SensaCalm Weighted Blankets

When I was approached by my friend, Donna, to consider reviewing the weighted blankets she sells, I readily agreed. I’m not the habit of reviewing products or services on this site, but what she didn’t realize is that I have a 14 year old who really struggles to fall and stay asleep. He has a busy brain and will lay awake at night trying to quiet his thoughts. Even when he manages to fall asleep quickly, he often wakes up during the night and struggles to fall asleep all over again.

Granted, there are a lot of reasons this happens and there are many ways to treat it. Short of giving him sleep medication every night, I’ve tried a lot of things! Yet, I never considered a weighted blanket. Prior to researching SensaCalm, my knowledge of weighted blankets was that they were for kids with autism and/or ADHD who struggle with sleep. It didn’t occur to me that general insomnia and restlessness might be mitigated with a weighted blanket.

Similar to being swaddled like an infant, weighted blankets are said to trigger pressure points in the body and release serotonin, which has a calming effect. For those who wrestle with anxiety and have disrupted sleep as a result, I can see the benefits to using a weighted blanket at night.

When the blankets arrived the boys were immediately excited. They were heavier than I expected, but as soon as I’d unpacked them and laid them across Jeremy and Jackson’s bodies, they were giddy. They said it felt as if they were being hugged. They actually couldn’t wait to go to bed that night to see what it felt like to sleep under their new blankets.

The first night was a challenge! It took some getting used to, particularly since the blanket is not over-sized. They aren’t meant to cover the size of the bed but rather cover the size of your body. A couple of times their blankets fell to the ground, so they had to pull them back up and readjust.

However, that was the only hurdle. After a month of use, both boys say they are falling asleep more quickly and staying asleep more easily. They love feeling “hugged” by their blankets.

The twin-size, 13-pound blankets are made up of a grid of pockets with pellets inside as weight. Covering the blanket is a soft “cuddle” fleece that adds even more warmth and comfort.

The duvet is held in place by strategically-placed snaps. That’s handy for washing!

Ultimately the blankets are a success! And while the traditional weighted blankets aren’t travel-friendly, small lap-size blankets might do the trick.

“I’m sorry I have no good news.”

This is how our veterinarian began the conversation. For the second time, Salem is being hospitalized for being unable to urinate. Common in male cats, the muscles of the urethra spasm and constrict, making it impossible for him to relieve himself, which, if left alone, would kill him.

Why is this happening, you ask? The first time there were crystals found in his bladder, which helped create the obstruction along with the muscle spasms. He spent three days at the vet sedated with a catheter. This was the week before Christmas. He came home with two types of muscle relaxers and a special diet.

Then, Monday night, I found him in the bathroom sink trying to pee, the same behavior he exhibited in December when the urethra was completely closed. Bizarre behavior. A sign of desperation.

Sure enough, the urethra was locked shut because of a spasm so he hasn’t urinated in nearly two days. Salem will spend another three days at the vet sedated with a catheter.

When I asked why this happened again, the doctor said it might be because of stress.

I am so tempted to argue that remark and echo what Chuck said last night, “What in the world does that cat have to be stressed about?”

My reply, in a word, “Major.”

No, they do not get along. It used to be that they tolerated each other, ignored one another, and kept to themselves. But Major has grown bolder this year, challenging Salem with a keen eye and pointed stance when he walks by. This prodding results in Salem hissing, running away, and retreating to a spot where Major can’t reach him.

Only late at night can the two lay on either side of me, resolving to share my attention.

But I’m not sure his stress stops there. If it’s true that our animals and children sense negative energy in the house, that they will siphon it and project it in their own behavior, then I am just as guilty as Major for causing stress in this house.

worryI am so nervous and high strung that little invisible stress-filled balls of anxiety escape my body at random, swirl around each room of my house, and supplant themselves in people and pets. It’s true that women have the power to set the mood of the house, and in this house of all men, I’ve created so such apprehension that even the cat can’t pee.

I’m not making light of it, and I’m sure I’m not alone. Anxiety is why I can’t sleep, why my stomach is upset so often, why I get headaches, why I snap at the boys, why my shoulders are up to my ears even now. I take medication, I exercise, I eat mostly well. I’m not sure what else to do. There is no switch to turn off my brain.

Salem will stay at the vet for the rest of the week. Hopefully I can bring him home on Saturday. It will cost an obscene amount of money and he will be on medication the rest of his life.

And if we can’t get a handle on this, then that’s another story altogether.