What if we could solve the problem of insomnia…with a blanket?
This was the aim pursued by the inventors of Gravity, a weighted blanket intended for the greater public which promotes restful sleep and reduces anxiety.
Developed by a team of American engineers, "Gravity" is a weighted blanket, i.e. it has an evenly distributed weight, which harnesses the power of deep-touch pressure stimulation (which involves applying light pressure to various parts of the body using the palms of the hands), which has been proven to be particularly effective for combating anxiety. By applying evenly distributed pressure across the whole body thanks to a filling of thousands of small High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) pellets, the blanket "helps relax the nervous system by simulating the feeling of being held or hugged", according to its creators.
The feeling increases serotonin and melatonin levels, and stabilises heart rate and blood pressure. The result: better quality sleep and a better mood when waking up.
For maximum effectiveness, the blanket should weigh between 7 and 10 % of the weight of the person using it. This is why Gravity is available in three different models, ranging from 15 pounds (6.8 kilos) to 25 pounds (11.3 kilos). However, despite the weight, the breathable microfibers used to manufacture Gravity keep you from getting too warm.
Blankets using the power of proprioceptive input (commonly known as "deep touch pressure stimulation") have long been used for therapeutic purposes, in particular for reducing post-traumatic stress, insomnia and obsessive compulsive disorders.
The aim behind selling Gravity is that of enabling everyone to enjoy the benefits of this medical knowledge. A Kickstarter round is scheduled to end in June 2017. It has already collected over a million Euros to date, and Gravity should hit stores in the autumn of 2017.