The topic of mental health has been catapulted to the forefront of the healthcare community, with chronic stress, burnout, and loneliness rising significantly due to the pandemic and its long-lasting aftereffects. Each year, May celebrates Mental Health Awareness Month, a national movement working to raise awareness about mental health and its escalating prevalence, combat stigma, provide support, and educate the public.
In an era of continuous over-stimulation and high stress, a good night’s sleep is becoming increasingly hard to come by. More and more individuals are developing sleep apnea, chronic insomnia, and other sleep disorders, creating a “sleep market” — worth $28.6 billion in 2017 — focused on curing sleepless Americans. Over-the-counter and non-prescription drugs are on the rise, while sedatives such as Ambien and Lunesta remain as the most commonly prescribed drugs for insomnia.
As the side effects of sleep medications can be debilitating, insomniacs are increasingly turning to more natural solutions. A new, drug-free approach to targeting insomnia and other anxiety-related sleep disorders has been growing in popularity over the past two years. Weighted blankets, or gravity blankets, are being marketed as the latest solution for insomnia, nighttime anxiety, and stress. Filled with plastic beads or pellets, these blankets tend to range in weight from 3 to 20 pounds and are meant to mimic a comforting hug, lulling users to sleep naturally.