Are you buying it? An anxiety-reducing weighted blanket has raised $1.4M and counting on Kickstarter - Technical.ly Brooklyn

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May 3, 2017 12:58 pm

Are you buying it? An anxiety-reducing weighted blanket has raised $1.4M and counting on Kickstarter

An antidote for our high-stress world?

The Gravity Blanket claims to soothe stress.

(Image via Kickstarter)

In less than a week on Kickstarter, the anxiety-reduction promise of the Brooklyn-based Gravity Blanket has raised more than $1.4 million, giving its creator a good reason to get out of bed.

The weight of the blanket, which is about 10 percent of a person’s body weight, is said to give it therapeutic properties, increasing the body’s melatonin and serotonin production, which reduces stress and anxiety and helps you sleep.

“Gravity uses the power of proprioceptive input (more commonly known as ‘deep touch pressure stimulation’), a well regarded therapeutic method that stimulates pressure points on the body linked to improved sleep, mood, and relaxation,” according to the company’s Kickstarter page. “The result is a reduction in cortisol levels and an increase in serotonin production, which decreases heart rate and blood pressure.”

The person behind the Gravity Blanket is John Fiorentino, a 2014 NYU grad who’s previously worked for Scooter Braun (Justin Bieber’s manager) before founding his own company, Good Ones. Good Ones seems to make videos of Fiorentino trying out and recommending products, including at Bulletin’s holiday market, an up-and-coming startup we recently profiled.

There is no shortage of anxiety in New York City, so Fiorentino would seem to have quite a market. The Kickstarter page cites several studies for its health claims, from publications including from a 2008 issue of the journal of Occupational Therapy in Mental Health and a from a poorly-cited article which is presented as being from MIT, but which directs to what appears to be (it’s behind a paywall) four pages by written by MIT professors from a 2009 conference called Proceedings of the Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems.

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“Even hospitals use weighted blankets to calm patients’ anxiety and promote deep, restful sleep,” the Kickstarter continues. “In a similar way to swaddling an infant, the weight and pressure on an adult provides near-instant comfort and relief.”

The blankets are selling on Kickstarter for $169, which is labeled as a steep discount from its eventual sale price of $279. Only 48 of 5,750 remain at this level, before the price increases to $189.

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Tyler Woods

Tyler Woods is the lead reporter for Technical.ly Brooklyn. His work has previously appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, the Houston Chronicle, CT Financial News and the New Canaan News. There's little he loves more than great tweets on Twitter.com.

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