Forget the warm cup of milk and Benadryl to fall asleep, invest in a weighted blanket now.
A couple of years ago, I saw an advertisement on Amazon for a weighted blanket. A lover of blankets, I clicked on the ad and opened up the link to a variety of different weighted blankets, which are blanks which consist of heavy material which causes the blanket to weigh up to 25 pounds. I was intrigued, but my bank account wasn't. Weighted blankets can be expensive, the one I ended up buying cost $75 after shipping. Although now I don't regret my decision, at the time you couldn't have paid me enough to pay that much money for a blanket.
As the years went on, I continued to see ads about these weighted blankets. Despite sounding interesting the first time I read about them, I didn't fully understand their purpose. There's a lot of physiological science behind how weighted blankets work, but basically, the weight of them on one's body releases serotonin, a relaxation neurotransmitter, which makes it easier to fall asleep, or feel comforted in general.
After I got home from college this summer, I had a lot of anxiety. The medication that I was taking for it seemed to stop working, and I had a million things on my mind: summer classes, work, family, and a plethora of other days to day tasks that needed to be accomplished. At night, I found myself worrying and consequently not being able to fall asleep. Sleeping pills only did so much, and I didn't want to have to rely on pills every day if I didn't need them. I returned to the internet to read reviews about weighted blankets, and how to get the cheapest one.
I ended up ordering one from Amazon. I was able to pick the color and the weight of the blanket, which I chose a 20 lb, black weighted blanket. After it arrived and a vicious fight with the box to get it upstairs to my room (they really are heavy), I slept with it that night. It made me feel like I was being given a consistent hug, for eight hours straight; I fell asleep easily that night.
Does it work? Yes. One month into having my weighted blanket, I can honestly say I have fallen asleep faster and stayed asleep longer with this blanket. Some nights, when I'm really anxious and having trouble falling and/or staying asleep, I fold the blanket in half, so that there's double weight (about 40 lbs) resting on my body at once because I love the pressure of it, but not everyone does. On Amazon, they sell weighted blankets starting off at 5 lbs though, since not everyone (especially younger or older people) can handle all that weight.
Was it worth the price? Personally, I definitely think so. A $75 blanket that will last me years, while also helping me stay warm and sleep, seems like a good investment. Although, buying multiple, cheap blankets may have the same effect on you while being cheaper than a weighted blanket, so I would try to weigh (no pun intended) your options first.