mimics a sense of security a lot of us are lacking at the moment, just long enough to get some real sleep and recharge properly. I’m okay with that.