Sleep Solutions

Sleep issues seem to be a common problem with writers. I guess it’s because we have trouble shutting off our brains. Lying in a dark room with no distractions and nothing to do is the perfect opportunity to work out those thorny plot problems, according to our brains. I’ve been experimenting with ways to help me sleep better, and my latest discovery may have done the trick.

I found a weighted blanket on sale at Tuesday Morning and thought I’d give it a shot. I’d done some reading about these, which are supposed to help ease anxiety and make you feel more secure for better rest. They were originally developed to help children with autism. In a way, they’re like swaddling or like a thundershirt for pets, using close pressure that’s like a hug to ease tension. I noticed how much better I was sleeping when it got cool enough to put the comforter on the bed, and I remembered that I used to put my sleeping bag on top of the comforter to give myself more warmth and weight, so when I saw this blanket at a reasonable price, I thought I’d give it a try.

It was hard to judge at first, since I got it last week when I was going to that conference, so I had all the little “will I get up in time to catch the train?” worries. It was really cold, and I must say that the super-snug blanket made it even harder to get out of bed on a cold morning.

But the last two nights have been some of the best sleep I’ve had in ages. I don’t remember doing my usual 3 a.m. wake up. When I wake during the night, it’s just to roll over, glance at the clock, and go right back to sleep rather than lying there awake and thinking for a while. I don’t know if it’s the blanket or just that I was tired.

The blanket I got is smaller, more of a throw, and I did use it one night when watching TV. For a change, I just sat there and watched rather than getting sidetracked and going online or doing other stuff like that. Again, I don’t know if it’s the blanket or if I was actually engaged in what I was watching. It’s also nice for reading.

Of course, the down side may be that this is going to be yet another thing that makes sleeping away from home difficult. I already have the issue of flat beds now that I’m used to my adjustable bed, and now I’m going to feel exposed when I don’t have twelve pounds of blanket lying on me. I’m not sure what I’ll do for the summer. I’m considering sewing some kind of weights to my knitted lace blanket to give me some weight without warmth.

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