A new cure for insomnia is all the rage in the land down under. Australians who just cannot seem to a get a good night’s sleep are turning to this quirky item — weighted blankets – to help them get there Z’s.
Weighted blankets are filled with small objects like pellets, discs or beads of polypropylene plastic or glass. The added weight produces what researchers call the “hug effect.” It is akin to being embraced by a mother or lover. The reason snuggling like that helps us to relax and drift off to blissful sleep is not just emotional. Studies have found that cuddling or hugging lowers the heart rate as well as increases the release of serotonin and dopamine, all of which help you to relax and fall asleep. Sleep doctors say the weighted blanket can bring on the same effect through “deep pressure stimulation.”
The blankets, which are slowly becoming more mainstream, are a must-have in the home of Sydney-based Eugenie Pepper, a mum-of-two and psychotherapist. “I have used them for almost two years,” she told news.com.au “Not long after I bought the first, I bought more so we could have one each.”
Ms Pepper, a self-described “poor sleeper”, said the blanket had helped her get a better night’s rest because they were so “soothing”.
“It (the weighted blanket) was very soothing and comfortable and it helped set the stage for a good night’s sleep,” she said.
Weighted blankets are not only good for restless sleepers, research suggests they may also benefit people with anxiety, autism, chronic pain and other conditions that respond well to deep pressure stimulation.