Weighted vests and blankets have been used for decades to induce calm. But how do they work? Researchers may now have part of the answer. A Swedish associate professor of pharmacology asked 26 young men and women to sleep in a lab for two nights, one night with a light blanket (equal to 2.4% of the participant's body weight) and one night with a weighted one (equal to 12.2%), which none of the participants had used before. Saliva samples taken from the patients between 10pm and 11pm showed a 32% greater increase in a melatonin-the hormone produced by the brain's pineal gland in response to darkness as a central part of the sleep-wake cycle-on average when weighted blankets were used. (Newser)
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