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WELLthier Living and Aging

Journal Abstracts
Nov 14, 2022

WELLthier Living and Aging

Ditch Your Melatonin for a Weighted Blanket?

Journal Abstracts
Dec 03, 2022

Should you toss your bedside melatonin bottle and reach for a weighted blanket instead?

In a new study published in the Journal of Sleep Research, researchers from Uppsala University in Sweden measured the amount of melatonin (a hormone that helps you sleep), oxytocin (sometimes called the “love hormone”), and cortisol (a stress hormone) in the saliva of 26 young men and women after sleeping with either a light blanket (equal to 2.4% of each participant’s body weight) or a weighted blanket (equal to 12% of each participant’s body weight).

They found that using a weighted blanket helped naturally increase production of melatonin by 32%.

There were no significant changes in the levels of oxytocin, cortisol, or sympathetic nervous system activity.

Weighted blankets may be a non-drug option to help ease conditions like insomnia and anxiety by allowing the body to release more melatonin at bedtime. More research should be done on whether this significant increase in melatonin release happens on a nightly basis over a period of weeks to months.

REFERENCES

Meth, E., et. al.  (2022, October 3). A weighted blanket increases pre-sleep salivary melatonin in young, healthy adults, Journal of Sleep Research. https://doi.org/10.1111/jsr.13743

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