In Dasgupta’s view, weighted blankets can have positive effects as long as users also improve other areas of their “sleep hygiene,” such as having a target bedtime, regulating the temperature in the bedroom, considering what they wear to sleep, and eating properly to facilitate restfulness, like avoiding caffeine at night.
Dasgupta also notes that while there are studies that show increased levels of “happy hormones” like oxytocin, serotonin, or dopamine due to the use of a weighted blanket, a more important takeaway might be the fact that pressure therapy has shown to decrease the release of the stress hormone cortisol — something commonly found in large quantities in people with insomnia. “High cortisol increases blood sugars, your blood pressure, so it all cascades from there,” he explains. “There is an assumption that there’s a better balance of hormones if you can get better sleep. We don’t have the data to say it’s going to be specifically latched to the weighted blanket. But in some people, it’s working.”