Weighted blankets are used in acute mental health care settings for crisis intervention. They give the feeling of a firm hug, holding, swaddling or massage and facilitate the ability to feel safe, comforted and grounded in the world. A study of 32 people by researchers in the U.S. measured their blood pressure, pulse rate and electrodermal activity (which is used by lie detectors to measure stress) while they were using a weighted blanket. The study showed that the weighted blankets were safe and produced a reduction in electrodermal activity. 63% of the sample reported lower anxiety after use and 78% said it had made them feel more relaxed.
Mullen, Brian ... [et al] - Exploring the safety and therapeutic effects of deep pressure stimulation using a weighted blanket Occupational Therapy in Mental Health 24(1), 65-89