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For as long as I can remember, I’ve had trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. I struggle forever to nod off, wake up at 4 AM unable to quiet my mind, and my brain goes into overdrive, hopscotching from money worries to future grocery lists to imminent story deadlines. When my alarm goes off in the morning, I wake up dazed, confused and exhausted. And as it turns out, I’m not alone. According to a study released by the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, roughly 25 percent of Americans experience acute insomnia each year.
Enter the weighted blanket
After years of restless rest, I heard about the Gravity Blanket. It’s a weighted blanket that, according to the manufacturer, provides “deep touch pressure stimulation” to help boost your mood and promote solid sleep. The science behind these blankets is inconclusive, but to put it in simple terms: Since you’re all snug inside it, you kick and shift around less and in theory, sleep much better. The blankets come in different weights, to cater to different sized sleepers and personal preference.
Now, I’m not a scientist. I barely passed botany in college. So I don’t know why, but the Gravity Blanket works! When I crawl under it, it feels like the best kind of warm, all-encasing hug. I opted for the lightest version because I tend to get hot at night; it’s juuuuust right for me. Not too hot, not too cold and weighted the ideal amount. Unlike your average flimsy blanket, it doesn’t shift or roll off or wind up on the floor. It stays put — heavy and velvety — and brings a sense of deep ease, so that you can just exhale. I can only compare it to the calm that would descend on my newborn when I used to swaddle him.
Beneath my new velvety bedmate, I’ve slept through the night for two weeks straight.
Aircraft carrying much-needed humanitarian supplies from Australia and New Zealand are on their way to tsunami-hit Tonga, as the South Pacific island finally made contact with the rest of the world after being cut off for five days.Australia's Defence Minister Peter Dutton said a Royal Australian Air Force aircraft loaded with humanitarian supplies and a sweeper to assist in removing ash from the airport runway had departed Brisbane and another aircraft would leave later on Thursday.
The federal health department has categorically denied claims the Commonwealth was requisitioning rapid antigen tests from businesses.It comes as Health Minister Greg Hunt revealed he had asked the consumer watchdog to investigate claims made by businesses of testing kits being seized.
Suicides by Victorian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people rose by 75 per cent in 2021.In a new report released on Thursday, the Coroners Court of Victoria revealed 35 deaths by suicide in 2021, compared to 20 the year before.
Afghanistan's acting prime minister, Mullah Hasan Akhund, has called for international governments to officially recognise the country's Taliban administration, saying all conditions had been met."I ask all governments, especially Islamic countries, that they should start recognition," Akhund said at a news conference in Kabul in his first major public broadcast appearance since he assumed the role in September.
A "code brown" COVID-19 emergency response is not being considered for NSW hospitals, despite calls for relief for health workers in the state.Premier Dominic Perrottet said healthcare teams are under stress but he is confident they are "pushing through this final wave" of cases.
A man accused of stealing 42,000 rapid antigen tests and boxes of face masks has received bail in Sydney after turning himself in following a police raid on storage units in the city's south.The supplies, worth at least $500,000, were uncovered in two Rosebery storage units on Wednesday afternoon about 24 hours after going missing from a Botany freight depot.
Jacinda Ardern will need to make one of the crunch decisions of her prime ministership this month; whether to stick or twist on New Zealand's border plans.And she has fresh advice from public health experts, urging her to avoid a winter outbreak peak which would severely test New Zealand's health system.
The Liberal National Party say they received "deeply concerning" feedback about a southeast Queensland hospital before a young COVID-19 victim's parents reportedly lodged a formal complaint against the institution.Lachlan Moore, 28, is Queensland's youngest COVID-19 fatality.
More than 70 theatres, museums and concert halls in the Netherlands have opened their doors in light-hearted defiance of the country's anti-coronavirus regulations, repurposing each venue to highlight the inconsistency of the rules.Some stages were transformed into hairdressing salons while others became yoga studios for the day in a protest action called Hair Salon Theatre, the brainchild of the well-known Dutch actor and cabaret artist Diederik Ebbinge.
Tonga's government has confirmed three fatalities in its first official update since Saturday's volcanic eruption and tsunami, and says the evacuation of some outlying islands has begun after the destruction of homes, including an entire village on Mango island.In a statement on Tuesday, the prime minister's office confirmed the deaths of a 65-year-old woman on Mango Island and a 49-year-old man on Nomuka Island, in addition to a British national.
Some of the world's biggest tech companies have been grilled on the policies and guidelines they say aim to keep users safe online.Representatives from Google, TikTok and Meta - the company which owns Facebook and Instagram - were questioned on Thursday by a parliamentary committee over proposed laws that would hold them accountable for online harassment and abuse on their platforms.