The Sleep Pod Made Me Feel Like a Human Worm

The Sleep Pod Made Me Feel Like a Human Worm
Whomst wants to be swaddled? (Photo: Catie Keck/Gizmodo)

I reached a point as an adult a couple of years back where I’m now willing to try just about anything to calm my nerves and sleep more peacefully — with virtually no limitations on how silly or bizarre the product or application may seem. This has become even more important during quarantine, as I’m sleeping less than ever. That is how I came to acquire a Sleep Pod, which can only be described as a full-body swaddling sock for…someone. I’m not exactly sure who this is for, but I can safely say it’s not me.

The Sleep Pod has a fairly straightforward design. Meant to be used in bed or while lounging, you simply wriggle into the person cocoon feet-first and pull its band either to your chest (below your arms) or up around your shoulders. The Sleep Pod is meant to mimic the sensation of being hugged, easing its wearer into a calmed relaxation state — kind of like a weighted blanket, but without all of the heft. The majority of the compression is also situated in the pod’s band, whereas the rest of the design feels like a light, stretchy material (a polyester and lycra blend). Hug Sleep, the maker of the Sleep Pod, claims its “stretched, specialised fabric applies its soothing pressure around your entire body.” The fabric gives enough that you can squeeze a pillow into the pod if you so choose.

Hug Sleep Sleep Pod

WHAT IS IT?

A casing for a human sausage — I mean a blanket tube to approximate the sensation of swaddling.

PRICE

$US110 ($153)

LIKE

It seems nice if you're into swaddling.

NO LIKE

Turns out I am not into swaddling.

In reviewing this product, however, I found the Sleep Pod to be neither soothing nor a remedy to my anxiety and sleep woes. Instead, I felt like a sausage in a loose casing, a flesh mass shoved inside a pre-worn sock. I will say that having attempted to don the Sleep Pod multiple times while binge-streaming Netflix, I did on several occasions forget that I’d become a human worm. Insofar as swaddling passively, the Sleep Pod did a fairly good job. It felt similar to wrapping a blanket tightly around your shoulders and nesting into a comfy couch. You don’t actively think about the blanket, but the blanket is doing its job. You probably already have a warm throw at home, though. The Sleep Pod will normally cost you $US110 ($153), or $US90 ($125) at a discounted rate as of this writing.

But the annoyances really surfaced any time I needed, well, basically anything. I found that shuffling about in the pod was as potentially harmful as crossing the street with blinders — one false step and you could go crashing to the floor or into a wall, possibly with your arms strapped to your sides with the force of a gentle bear hug. I strongly advise against attempting to go vertical in the pod. Reader, do not attempt to be brave.

The issue I ran into with the Sleep Pod, and one of the primary reasons I could not bring myself to use it at night, was that I frequently wake throughout the night for things like water or to use the bathroom — more so, it seems, in quarantine, during which time I’ve also developed night terrors. (Always a great time!) When this happens, it’s a chore even managing to make it out from underneath my covers, much less a constricting body sleeve that I must not only wriggle myself out of but do so while trying not to wake my partner. Doing this two or three times a night? That’s gonna be a big ‘hell no’ from me, pal!

To be clear, though, my issue with the Sleep Pod is less a Hug Sleep problem than a me problem — and in fact, based on several rave reviews, it appears I am very much in the minority here. Constricting sleep environments are typically a no-go for me, a problem I run into a lot with my sleeping bag while camping. (I often wake to find I’ve unzipped myself out of the bag and am using it as more of a comforter.) I toss and turn quite a bit, and the Sleep Pod’s design is not conducive to the kind of restless sleep that I’m prone to. The other deal-breaker for me, though, is the pod’s steep $US110 ($153) price tag. That’s not an insignificant amount of money for a body sleeve!

But I’ll say this: There may be someone out there who benefits greatly from bundling up like a sleeve of Smarties from head to toe. And if that’s you, I’d say give the Sleep Pod a whirl. Who knows, maybe self-swaddling is the anxiety salve some of us need right now. Hell, even I was willing to give it a try.

README

  • The Sleep Pod is a full-body swaddling product meant to mimic the sensation of being hugged.
  • Its meant to be used for sleep and lounging, but frequent wakers may find its design too cumbersome.
  • Its fabric is light and stretchy, allowing for a pillow to be crammed inside for maximum comfort.
  • It’s a little pricey — at $US100 ($139), it’s roughly the cost of what you’d pay for a decent weighted blanket.