Weighted blankets can reduce stress and anxiety, study says

Popular bedding item scores well in early studies
ROCHESTER, Minn. (WPVI) -- You've probably seen weighted blankets in stores and wondered what they're all about.

According to several small studies, people using the blankets reported better sleep, and less stress and anxiety.

And in one small study, volunteers reported less pain.

Experts say the blankets may cause the same response as a big hug - a surge of feel-good hormones.

"A decrease of cortisol, which is sort of our stress hormone, and an increase of serotonin and dopamine - two neurotransmitters that really affect our mood," says Dr. Adam Perlman, an internist at the Mayo Clinic.

The blankets may help us feel more grounded and relaxed, which can improve sleep.
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