Do weighted blankets make a difference?

I don’t normally do product reviews on my blog. Actually, I don’t know that I’ve ever done one before. But, on January 1, I made a New Year’s Resolution that I was going to get myself a weighted blanket. Now that I have it, I want to talk about it.

This is a product review for the YNM Weighted Blanket.

YNM’s description of their blanket:

YnM is a premium-grade weighted blanket that helps relax your body by simulating the feeling of being held or hugged, making you fall asleep faster and sleep better throughout the night.

After years of research and practical application and learning from our countless customer feedbacks and reviews, the YnM R&D team achieved this fabulous 2.0 Weighted Blanket.

Sleep: 10/10
Price: 10/10
Quality: 10/10
Size: 6/10
Aesthetic: 6/10

SLEEP
As someone who suffers from anxiety, I can say without a doubt in my mind that this blanket has improved my sleep ten fold. I’m someone who tosses and turns in my sleep and frequently has bad dreams that wake me up. At times I can lay awake for hours on end feeling anxious with my mind racing a mile a minute. Sleeping an entire night through seems like the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest some nights. Since incorporating a weighted blanket into my night’s I’ve felt a lot calmer. I feel as though I am falling asleep easier and I’m staying asleep longer.

I’ll admit, when I read about these blankets online, I was worried that it was a gimmick. Which is partially why I wanted to test it for myself… I wanted to say ‘AH-HA! You’re lying!’ Truth is… they’re not lying. A weighted blanket feels a bit like sleeping in a cocoon. You feel safe and warm and comforted.

A weighted blanket won’t make your anxiety disappear, but it will help you sleep if you’re feeling anxious. It does help you feel comforted. It does help you feel warm and snug and cozy.

PRICE
I had put off testing one of these for a long time due to financial strain. They aren’t cheap, and given that they’re so heavy, a lot of companies that sell them charge astronomical shipping.

Recently, though, I stumbled upon the YNM Brand of weighted blankets on Amazon and they were on sale at the time. Instead of being $119 it was just $73. To me, this seemed like a reasonable price to test it out as a basic comforter would cost you at least $100 at Wal Mart. The extra benefit to ordering it off Amazon was that it had free shipping.

I strongly recommend looking for, or waiting for, a sale for weighted blankets. They can be quite pricey ($300+ and added shipping) if you just purchase the first one that comes up on google.

QUALITY
For $73, I continue to be thoroughly impressed with the quality of this blanket. It’s thick, the stitching is deep and each individual 4×4 square is measured evenly and reinforced to ensure there is no disproportionate weight distribution over time/use.

The fabric is cooling so it’ll be a nice sleep companion in any season, especially now in the heat of summer. All in all, it’s a very well made blanket.

The YNM quality information graphic explaining how the blankets are made.

SIZE
This is where I’m thoroughly confused about weighted blankets. I have a queen sized blanket on my full sized mattress (pictured here) and the blanket drapes over the side of the mattress with just enough length to cover the mattress (which makes my OCD happy). So, after measuring my mattress and the blanket that I have, I thought I would be safe to order a queen sized weighted blanket for my full sized bed. When the queen sized weighted blanket showed up, it only covered the top of my bed.

After doing some reading online, I see that a lot of people say that the weighted blanket is only supposed to cover the top of the mattress because the weight of the blanket can cause it to fall off either side of the bed if it drapes over the edges. Also, apparently the blanket is supposed to drape over you and not your bed.

So, I guess it’s supposed to be that way…

That being said, I did order a queen sized blanket for a full sized mattress and it fits the top of the mattress perfectly. So, keep the side discrepancy in mind when considering a weighted blanket from this brand as a queen size mattress is seven inches wider and five inches longer than a full size mattress.

AESTHETIC
It’s not pretty. It’s just not. If you’re someone who cares a lot about what your bedding looks like, you may want to do some hunting for appropriate covers or patterns on a weighted blanket. For me, I always intended to put the blanket underneath the blanket already on my bed, so I really didn’t care what it looked like. That being said, if you wish to only use the weighted blanket on your bed and nothing else, the basic grey is a little dull. I should also note that, as a weighted blanket, it’s prone to wrinkles. A lot of wrinkles. If that’s something that might bother you, I recommend getting a thin comforter or throw to put over top so you cannot see the wrinkles.

