Sleep. We love it. We need it. It is such a big part of our existence that we spend one third of our lives doing it.
Sleep represents a time to relax and recharge. A time to do absolutely nothing but dream. For most, sleeping requires little to no effort. It is an innate skill that was acquired at birth.
For the rest of us that have experienced insomnia, chronic stress, and night anxiety, this is not the case. Sleep is a frustrating challenge that requires effort. So. Much. Effort.
We wrestle with trying to sleep, anxiety that keeps us awake, anxiety over the anxiety that keeps us awake, the anxiety from no sleep, and the following day of sleep deprivation.
We feel tired, look tired, and receive the inevitable comment, “you look so tired.” Cue more anxiety and more insomnia. As you can guess, the cycle continues.
It was during one of these fine evenings of sleep deprivation, when my brain decided to rehash something from 10 years ago while throwing an all-night dance marathon, that I searched for sleep solutions. I stumbled upon the Gravity Blanket. I poked around their website and liked what I saw. After extensive research, I placed my order. If you’re like me, you’re probably asking yourself one of the following:
- Gravity Blanket?
- Did they use it in the movie?
- Will I make like George Clooney and float away into space?
All three of these are valid questions.
- We’ll get into that after we talk about sleep deprivation.
- They did not, although this is not confirmed.
- It will make you float away into sleep space.
Effects of Sleep Deprivation
Sleep deprivation affects our physical, emotional, and cognitive wellbeing.
- Weakened immune system
- Weight gain
- Decreased sex drive
- Poor balance
- Increased blood pressure
- Risk of heart disease and diabetes
- Lack of coordination
- Mood swings
- Panic attacks
- Quick tempered
- Decreased motivation
- Memory loss (long and short term)
- Poor concentration
- Mental fog
- Delayed responses
- Decreased problem solving skills
- Reduced creativity
Causes of Sleep Deprivation
- Sleep disorder
- Mental stimulation (social media, phones, computers)
- Environmental changes (temperature, travel, noise)
- Work schedule
- Stimulants before bed
Solutions to Sleep Deprivation
There are many holistic practices that can help with sleep deprivation, depending on the cause. It is trial and error to find what works for you.
- Weighted blankets (Gravity Blankets)
- Essential oils designed for relaxation, sleep, and ease.
- Improve sleep environment
- Binaural beats
- Ambient sound
- Removing electronics one hour before going to bed
- Eliminating caffeine after 4pm
- Stress relief practices such as yoga and meditation
The Gravity Blanket is a weighted blanket that is about 10% of your body weight. It uses proprioceptive input, or deep touch pressure stimulation, to activate pressure points on the body. These points are connected to relaxation, mood enhancement, and better sleep. The Gravity Blanket simulates being hugged or held. This can increase the release the hormones responsible for sleep and relaxation, melatonin and serotonin, and decrease cortisol levels.
Who Can Use a Gravity Blanket?
Anyone can benefit from a Gravity Blanket. Whether you seek a deeper sleep or battle insomnia and anxiety, a Gravity Blanket can improve the quality of your sleep. Even my dogs nestle in the blanket during storms (or during a regular night because they wear the pants).
The blankets come in several sizes that are determined by weight. The Gravity Blanket website makes it easy to identify the right size for you.
Gravity and Travel
Travel throws off your sleep. Work trips, adventures, and time change all affect sleep patterns. Throw in jetlag and you’re really off the wagon. This is when an evening bedtime ritual is beneficial. This ritual can go with you on your travels.
Gravity makes a weighted eye mask that can be integrated into your evening routine while traveling. The mask is travel friendly and incorporates the same proprioceptive input on the face.
You might not travel with the blanket, but it’s a great tool to include in your home routine. The Gravity Blanket can be one of the best things to get you back on track when you return.
If you are no stranger to staring at the ceiling at 3am, give the Gravity Blanket a run. It has dramatically changed my sleep health (drifting off like George) and as a result, improved my life. In conjunction with Mental Health Month, Gravity will make a donation with each purchase to the National Alliance in Mental Illness. Make a difference in your health and the health of others.
Use code THEELECTRICSOUL for 15% off your purchase. Let us know what you think of your blanket. Drop us an email or tag us on Instagram.