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Veterans Are Fighting the War on Sleep @ Motherboard.

Three or four nights a week, after tucking himself in bed, Petrulis slides a prototype 17-pound weighted blanket over his sheets. The blanket is roughly 3 feet wide by 6 feet long, covered in penguin print, and looks a bit like 60 or so 4 x 4 inch bean bags handstitched together. The pockets are each stuffed with polypropylene pellets and a sort of memory foam material.

Petrulis is a big guy—6’2″, 250 pounds—but the blanket’s weight spreads evenly over him.

“I feel safer when it’s covering my entire body,” Petrulis explains. No one can bother him this way. “It sets my mind up for sleeping hard that night.”
Which he does.

The underlying idea is dead simple: create a cocooning embrace, like being swaddled. Petrulis compares it to a firm, comforting hug. According to Gaby Badre, a leading sleep researcher who’s studied weighted blanket therapy for treating insomnia in adults, there is good reason to believe this is because the deep pressure touch of a weighted material spread over part or all of the body dials down the fight-or-flight arousals of the sympathetic nervous system. (It’s generally accepted that a weighted blanket should be at least 10 percent the person’s body weight.) There is also speculation that lying under heavy constant pressure such as a weighted blanket feels good because it somehow lights up the brain’s reward center, probably triggering the release of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine.

Read more.

Excellent article by VICE, after some study we expect to hear more about this – makes sense that it could/work for a lot of people with sleep disorders, no side effects for trying either.