Overall Ranking: 7.5/10

Could it be better? Absolutely. In spite of what people online say, I do think it would be better if the blanket itself draped over the side of the mattress. The sizing could possibly just be an issue with the YNM brand of blanket I bought. It seems like it would be a little excessive to order a king sized blanket for a full sized mattress. Perhaps other brands don’t have the same issues. Definitely do your research.

Am I keeping it? Absolutely. It’s comforting. It makes me feel good when I lay down at night. I can look past the aesthetic and weird sizing, so it’s a great fit for me. For $73, I think it was well worth the money spent. And, I can completely see why so many people love these blankets.

A couple of noteworthy points:

  • A lot of websites state that the weight of the blanket you order should coincide with your body-weight. I ignored that recommendation. I ordered a fifteen pound blanket and I honestly don’t think I’d want one that’s any heavier. I don’t want to feel like I’m being smothered in my sleep.
  • Weighted blankets cannot be put in a traditional washing machine. So, either purchase a cover or do not let pets on your bed. Otherwise, your dry-cleaning bill will go way up.
  • If you’re worried your partner won’t like a weighted blanket, you can purchase a small one, such a twin-sized blanket and then use it on the bottom of your bed as a ‘throw’. Then when you’re feeling anxious you can pull it over you without disrupting your partner at all.

New Year’s Resolution to purchase a weighted blanket – done. And I’m glad that I did. I think I might buy one as a gift for my friends/family when birthdays and Christmas come around.

8:30 AM

How much did I sleep last night? Maybe an hour… tops.

I just can’t calm down. I’m not sure what’s going on. That’s a lie. I know what’s going on there’s just nothing that I can do to fix it right now. Sometimes shit hits the fan and you just have to wait for the storm to pass.

I’ve been working for two hours already and I’m exhausted. I feel like a zombie. There is not enough coffee in this world to get me through this week.

It’s going to be another long day. If I make it through this week I’m going to hibernate for the summer.

1:10 AM

I’ve been having panic attacks on and off for the past three hours.

I haven’t slept for three days. Not really. I’ve has small naps here and there but I haven’t been able to physically lay down and shut my eyes for any considerable length of time (longer than an hour).

The toll of not sleeping is deep. My mind is exhausted, my body is aching and I have this overarching pit in my stomach that is making it difficult for me to consume food.

I need to be up for work in five hours. Am I going to sleep tonight? I doubt it. Am I going to lay here anxiously trying to slow my brain down and massage my achy muscles for the next five hours? Well at least for the next four.

I don’t know what to do.

I really don’t.

Nothing is working.

I lay down with every intention of sleeping and life… it just fucking has other plans. I’m literally running myself ragged.

Do dreams mean anything?

For a few weeks now I’ve been dreaming, every night, that someone is trying to murder me. Whomever it is, they are never identified in any of my dreams, I just catch glimpses of the back of a head as they run, bike or drive away from the scene of the attempted murder…

Every dream I somehow manage to escape a tragic fate. I would suggest almost as though I’ve got nine lives but there’s definitely been more than nine dreams at this point.

Do I just watch too many cop shows? Are my dreams telling me I should open my eyes in case someone around me is trying to harm me? I’m really just speaking out loud here but it has been so bizarre. I don’t know. Maybe I’m just not handling stress well and this is my body telling me…

It’s almost Friday (a random assortment of thoughts)

As I write this I am watching three black bears across the road, down about three hundred feet from our yard, picking through the neighbours garbage.

You would think that living in a place this remote, people would know by this point that there are bears… that bears are awake during spring and summer and that their garbage should be kept behind their fence. Perhaps the neighbours just enjoy cleaning garbage that’s been torn up and tossed around their front yard. Yeah, that’s probably it.

Silly neighbours…

For lack of a smoother transition, British Columbia now has an official plan of action to reopen the economy, send kids back to school and define our new normal. The plan, slated to take place over the next eighteen months, is filled with holes, leaving people with more questions than answers, but at least it’s a plan at this point. The government isn’t haphazardly saying ‘open back up and pretend as though COVID never happened’. Because I know that’s definitely happening in a lot of places around the world.

