October 16: Five hours 13 minutes

I’ve been wanting to write about my new weighted blanket for several days now, but haven’t been able to get up. Now I have managed to extricate myself from its loving embrace to bash out a few paragraphs.

Please read on if you are not horrified by the above unflattering (obviously non-professional) picture where I am cunningly disguised as an armchair.

So, weighted blankets have been a Thing in the States for a while now. They are being marketed as an aid to anything from insomnia to anxiety, ADHD, and even for children with autism or Asperger’s. The blurb from Mela Comfort, who kindly send me their product to try, is that it’s: ‘designed to be warm and to provide pressure to a person, mimicking the feeling of being held or hugged.’ The scientific jargon is that weighted blankets work through imitating ‘Deep Touch Pressure’ (DTP).

When Mela arrived last week arrived last week, the postman did not look best pleased.

This is because it weighs 15lbs, and that’s without the packaging. (The model I had is ‘lined with evenly distributed weight in the form of hypoallergic and SGS-certified glass pellets’).

I then had to schlap the blanket up the stairs, which was no easy feat. We stood there looking at one another for a while. Eventually, I hauled it out of the box, went back to my chair, dragging it behind me like Linus out of Peanuts. I sat back the armchair where I generally work (see above) with the blanket draped over my knees, like a crazy old lady.

I immediately felt calmer!

It had been a stressful day with a demanding magazine editor and a piece on tight deadline for a newspaper. But the weight of the blanket immediately made me relax. I shuffled onto the floor and (with a small struggle) pulled it up to my neck.

The best way to describe it to recall the feeling I had as a small child, tucked tightly into bed – so tightly I could hardly move – after a bath and a bedtime story, secure and loved. I wouldn’t say I am a particularly anxious person these days, but I definitely felt less ‘wound up’ under my blankie.

I needed a friend to help me put on the cover, which is made of soft, brushed, silver, ‘minky polyester: (‘minky’, anyone?) And so, the next night, I decided to try it for sleep – after all, insomnia is my raison d’être. I manhandled it onto the bed.

It looked nice, though significantly smaller than my kingsize duvet.

That tucked in toddler feeling was immediate. But on top of my duvet, it was too hot: without it, not quite warm enough (the size may have had something to do with it). In the end, I compromised, and draped it over my legs.

I slept slightly longer than average that night (maybe 20 minutes on top of my usual five hours). But no radical difference. Perhaps I needed to persevere a bit longer.

There’s no doubt I will take Mela for another spin in the bedroom. Many people have said and written that weighted blankets have transformed their sleeping patterns, helping them to drop off and say asleep for longer. And that’s fantastic.

For me, however, it’s during the day that I really love it. Not all day – there are times when I need to feel energised and even ‘wired’ to write. But certainly during my mid-afternoon slumps and ‘after work’, where I’m sending emails, chatting on the phone and watching TV.


£124.99 from melacomfort.co.uk: @melacomfort

More reasonable options include the YnM Weighted Blanket (£99) and the Koala (also £99). John Lewis do a version for sixty quid.

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