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June 20, 2013 11:22 AM   Subscribe

Weighted blanket: good idea, or recipe for pickier sleep habits? This special snowflake travels a lot for work, has dust mite allergies, and dehydrates easily during sleep.

Ever since reading about weighted blankets on MeFi I've been fantasizing about getting one. But I travel often for work, try to travel light, and I'm worried about having a weighted blanket at home will make it harder for me to fall asleep on the road, so I've never gotten one, even though I really enjoyed being in Michigan all winter with blankets piled up against the cold.

But now I'm in NYC for the summer, and trying to sleep with just a sheet on top of me feels like torture, regardless of the temperature. Seriously, last night I was exhausted from cross-country travel, SO TIRED, and tossing and turning until 3AM, at which point I grabbed the comforter, because waking up hot and dehydrated at 6AM is better than not falling asleep at all. So I'm wondering: is it time to bite the bullet and purchase a weighted blanket? Or is there something else I could get that adds weight but not heat? Or should I tough it out and try to sleep only with the sheet for longer, in hopes of retraining my body to not freak out so much about the new sensations while falling asleep?

P.S.: I'm allergic to dust mites, so all bedding-related solutions should be able to be washed/dried at high temperatures.
posted by deludingmyself to Health & Fitness (6 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Does it have to be a specially weighted one? What about swaddling yourself to an extent? That works for me when I can't use "my" blanket.

I have a small child size comforter style blanket that folds up small (and can be packed for travelling in a travel space bag). It's probably just the right length to cover me ankles to neck if I lay flat (I sleep on my side). It's made of a heavier tightly woven mostly cotton fabric.

Additionally, I have a small fan; the combo keeps me cool but not too cool, warm but not too warm, slightly weighted, and gives me a bit of white noise.
posted by tilde at 11:31 AM on June 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

Try to keep your palms and soles out of the blankets, whatever you do - it really helps regulate your body temperature and avoid night sweats (implied by the research, I think, and it works well for me, anecdotally).

Here's another thread on avoiding them.
posted by IAmBroom at 11:39 AM on June 20, 2013

I'm really pleased with my wool comforter. It adds a lot of weight without being stifflingly hot. It worked great (with an additional blanket) keeping me warm in the winter when it was often 55° or below in my room, and I'm still sleeping with it in the early summer.

I also have dust-mite allergy. Wool is supposed to be better than down from a dustmite point of view because it is drier than down. I keep a washable cover on it, but no dustmite-proof encasement. It's not poofy like a down comforter, and you don't have to worry about crushing the feathers, so it might be easier to travel with (if you're talking about car travel where you could throw it in the trunk... I wouldn't want to take it on a plane, probably).
posted by BrashTech at 1:40 PM on June 20, 2013

I love sleeping under a lot of blankets and feel that I am more or less like you. My solution is to travel normally and spend the time/effort to keep the temperature of the room I am in decently low. And ask for more blankets at hotels. And turn on the AC. More blankets (especially something that is heavy yet won't heat you up like a larger down comforter) in a chillier room are often okay for me. A few other things I like

- sleeping bags! easy to travel with and give you that swaddled feeling and come in lighter weights
- hoodie! I like sleeping in a big sweatshirt with the hood over my head.
- snug pajamas! Same thing, sometimes wearing layers can work even if I'm not under a lot of blankets
- pillows! I sleep between two pillows which keeps me feeling sort of tucked in without being under heavy blankets
- fans! Keeps me burrowing under the blankets. ceiling fans are especially good

I, too, have looked into weighted blankets and found that they would be expensive and I wasn't really sure that they wouldn't be hot also. I wish you luck, I am like you I wouldn't be able to sleep under just a sheet no matter how hot it was.
posted by jessamyn at 2:23 PM on June 20, 2013

An unlined long coat on top of the sheet can be nice, and doesn't have to fit in your carry on.
posted by yohko at 11:22 PM on June 20, 2013

You could try a large beach towel (not a bath towel because they tend to be thicker and also because beach towels tend to come in large sizes. Though if you can find one that's large enough and thin enough, that might be better since beach towels usually have one side that's smoother than the other, and that might cut down the breatheability a bit.)

Blankets made with terry cloth type materials are pretty common in China for summers since they breathe well but still has that weightiness you like. Maybe you can hit up a few Chinese shops to see if they stock them or order online? (This is what I'm talking about. I couldn't really find an English seller, which is why I suggested the beach towel instead).
posted by fallsauce at 8:11 AM on June 21, 2013

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