What does that mean for travel?

I don’t know.

My brother invited me to Norway for Christmas. Does it make me a negative person if I don’t believe that international travel for leisure will be a thing by then? British Columbia isn’t planning for our tourism industry to reopen for a long time.

I have ALWAYS wanted to see Stavanger and the truly breathtaking surrounding region. But, I don’t think it’s worthwhile for my brother to sink his money into plane tickets for me when a trip like that is anything but certain in a COVID world.

I was talking about it with MarlaOnTheMove (she’s a fellow British Columbian) and honestly, the way I figure, we’re going to be in this province for the forseeable future. And, hearing how much she’s dealing with in trying to get refunds for her trips, I really don’t know if it’s worth it.

I’m so negative tonight. I know. I’m trying not to be. I just keep telling myself that I’m being realistic. And realistic, in a 2020 world is important right now.

On the subject of travel, did anyone else see the Axl Rose/Steve Mnuchin twitter spat? I know ya’ll are tired of hearing my opinions about politics, so I’ll just say that 2020 is whoah.

My anxiety has been pretty high this week. I’m doing what I can to cope but it’s been difficult. There’s just so much uncertainty that it’s hard to keep a calm frame of mind. I’m trying. But I’m also having troubles getting out of bed each day. I won’t lie about that.

Alright, that’s enough word vomit for tonight.

If you’ve read this, I hope you’re safe, healthy and sane. Sending best wishes from me and the bear sleuth.

Guest post: The monster that is anxiety

The following is a guest post written by Tiffany from the blog Ethereal Empathy.


When I was little I made friends with a monster.  She kept me company wherever I went, stayed with me as I grew, and often showed up when I needed a friend the most.  Even though she validated my feelings, was reliable, and was always there for me… it wasn’t healthy.  The truth of the matter was, this monster wanted to keep me for herself.  The only feelings she confirmed were those of fear, and her company never made me feel good about myself.

My monster friend kept me awake at night with her chatter, and convinced me to stay home when other friends invited me out.  She stripped me of my self-worth and confidence, and reminded me of how different I was from everyone else.  In that loneliness I accepted this monster, which we refer to as Anxiety.  After all, she appeared to know me so well. 

Perhaps I clung to Anxiety because she was familiar, or maybe it was because she wasn’t all bad, all the time.  This little monster helped me see potential threats and kept me aware.  The deep understanding of fear, that I had developed, helped me to relate with individuals who suffered similar stress. Still, I had become a prisoner of fear with no boundaries to keep my monster at bay.

“Without darkness nothing comes to birth, as without light nothing flowers.” – May Sarton

It was in my self-doubt that Anxiety held me captive.  I had trained my brain to jump to worse case scenarios and to see the prospective negatives of any given situation. Overwhelmed by uncertainty, and my lack of ability to concentrate, relax, or find calm, I struggled with each day.

My body had turned on me, with symptoms of illness, without ever having been truly sick.  Unexplainable pains and tension would come and go as they pleased.  There was no balance or predictability in the waves that rose and fell, and often times came upon me with no warning or explanation. 

Having a panic attack is much like swimming in deep waters during a storm.  It takes everything you are to keep your head above water, and sometime you get hit by the turbulent ocean which pulls you under.  It is a fight for air, for continued existence. 

I could not see what it looked like to thrive when my constant state of panic made basic survival a challenge.  The very thought of working as a productive member of society seemed impossible.  I looked into the dark chasm of the unknown, unable to find the light.  I saw consequence of failure instead of the potential growth that comes with experience.

Instead of trusting in my own capabilities I sought out healers and trusted individuals to fix me, but there was no cure for this.  No instant solution to repair the broken parts of myself.  Medication only numbed my soul, taking more away without giving enough of myself back.  Therapists were a constant reminder that to be whole I needed to dig deep to find answers within. 

How could I mend the fragmented pieces of me when I was incapable of believing in my own worth?  I couldn’t.  My monster never lied, exactly.  We all have a balance of light and dark inside of ourselves.  Where there is the potential for disaster there is also the potential for success.  What I hadn’t been able to see was the strength in both.

