Hear me out, I swear I'm not trying to bring about the formation of Better Homes and Gardens: Lightfighter edition......although....
Anyway: I've had issues sleeping for quite some time. When I was on midnights, I would sleep 12 hours a day and still be tired. Lately, working both days and nights, I started finding myself struggling with sleep again. I could sleep a lot, but the quality sucked. I was always tired.
I know some of the route causes are issues and home and anxiety/PTS related but I'm not to the point where it's effected daily life and I'm no where near ready for meds, so I started looking at how do I improve my sleep. Some of the best sleep I've gotten was when I was in the academy (residential), partly because I was exhausted but also (I realized) because of how cold it was and I was sleeping under 2-3 wool blankets. Weight! It was the weight!!
My ah-ha moment was when I realized how much better I slept on a couch because of how it "sucked me in" and made me feel really supported. My wife and I started researching weighted blankets after some random adds on book-face and read some impressive testimonials. For Christmas, the wife hooked me up with a 20 pound weighted blanket from Bed Bath and Beyond simply labeled as "therapeutic weighted blanket."
The blanket has a soft, fleece type outer shell and has and interior with sand-ish filled baffles that provide the weight. This week, being on night shift, I gave the blanket a whirl. In total, I've used the blanket 4 times: twice on a sofa, once on a futon and once in my bed at home.
First, the quality of sleep has been UN-FUCKING-BELIEABLE. The first night I slept for 5 hours and woke up feeling like I had slept for a solid 9. I actually had time to go back to sleep, so I did. All told, I sacked 9 hours of super quality sleep. I had energy to come home and do stuff! The second night was much the same and the third night (my bed at home) I sacked 7 uninterrupted hours of sleep. Last night at work I got 8 with no interruptions and came home without needing a nap.
Besides uninterrupted sleep, I've noticed an almost absence of any tossing and turning to get comfortable. Additionally, I was usually good for one fucked up dream every night or two and so far I haven't had any.
The best way to describe the feeling of the blanket is that it's almost like a seatbelt in a car, in that I feel like I'm part of the bed and not just lying on it. Kind of like a system if you will. I can still move around if need be, my breathing isn't impacted and I haven't woken up freaking out from the restriction yet.
I'm not saying this thing is magic, but in a world where a lot of us in Police/Fire/EMS/Military are dealing with limited sleep time and sleep issues, this so far has proven to be an amazing solution to my sleep issues. I'm hoping this trend continues.