5 Ways to Use the Gravity Blanket for Better Sleep
There's a reason why the crowdsourced-approved Gravity Blanket fits only one person. You won't want to share.
It's true. We conducted an official experiment at the peril of this editor's own relationship. The 72" x 48" weighted blanket uses pressure point technology to reduce anxiety and improve sleep. The microfiber duvet covers BPA-free micro beads that simulate a snuggly hug and stimulate an increase in serotonin and melatonin -- our "calming" hormones. Guided stitching keeps the beads uniformly in place throughout any tossing and turning.
Why would we want that snatched away in the middle of the night by a well-meaning loved one with chilly toes?
“It’s this notion that having between 7 to 12 percent of your body weight resting on top of you increases serotonin and decreases cortisol [the 'stress' hormone]. That’s the general premise that we took,” Mike Grillo, Gravity Blanket’s managing director told Wired.
Since lack of sleep may lead to many physical and mental ailments (weight gain; reduced libido; an elevated risk of stroke, heart disease and Alzheimer's), we hogged the Gravity Blanket to ourselves -- in the name of science, we promise -- and came up with 5 ways to use it, all day and all night long.
1. Pull up.
Ever want to pull up the covers and stay in bed? Please do so. We've posted about our collective lack of rest before -- some 50-70 million adults in the US have chronic sleep and wakefulness disorders, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention -- and approximately 15,000 of us raised $3 million in a Kickstarter campaign to get this simple yet luxurious solution.
To induce a deep sleep for insomnia, especially, lay yourself flat on your back with your feet right next to each other, and allow the Gravity Blanket to gently tuck itself around you. Pull the cover all the way up to underneath your chin and cross your hands at your sternum. You'll either feel like a vampire, or like you're in a heart-centering savasana. Either way, you're about nama-slay your sleep.
If you're struggling with a form of PTSD that makes savasana -- a.k.a "corpse pose" -- a trigger, pull the blanket up to your chest and tuck it underneath your arms. You may also consider scrunching it up some so that your feet are free.
To add a bit of ease to your day, sit tall against a wall, chair or couch and lay the blanket over your legs. The bit of pressure brings relief to the hip flexors and it keeps you warm and cozy as you read, watch the tele, or telework from your laptop.
Fold it over once (short end-to-short end) for added weight. The Gravity is available in 15, 20, and 25 lbs.
To improve your meditation, wrap the blanket around your shoulders and sit with intention. Cross your legs, gently reach the crown of your head upwards, lengthen the spine, and lift the sternum. Roll your shoulders back (be sure the blanket is draped securely), and center the chin so that the back of the neck softens. You'll find every muscular quirk in your back with the added weight, and you'll have the opportunity to build strength without even getting dressed for the gym.
Remove the blanket from your shoulders for the final minutes of the meditation. Imagine the enlightenment you'll feel.
4. Double up.
To bring relief to the legs, fold the blanket over and lay it across your lower limbs, while you lay flat on your back. This is ideal for a quick nap as your feet and torso will be exposed. That touch of coolness in your mini sleep session brings your body to a more sound rest.
If you feel a tugging sensation at the back of your legs from the weight near your feet, place a pillow beneath the knees.
For back pain, lay the blanket across your torso, while you lay on your belly. Remember, this is not ideal for a full night's sleep, as only 7 - 12 percent of your body weight is recommended for the weight of the blanket. Limbs may fall asleep with hours of too much pressure.
Okay, so it's quite possible to spoon with a loved-one for a moment underneath the blanket, but then they'll have to kindly roll themselves out of the way.
Word is there's plans to develop larger comforters, meanwhile, however, curling up in the fetus position for a solo cuddle underneath the Gravity is the perfect form of throwing an adult tantrum.
It's romantic because it's like bae's still hugging you, even when s/he's not.