I don’t sleep well.
I mean, I sleep okay.
You may be able to relate. I fall asleep when I lay down and sleep through the night. But I don’t dream and am usually exhausted every morning no matter how much sleep I get.
I’m still recovering from adrenal fatigue, which I’ve talked about before. But while I’m getting healthy, I wanted to find a way to improve my sleep (which in turn will help my stress levels and exhaustion). And frankly, I’m tired of being tired. You feel me?
This was really a passive search until I realized that I was grinding my teeth in my sleep. To the point that the noise and pressure of my back teeth grinding would wake me up in the middle of the night. Not good.
But actually, it’s worse.
I realized that I had even put tiny chips in my very back teeth as a result. (Which now results in me running my tongue over the rough patches all day and stressing about that — not helping the whole “reducing stress” thing!)
That was my wakeup call. I panicked and spent an hour looking at my teeth in the mirror. And then went down the rabbit hole of how to improve sleep and relax the teeth grinding.
I came across several ideas that I’ve been using to improve my sleep, but today I want to talk about one that’s probably lesser known.
I’m not the only one.
And neither are you.
Sleep issues are a huge problem. Insomnia, tossing and turning, waking up after 4 hours, tiredness. Sound familiar?
In fact, 50-70 million Americans are medically diagnosed with a sleep disorder .
There are a variety of options out there for dealing with sleep. Melatonin pills are probably the most popular (I didn’t actually look it up, but if it’s not the most used, it’s close to the top of the list I’m sure).
If you’ve been following me for a while, you probably already know that I’m not a fan of popping pills anyway. I prefer more natural ways of getting and staying healthy. Ways that are more permanent and lasting for long term health, not just a quick fix patch for symptoms of an underlying cause.
So when I came across this solution, my mind basically exploded.
Thank you, Whitney Cummings
I was listening to Whitney Cummings talk about her battle with mental health and codependency on The Tim Ferriss Show podcast.
One of the questions he typically asks his guests is to name the best purchase under $100 they’ve made recently. She said “a weighted blanket”.
And I said (in my head) “YES!” Why hadn’t I thought of this?
I’d heard of weighted blankets before, but never really looked into them. A weighted blanket is typically 10-30 lbs. It uses “deep pressure touch simulation” to increase serotonin production and move your nervous system out of fight-or-flight to rest-and-restore . In other words, it’s basically like getting a big, warm hug all night long.
I jumped on Amazon and immediately ordered a 20 lb blanket hoping it would be $84 well spent. (I’ve read that 7-10% of your body weight is a good blanket weight, but I like sleeping under lots of blankets because of the weight so I went heavier.)
My Weighted Blanket Experience
As of this writing, it’s been 3 weeks of sleeping with a weighted blanket every night (and usually hauling it to the couch to snuggle under while I work).
The very first night I felt a difference.
I had the best sleep I could remember in a looooong time. And since then, it’s stayed good. I’m sleeping deeper and actually dreaming. And somehow, I’m tolerating getting less sleep than I need to be getting during the week.
I love my blanket. I never want to sleep without it again.
Absolutely, I would recommend considering a weighted blanket if you want another tool in your natural health arsenal.
It’s still early into my weighted blanket sleep experiment. I’ll post an update later to let you know how things are going in the long term.
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P.S. – If you’re interested in natural health, I have a free 4-part series of short guided meditations. One of which is for sleep! Just drop your email address below.