I would be naïve to believe that there are those out there without flaws. Everyone makes mistakes from time to time.  When dark times are upon us, and it feels as if they might destroy everything, we find that we are more resilient than we might think.  Living in the shadows of fear makes it hard to see.  Feeling as if we are alone is an illusion.     

Turns out the cost of not taking risks, and not believing in our own natural gifts, is much higher than the upward climb of facing the monster.  If the choice is to succumb to a life of worry and suffer a stagnant existence, or to battle a life gripped by fear for the chance of actually living…  I choose to face the unknown. 

Anxiety is not a true friend, but it is not my enemy either.  This alter ego, my anxious self, is debilitating but only has power if I give it.  I can use it as a crutch or I can learn her moods and motives, triggers and tastes, in order to respond appropriately.  What is so easy to forget is that we have the power to change the world, starting with our own being.

So I learned to consistently make course corrections along an unpredictable path.  Staying ahead of the waves when possible and bringing along a life preserve just in case the waters get the best of me.  Most importantly I discovered the importance of second guessing my own self-doubt. 

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.

The path is hard.  There are times I slip and fall, get scraped up along the way, have setbacks and face detours… but I keep moving forward.  That steep cliff edge that I started on has gotten easier, the journey less rocky.  Somewhere along the way I learned to trust myself and accept that I am capable and deserving of so much more.

Anxiety is still with me, she is my twin who is just looking out for my well-being and here to protect me.  Although misguided her intentions are good.  I accept her for what she is even though she cannot see the error of her ways.  It is my job to not let her define me or keep me from the life I deserve.

It is through this understanding that the light began to seep through and point me in a direction of confidence.  I found my balance and overcame obstacles I never thought possible before.  Instead of struggling each day to survive I learned how to thrive, to have a life that is mine, and meet my fears wisely. 

Anxiety is a sheep in wolf’s clothing, an innocent wearing the mask of a monster.  Although frightening she doesn’t decide your fate.  Her power over you is limited and only exasperated by your own insecurity.  Believe in yourself, trust your own intuition, and the gray clouds looming over will clear. 

There is hope, I am proof of that. 

“On particularly rough days, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100%, and that’s pretty good.”  – Unknown


Thank you to Tiffany from Ethereal Empathy for contributing such a thoughtful and honest post to #MillennialLifeCrisis. If you have the opportunity, I strongly recommend checking out Tiffany’s Blog. She is a ray of kindness and honesty in this crazy world and she brings a unique perspective to the blogging community that is the truest definition of one-of-a-kind.

Canadian Corona Diaries

A cashier coughed directly on me yesterday. He said ‘oh do you want your receipt’ stuck out his hand and then coughed all over me. I nearly lost my fucking mind. I was actually crying before I even made it out of the store. It wasn’t one of those ‘I have something in my throat’ coughs, it was one of those deep from the chest lung infection style dry coughs.

SERIOUSLY.

I understand that people need money right now. But in a current-pandemic world, if you have a cough that is that bad, why the fuck are you at work? Why the fuck is your boss letting you work? How am I, a stranger, supposed to know whether or not your cough is just a cough? And even if it is just a cough, it’s one hell of a bad cough, dude. He should not be around people right now. At all.

Today’s been hard.

I feel like the walls are caving in on me.

And, as I hear that there’s easily another month of quarantine ahead of us (probably more because… well… look at what’s happening in the USA), I’m feeling trapped.

I’m sad. I’m angry. I’m annoyed.

I have an ear infection, a horrendous headache and I would sell my soul for some chocolate and vodka right now.

Tensions are high in this household today. Actually, tensions are pretty high with everyone in my life lately. I’m just over here trying to stay quiet and be helpful and it doesn’t matter. Nothing really matters. They’re still beating up on me anyways. (Metaphorically. Not literally, thank god)

Nothing that I say is right.

Nothing that I do is right.

Why do I even try?

This is not a holiday

I need to rant. This might be all over the place but I just want it said. It’s okay to be upset, or angry or mad about what’s going on in the world. It’s also okay to not care, if you don’t want to.

I’ve seen this meme floating around the internet (as of late) that says ‘If you don’t use this time to teach yourself something new, you didn’t lack time you lacked discipline’. I cannot even begin to explain how frustrating I find this mentality.

