In unexpected viral news, a weighted blanket is causing a stir on the Internet. The item, called Gravity, has raised almost $3 million through it’s Kickstarter campaign. Why would so many people chip in for something as seemingly mundane as a blanket? To get better sleep, as Fortune reports.
Gravity comes in 15, 20 or 25 pound options. The heaviness is meant to mimic the “feeling of being held or hugged” to lessen anxiety and stress and help you sleep. According to the Kickstarter, the sensation the blanket creates can “increase serotonin and melatonin and decrease cortisol levels.” (It should be noted that the science behind these claims isn’t exactly robust.)
The “hugging” feeling also minimizes body movement, which, according to the company behind Gravity, could help you relax and get deeper sleep. The creators underscore how weighted blankets have been used as prescription-free stress relief “for decades,” even though, as Fortune points out, the science is sparse. Despite that, it’s not a huge stretch to imagine how being tucked in with a heavy, cozy blanket could induce feelings of calm.
Gravity is just one of the many items in the booming sleep market, Fortune’s Laura Entis writes. As sleep enters the zeitgeist (something we know a lot about here at Thrive) it speaks to how more people understand the connection between sleep and basically everything aspect of our lives (improved cognitive and physical performance, memory, safety, to name a few) and are going to greater lengths to get a good night’s rest.
Even without rock-solid scientific proof that it works, Gravity is clearly resonating with people, especially in such anxiety-inducing times. The Kickstarter page puts this in perspective: “The world around you is a stressful place. The barrage of news headlines. The incessant push notifications. The demands of your job. It’s never been harder to turn your mind off, relax, and recharge.”
Hopefully, Gravity will live up to its lofty aspirations. But in the meantime (the blanket launches this fall) we’ll stick to the basics of good sleep hygiene like turning off our screens 30 minutes before bed, leaving our phones outside the bedroom and aiming for consistent bedtimes for better sleep.
Originally published at medium.com