If you've suffered from insomnia, it might feel like you've tried everything in the book, from counting sheep to visualising oceans to avoiding caffeine before bed to avoiding caffeine at all times. But a new product promises an alternative solution to the age-old question of how to sleep better, and it doesn't require exerting any mental energy or giving anything up. A blanket called Gravity allegedly manipulates your hormone levels to help you fall asleep, and it's raised nearly three million dollars on Kickstarter as of May 10, Fortune reports.
The cozy-looking £225 item weighs about 10 percent of your average person and "helps relax the nervous system by simulating the feeling of being held or hugged," according to its Kickstarter page. "This increases serotonin and melatonin levels and decreases cortisol levels — improving your mood and promoting restful sleep at the same time. All without ever filling a prescription." How does a blanket accomplish this? Apparently, through “deep touch pressure stimulation” — touching parts of the body in ways that help you relax and feel good.
It sounds too good to be true, but there's some research suggesting it could work. A study in Australasian Psychiatry found that psychiatric patients who used weighted blankets were more relaxed and less stressed than people who didn't. Another study in Occupational Therapy in Mental Health found that 63% of people felt less anxious after using a weighted blanket. According to the Kickstarter page, such blankets are commonly used in hospitals, and Gravity is an attempt to bring such technology to the public. One reviewer called it "like Advil PM for your whole body." Another said it was "a whole new level of Netflix and chill" (which we're guessing was not exactly its intended use).
You can order one on Kickstarter by pledging £150, and they're set to arrive by October.