E gave me a weighted blanket as a holiday gift.
I am the kind of person who likes to burrow under a mountain of blankets to go to sleep. Maybe with some other stuff piled on top – like my laptop on my chest and the contents of several laundry baskets scattered on top of the blankets. That’s a difficult sleep tableau to maintain – it’s given to tangles and things falling off the bed.
(It also means I like to sleep where it is COLD, because I’m going to pull something across my body regardless of the temperature.)
Enter the relatively-recent trend of weighted blankets. They went from a niche product for people with anxiety or serious sleeping problems to something you can find in every home goods store. Sometimes you can even choose between multiple brands and weights!
I’m not sure how exactly they went from nice treatment to retail seller, but every time I’d see or hear about them I’d think, “Huh, maybe I’m piling all of that stuff on top of me not for warmth but for the weight of it.”
Thus, my holiday gift. It is 10 kilograms – 22 pounds! That’s much more than the recommended amount for my size and weight, but I believe my request was, “I want to feel crushed as flat as a pancake and E really delivered. And, let me tell you, 10kg isn’t necessarily a heavy weight to lift as a barbell or even a wriggling baby, but 10kg spread out across a queen-sized blanket? That is hard to wrangle. Think of all the ways you casually toss or fold a blanket over the course of making your bed or slipping beneath it to go to sleep.
Not with this fat mama. It ain’t going anywhere it doesn’t want to go.
When I emerged from my first night of sound sleep with it, I declared that I felt well-rested and “completely flattened.”
All seemed to be well and good for the first few weeks of our relationship. Then, I noticed that I wasn’t getting up as early in the morning, despite it being the height of summer here in New Zealand. I’m used to popping up before my alarm goes off, especially if I leave my curtains cracked. Now, I was sleeping right up to my alarm – and, if I somehow managed to turn it off or it came unplugged I could sleep the whole morning away. I lost that ability when I became a parent nearly a decade ago!
You see, my weighted blanket is hungry. Hungry to do its job. Hungry for companionship. Hungry to crush something beneath its velvety grey expanse.
It’s not even exclusively hungry for me. I noticed this a few weeks ago when my beloved Blogger.com t-shirt went missing. I was sure I had set it out just before a shower, but when I returned it was gone. I searched high and low for it for days to no avail… only to find it nearly a week later within one of the folds of my blanket!
I’m not saying the blanket is sentient. Not necessarily. I’m saying if you take a large floppy thing like a blanket and give it weight, it starts acting like a prehensile tail or the arm of an octopus. If the edge of it drags across the floor, it actually GRABS THINGS as it goes. And, if you give it a solid yank to fold it or flip it as you would with a normal blanket, it’ll curl around whatever it can grab a hold of and swallow it up in its folds.
T-Shirts. Headphones. Pencils. Your entire waking life. All devoured by a ravenous 10kg beast dangling innocently off of one side of your bed.
Maybe this is why the blankets come with weight recommendations. Maybe it’s not about the blanket being too heavy for my delicate frame. Maybe I’m just not enough to satiate it. Maybe if I had asked for a lighter blanket it wouldn’t wake up hungry in the morning and try to swallow anything I placed in hem’s reach.
Maybe so. But… I’m sleeping so well.