As a birthday gift, our millennial-age daughter gave me a weighted blanket, something I had only just heard about a week before while visiting our millennial-age son.
What a wonderful gift! I smile every night I snuggle under it.
If you, like me, are new to them, here's the scoop: Weighted blankets are those that contain tiny beads of plastic or glass that make them literally heavy.
They are marketed with claims that they wrap your body like a cocoon, creating a calming, comforting effect that can lower stress and anxiety and improve sleep. It's as though you're protected from the outside world that might want to hurt you.
There even are studies indicating that the pressure on one's body — deep touch pressure stimulation — can increase the release of serotonin in the brain. This is the neurotransmitter that is sometimes called the "happy" chemical because it creates a sense of calm and well-being.
Also, the sheer weight discourages tossing and turning. If one lies still, one is more likely to fall to sleep. But lying still can be difficult if you're charged up with coffee and your mind is churning with tomorrow's to-do list ... or how you will get everything done by deadline.
So I've been enjoying my blanket, which weighs 15 pounds. The recommendation is to get one that's about 10 percent of your body weight. (OK, so mine's a little light ...)
In doing research, I found a Washington Post article from late 2018 that said that "if 2017 was the year of the Instant Pot, then 2018 is the year of the weighted blanket."
The article also explained that the original Gravity Blanket began with a Kickstarter campaign in 2017 and, in 2018, the company reported $16.5 million in sales.
The blankets cost from around $70 to $300 and are made by many different companies.
My husband would want nothing to do with a weighted blanket, as it would make him feel claustrophobic.
He teases me that the reason I like mine is because it reminds me of my childhood. The upstairs bedrooms of the farmhouse in which I grew up weren't very warm in winter, so we piled on the blankets until they became somewhat heavy.
People have asked me if the blanket is hot in the summertime. Yes, somewhat, but not terrible. I still use it. Sometimes I stick my feet out. Or my arms. Or both. Whatever, I like it. I even lugged back and forth into our motel rooms on vacation.