For insomniacs, there is not any scarcity of devices promising a greater night time’s sleep. Right here, do that hat that zaps your brainwaves into submission. Right here, stick these electrodes just under your ribs. Right here, attempt on this headset, or these goggles, or this wristband that guarantees, actually, that will help you go to sleep. Final 12 months, one Kickstarter challenge urged one thing completely different: Neglect all the high-tech sleep wearables. Bury your self beneath this 25-pound blanket and also you’ll sleep like a child.
The Gravity Blanket turned an in a single day success, scooping up $three million in crowdsourcing funding from over 15,000 sleepless individuals on the web. The corporate described the blanket as “Advil PM on your entire physique,” a $250 panacea for poor sleep, stress, nervousness, and extra. The imaginative and prescient was so compelling, partly, as a result of it was so easy. No wires, no batteries, no gizmos to deliver into mattress with you. No buttons, no apps, no ugly headgear. All you wanted was this tender, heavy blanket, crammed with one thing just like the Sandman himself.
Let me cease right here: The Gravity Blanket just isn’t a panacea. It’s, nicely, a blanket. However whereas different client merchandise for sleep appear to get weirder and weirder, Gravity Blanket brings a much-needed perspective. Sleep is not one thing to be hacked. It is one thing we are able to all obtain so long as we lie down, pull up the covers, and calm down.
To lie beneath a Gravity Blanket feels a bit like being swaddled as a child, or wrapped up in a toasty tortilla like a human burrito.
The blanket takes its inspiration from a way known as deep strain stimulation, which entails making use of strain to set off the sympathetic nervous system and induce leisure. It’s the identical idea that underpinned Temple Grandin’s analysis on calming cows earlier than slaughter; the identical idea that led to the market success of Thunder Shirts for anxious canines. There’s some indication that deep strain stimulation can scale back stress and nervousness, even deal with the signs of autism spectrum dysfunction and PTSD.
I ought to say that none of this pertains to the Gravity Blanket. It’s a client product, not a therapeutic one. “It’s this notion that having between 7 to 12 p.c of your physique weight resting on high of you will increase serotonin and reduces cortisol. That’s the final premise that we took,” says Mike Grillo, Gravity Blanket’s managing director.
Inside, the Gravity Blanket is crammed with 15 to 25 kilos of little beads (technically “non-toxic plastic pellets and a cotton polyester mix combine”), giving it the feel of a bean bag. To lie beneath one feels a bit like being swaddled as a child, or wrapped up in a toasty tortilla like a human burrito. A blanket this heavy retains you very heat, and retains you from tossing and turning whilst you sleep. By which I imply: It’s bodily troublesome to maneuver. Simply attempt to roll to the facet, expensive reader, and also you’ll end up pinned down like an newbie wrestler beneath André the Big. The impact works particularly nicely throughout naps, or throughout meditation, when it is comforting to be grounded by such a big, tender presence.
Within the months that I have been sleeping with the Gravity Blanket, I’ve developed an affinity for it. Has the blanket unlocked my sweetest, most satisfying sleep? No, not precisely. However in a world saturated with high-tech, state-of-the-art gizmos hoping to hack sleep, there’s one thing compelling a few product that merely desires you to lie down and calm down. (Compelling sufficient, at the least, to gather $three million on Kickstarter.) Within the present tech panorama, there are extra sleep devices than there’s analysis—and that development does not appear to be simmering down. Gravity Blanket returns us to one thing extra acquainted: getting in mattress, pulling up the covers, and remembering the sensation of being tucked in by somebody we love. That, plus perhaps studying much less Twitter, actually will help individuals sleep higher.
After all, $250 is some huge cash to spend on a blanket—even a very nice one. You could possibly approximate the feeling by sleeping beneath a pile of clean-but-not-yet-folded laundry, or the gathering of Beanie Infants you thought you’d promote on eBay in the future. You could possibly even stack up a pile of standard, non-gravity blankets and lie beneath that, making a type of “mattress lasagna.” The Gravity Blanket definitely seems pretty unfurled on a mattress, however you need not pay $250 to refine your sleep hygiene. Bury me beneath all of the tender issues I personal and I’ll sleep simply advantageous.