'The one item I swear by when I’m having trouble sleeping’

It's cheesy but true: I always fall asleep faster with the weight of my boyfriend's arm around me.

Weighted blanket.

It's cheesy but true: I always fall asleep faster with the weight of my boyfriend's arm around me. But since that's not really a fair thing to regularly demand, I did some research, and decided to experiment with a weighted blanket instead.

I'd heard that weighted blankets were widely used to help kids with sensory disorders and autism relax and fall asleep, and when I looked into it, I found some small studies that found these blankets could also help adults reduce anxiety and insomnia.

The idea: The pressure (which can range from four to 24 pounds) may trigger your brain to release calming neurotransmitters—kinda like when you get hugged.

]I was surprised at how well mine worked to help me fall asleep, even on nights when my mind was racing. When I tell people about it, some have an immediate "I need this in my life!" reaction, but others think it has to be a placebo effect.

"There are no large, peer-reviewed studies on the topic, but just like mattress and pillow firmness, a certain type of blanket may help some people sleep better," says Nathaniel Watson, M.D., a neurologist and sleep specialist at the University of Washington.

As for me, I'm convinced that my heavy blanket has helped me sleep, and I've heard the same sentiment from other people who've tried them. Most people I know have some sort of anxiety or trouble sleeping. My hunch? Weighted blankets are about to go mainstream.

Want to give one a go? I suggest the Magic Blanket ($70-$269, magicweightedblanket.com).

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