Could a Weighted Blanket Help You Sleep Better?
Nearly 60 million Americans are affected by some kind of sleep disorder— and in the era of ubiquitous blue light screens and chronic stress, this is a number that is expected to grow.
Given the concurrent mental health and opioid epidemics that continue to ravage America, our magazine has been reporting on easy, less invasive ways to improve quality of sleep naturally ever since we started publishing, but nothing has impressed us as much in the realm of natural sleep care as the Gravity Blanket— a new science-backed blanket designed to help users fall asleep naturally, without the use of supplements or prescription medications.
As the brand’s website explains of their science-backed technology: “Weighted blankets are engineered to be 7-12% of your body weight to relax the nervous system by simulating the feeling of being held or hugged. More specifically, Gravity uses the power of proprioceptive input (more commonly known as ‘deep touch pressure stimulation’), a well regarded therapeutic method that stimulates pressure points on the body linked to improved sleep, mood, and relaxation.”
Weighted blankets have been used in niche medical communities for years now, but science has only recently emerged to demonstrate their effectiveness at helping people fall asleep faster and sleep more deeply without a prescription or therapeutic training. According to research published by The Journal of Occupational Therapy in Mental Health (research whose findings informed the design of the Gravity Blanket), deep touch pressure stimulation can increase the production of serotonin and melatonin– also known as “the sleep hormone”– while decreasing the production of cortisol, the so-called “stress hormone”.
This natural, physiological approach “decreases heart rate, blood pressure, and more, improving mood and promoting restful sleep and relaxation,” Gravity explains.
Currently, the blanket is designed for one person’s use at a time (so it can’t be used as a full comforter on a queen bed, but rather as an intimate, supplemental tool for a single person). The blanket’s 72″ x 48″ size is specifically engineered to distribute weight evenly over one person, which has a grounding effect.
Currently, the blankets come in three colors (Space Grey, Galaxy Blue, and Moon Ivory) and three different weights (15 lb, 20 lb, and 25 lb) which latter should ideally be chosen based off of what best approximates 10% of the user’s body weight. Gravity also now offers a new cooling blanket for those who get hot at night, and all blankets have a soft, velvet-like finish that is cool and gentle to the touch.
While the heft of the blanket might feel a bit unusual at first, we’ve found sleeping with a properly weighted blanket to be mystifyingly relaxing. It’s amazing! The weight on your body seemingly has an inverse effect on the mind: after a few minutes of laying under the covers and “feeling held”, racing thoughts and other heavy burdens seem to lift and evaporate.
This, in turn, leads to a state of equanimity and relaxation that makes falling asleep easy and immediate. That’s always been the goal, right?
Garden Collage Magazine readers can get 15% their purchase of a Gravity Blanket by using the code GARDENCOLLAGE at checkout (valid for 1 use per costumer).