This is a pandemic. This is not a holiday. This isn’t ‘free time’ so to speak. This is ‘stay the fuck home so that you save your’s and each other’s lives in the process’ time. This isn’t fun. And it’s not supposed to be.

You can drag me all you want. You can tell me that I’m looking at this from a negative perspective, but the truth is, I’m looking at this from a realistic perspective. This is a traumatic experience for a lot of people, if not for everyone.

To the lucky few who are able to work from home, you’re now navigating a whole new territory that involves learning how live/work in the same place. An environment without the help of your coworkers, or office technology, or any of the office luxuries you’ve grown accustomed to over the years. And, while you’re plugging away on that laptop, quite literally flying by the seat of your pants to try and maintain some form of functionality amid the chaos, there’s news stories saying work won’t resume until fall, there’s kids or partners or dogs in the background making a lot of noise and a world that just won’t seem to give you a break. And to the doctors and nurses, health care workers and hospital staff, care aids and everyone who is helping on the front line and working essential jobs (at grocery stores, etc..) there is no breaks. There’s no days off. There’s no reprieve from the painful struggle that is trying to keep the general public healthy.

To the unlucky rest, there’s no work. And there’s no way to find work. Postings for a cashier position in a grocery store in a small town in Northern BC are attracting 3,100 resumes/applications. I can’t even imagine how much higher the competition is to be a cashier in a metropolitan area. People want to work. They want to provide for themselves and their family members and they can’t. They’re at home worried about how their bills are going to be paid, how long the food in the cupboard will last and whether or not a guardian angel is going to drop dinner from the sky. And, while they’re worrying about money, mortgages and the basic necessities of survival, there’s news stories saying that they could be off work until the fall, or even early next year, and kids or partners or dogs in the background making a lot of noise and a world that just won’t seem to give a break.

To the really unlucky folk, work might have been the only time during the day that they had to escape their toxic home environment. It might have just been the only time they had away from their abusers. Now, not only are they being thrown into a stressful home environment that already existed for that much longer each day, but there’s the added financial and economic stresses of life adding to tensions in the household. And, while they’re worrying about how to make it through the day without having their body, mind or soul quite literally beat up on, there’s news stories saying that they could be stuck at home until the fall, or even later, trying their best to tip toe around the abuse and limit the things that might set off abusers.

And let’s not forget about the kids in this. The kids we’re trying to keep from being kids, because it’s their second-nature to hang out with their friends and ride their bikes or play basketball. These kids who’ve had their lives turned upside down who may, or may not, understand what’s going on right now.

EVERYONE has been impacted in this.

This is not the power hour. People don’t need to be made to feel guilty for staying in their pajamas, or sleeping in, or binge watching Netflix rather than cleaning their house. What we need to make each other feel less alone for the very real fear, frustration and panic we’re all facing. Every situation might be different but we need to show each other compassion and appreciation for the very basic struggle it takes to just be a functioning human at this point in time.

Do what you have to do to make yourself feel better. Do what you have to do to give yourself some grace. And encourage other’s to do that as well.

If you’re someone who wants to teach yourself something new, great. Teach yourself something new. Learn that stuff, whatever it is. Go hard! But also, recognize this is your means of coping. This is not how everyone copes and you do not have the right to make someone else feel bad if they’re not doing the same as you.

The more ‘Productive things you can do from home’ lists and videos I view, the more I think people really don’t understand the concept of productivity guilt. There’s a big difference between choosing to be productive yourself and choosing to make other’s feel bad for not doing what you do. Nobody needs to be made to feel guilty because of how they’re acting, or reacting, to the present state of the world.

Some people cope by sleeping in. Some people cope by not getting dressed. Some people copy by eating four pieces of cheesecake in one sitting and they do not need to be made to feel ashamed for any amount of weight that might be put on because they’re not going to the gym right now. Home workouts aren’t for everyone. The very long winded point that I am trying to make right now is that everyone copes differently.

However you’re handling this pandemic, this social isolation, this extremely unstable time in history, give yourself grace. Give others grace. Check in on people. See how they’re holding up.If you need to cry, cry. Cry with each other. Be vulnerable. Or don’t. Just remember that we might all be going through this together, but we all deserve the right to cope/handle this how we want.