For the past few years I have struggled with being able to sleep. The struggle has been so real that I ended up in the hospital this past spring due to sleep deprivation. Night after night I would try my best to prepare myself for bedtime using the same routines I had always used, yet nothing worked.
I mean, nothing!
I have tried every over the counter medication, home remedy, essential oil, and even prescription medication on the market with zero results. I’ve gone so far as to do a complete Bible study on sleep and found out that even kings and queens struggled to sleep. The one person who didn’t struggle with sleep that I know of is Jesus. I want his kind of faith! Sleeping through a storm at sea is way outta my ability level at this point.
Night after night I would lie awake thinking of crazy things like: “Did I pick up that paperclip that fell beside my desk today? I don’t want one of the kids to choke on it. Should I run back up there and just make sure I did pick it up?”
Or, something more mundane like: “Why are all those barrels still on the road at the Bevill Red light? Are they ever going to finish paving that road? Whose idea was it to put five hundred fifty barrels out there for people to play ping pong with anyway? Probably wasn’t someone raised on a farm. If they had been raised on a farm, they would have known how to fix that disaster way before now. Daddy Jack would have a fit if he had to see this mess.”
I’m sure no one else thinks stuff like that, but whatever.
Without fail sometime between 1:18 a.m. and 2:07 a.m. every night my eyes pop open and my brain turns on again. Usually I lay there for thirty minutes or so trying to will myself back to sleep with no luck. Sometimes I grab a book (if Heath is away on business. The light bothers him, so I can’t turn it on if he’s trying to sleep.) Other times, I grab my phone and check my Facebook to see who else is awake. If my sweet Witter Lou is awake, I’ll text with her for a while. If she’s not awake I scroll through my news feed; click over into my Kindle or Audible app; put in my headphones; and pray that sleep will come my way again before I must get up in 3 hours 16 minutes and 42 seconds.
It is exhausting!
Heath suggested that we get a new mattress because his back was hurting with our old one, and I agreed. We looked and looked, researched and researched, and talked to a bunch of people about what kind of mattress to buy. Everyone had their opinions and wonderful stories of how this one or that one helped them “so much”. After much deliberation I made the executive decision to try a DreamCloud mattress one night while I was awake, and Heath was sawing logs.
Best. Decision. Ever.
With a 365-day trial, 18 months free financing, and free delivery I was sold. I mean how could I go wrong with this one, right? We love it! It absolutely is the most comfortable mattress I’ve ever had! So, since I was comfortable now you would think I would sleep good right?
It must be my pillow! I mean using a cheap pillow from The Wally World is exactly what I’ve done my entire adult life. Since I was now “sleeping” on a fancy new mattress (that truly does feel amazing!) I should have a “good pillow” to go with it. A new pillow would be just the ticket.
So, as I am lying wide awake a few nights later I find the My Pillow site and decide to give it a try. I ordered up a couple and waited for them to be delivered. When they arrived, we threw those babies in the dryer for 15 minutes and tried them out. At 4:11 a.m. I thought to myself that I sure was comfy in my new bed with my new pillow…but I sure would love to actually be sleeping instead of being wide awake…again.
Fast forward to last week. I was lying there thinking as I usually do during the night and I had an epiphany! Dr. Temple Grandin (world renowned author, inventor, and leading expert on Autism) invented a squeeze machine to help herself calm down when she was stressed or upset as a young adult. I’ve used weighted blankets and weighted vests in my classroom for years thanks to her expertise in this matter.
Lying there wide awake, I wondered if a weighted blanket would help me sleep.
I put an all-call out to my Facebook friends and family to see if someone might have one, they didn’t use or perhaps wanted to get rid of before I jumped off the cliff (again!) and ordered one online. The recommendation is to get one that is a tenth of your body weight. I figured I would go a little heavier just to make sure it was soothing enough.
Can you believe my sister had a 15 lb. one in her camper and two of my Facebook friends had one they were willing to part with?! My sister lent me hers to try as soon as she saw my post. One friend was in California for the week so it would be the weekend before I could get a 15 lb. one from her. The other friend had ordered a 20 lb. one online and decided after using it a few nights that she just couldn’t sleep with it. So, I bought it from her at a huge discounted price.
I was so excited to try one of them that night! As I was carrying them into the camper, I was thinking…wow! These babies are H.E.A.V.Y.!!
Heath made sure that I kept the 20 lb OFF his side of the bed when I brought it in to our bedroom. Since we were camping, we were not able to sleep in our comfy bed like we have at home. The camper mattress is OK but can’t hold a candle to the DreamCloud so honestly, I didn’t figure the weighted blanket would make much of a difference.
Boy, was I wrong!
I went to sleep that night at 12:18 a.m. and did not wake up until 9:31 a.m. the next morning! I remember waking up and thinking…where am I? LOL
I can not tell you the last time I slept that long without waking up! Naturally, I thought it was a fluke. I mean a blanket could not possibly help someone with my kind of extreme insomnia that much in one night could it?
It was time to put it to the test. I have officially been using it for one week and I can tell you I have slept more soundly this week than any time that I can remember in my adult life! I sleep with my watch on because it measures sleep in addition to other stuff. This week while using the weighted blanket I have gone from an average awake time of 1:47 minutes per night to 22 minutes per night! That is CRAZY!!
I wake up each morning just before my alarm goes off and realize that I didn’t wake up one time during the night that I can remember. (We all cycle through different sleep patterns at night and wake up during our sleep, but usually don’t remember it.) I am so excited! I wish I had thought about this long before now. Oh, the hours I wasted being awake when I could have been sleeping!
If you struggle with insomnia, I encourage you to get a weighted blanket STAT! I gave the second, lighter one to Linnie when my friend got home from her trip and she has slept just as hard as me. That child has had sleep struggles her entire life, and for her to be sleeping soundly through the night like I am is nothing short of a miracle.
I’ve heard many people say they are afraid of them because they get hot at night. I have found that I can’t sleep with anything other than the blanket or I get too hot as well. I have seen where they make cooling weighted blankets, so that may be the best option for those who get hot.
One thing I know for a fact: A Good Night’s Sleep is Worth the Weight!!
Night, Night Y’all