You know that feeling of calm that washes over your body when you get enveloped in a big bear hug?
The deep pressure calms our body’s parasympathetic nervous system, and we produce less of the stress hormone cortisol.
You can get the same effect from a weighted blanket, and occupational therapists have been using them for years with autistic children who have sensory issues.
Weighted blankets can also help adults with insomnia and anxiety.
Swedish researchers found that “participants liked sleeping with the blanket, found it easier to settle down to sleep and had an improved sleep, where they felt more refreshed in the morning.
“Overall, we found that when the participants used the weighted blanket, they had a calmer night’s sleep.
“A weighted blanket may aid in reducing insomnia through altered tactile inputs, thus may provide an innovative, non-pharmacological approach and complementary tool to improve sleep quality,” they said.
This article originally appeared on Better Homes and Gardens.