What Sleeping With a Weighted Blanket Does to Your Brain

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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