Primark’s hooded blanket Snuddies has a high quality, luxury, lasts longer, upmarket and more expensive but just as cosy and toasty and minky loungewear and night-time alternative.
There is nothing we all want more this Christmas than to keep warm. And have a good night’s sleep.
Lancastrian Samuel Hochland and Londoner Matthew King met at Nottingham Trent University, bonding over electronic music before launching their own events company, organizing house and techno parties.
In 2017, after witnessing first-hand the impact poor sleep and mental health issues were having on friends and family, they began researching the science behind snuggle blankets.
They founded Mela in 2018 (which became sleep solutions specialist Aeyla in 2022) offering adult and children’s weighted blankets including Chill Eucalyptus, hypo-allergenic eucalyptus vegan silk sheets, pillowcases and ‘The Air’ Eucalyptus Duvet (“cloud-like comfort meets built -in cool”). All are sourced from regenerative eucalyptus forests in Austria and the Czech Republic. The blankets are made in China.
“Aeyla is inspired by the Bulgarian word ‘Ailyak’, meaning the art of doing everything slowly with no rush, while enjoying the process and life in general. It’s how we want everyone to feel when they experience Aeyla.”
The emergence of weighted blankets was originally primarily associated with autism and those suffering from PTSD and ADHD. Available in 5.5kg, 7kg and 9kg weights, ideally the blanket should be around 10 per cent of your body weight.
“Our inner weighted section is constructed using a cooling 100 per cent cotton outer shell which is very breathable. Our covers are all removable and we offer a range of Eucalyptus and Cotton Summer cooling covers in our store. We are very rarely notified by customers saying they find our blankets too hot. However, with that being said, some people are naturally hot sleepers, so it is also down to the individual.”
Mela has all-year-round use. And perfect if you are a nocturnal nudist. And still get hot in the night, sleeping naked.
A recent survey commissioned by Mela revealed that 60 per cent of us are affected by higher night-time temperature and our sleep quality is affected in midsummer. But only 22 per cent of British adults sleep naked. And then mostly people in the 55-64 age bracket.
So, chuck the jimmies and get naked. On and under some temperature-regulating, planet friendly Austrian eucalyptus which requires 10 per cent less water to grow than cotton.
As Hochland says:
“Eucalyptus has great wicking properties. It has a high vapour and sweat absorption of the London sleep enhancing bedding range.”
A better sleep is all about more relaxing hormones and brain chemicals like oxytocin, serotonin, dopamine and less stress ones like cortisol. Mela is named after melatonin which controls our sleep-wake cycle.
“Our weighted blankets create a sense of being swaddled. The physical connection you feel provides a sense of warmth and safety that helps the body relax. Sleep medicine research shows weighted blanket therapy creates a type of physical connection that has an abundance of positive effects on hormones governing the nervous system which reduces anxiety and improves mood.”
King, who studied criminology at university, adds:
“It’s called deep touch pressure stimulation therapy or proprioceptive pressure.
“The weighted material produces a light touch sensation that feels for many like a caress. This sensation is believed to stimulate neurotransmitters that decrease anxiety. The blanket can be an effective non-drug alternative to improve sleep quality. It calms restlessness.”
Weighted blankets are heavier than a comforter or down quilt. Your body determines size. They are quilted inside, and the interior section is stitched with small pockets that keep the weight as evenly distributed as possible.
Weighted blankets were originally used to manage anxiety and conditions like Tourette’s and autism spectrum disorder. With King adding:
“They stimulate the feeling of being held. Moulding themselves to your body, they hug you back.”
Instead of supporting charities ad hoc, Sam and Matt decided that they would build a charitable side into the very fabric of their business, supporting charities like Young Minds with charitable donations on every item sold, and planting 25 trees with One Tribe per blanket purchased. Aeyla also sells sleep enhancing roll-ons and pillow sprays, eucalyptus silk sheets and pillow cases as well as Anti-Breakout pillow cases for healthier skin.
Knowing where we sleep is a cruelty-free, sweat-free chill zone which helps the Amazonian rainforests and can only help us sleep better. In summer as well as winter, beds should be fun places to be. They improve out mental well-being.
Although both founders are good sleepers, Mela is still a product of many sleepless nights.
Mela blankets start from £89 and are available to buy at: www.aeyla.co.uk.
Kevin Pilley is a former professional cricketer and chief staff writer of PUNCH magazine. His humour, travel, food and drink work appears worldwide and he has been published in over 800 titles.
Photographs courtesy of Aeyla