Weighted Blanket Might Alleviate Insomnia Severity

American Academy of Sleep Medicine has conducted a new “Controlled Study of Chain Blanket for Insomnia” and revealed that use of weighted heavy blankets is considered safe as well as effective in treating insomnia. These research findings published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

Swedish researchers determined that severity of brain and behavioral disorders such as insomnia severity, poor sleep and more daytime sleepiness, was significantly reduced in individuals who have had insomnia with psychiatric disorders when they slept with a weighted chain blanket.

Goal of the study was to investigate the potential outcomes of weighted chain blankets on insomnia along with the sleep-related daytime problems for patients with major depressive disorder including, general anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. As per CDC, insomnia is manifested by an inability to initiate or maintain sleep, accompanied by early morning awakening with inability to resume sleeping. As many as 30 to 35 percent of adults complain of insomnia.

The “Controlled Study of Chain Blanket of Insomnia”, a clinical trial, recruited up to 120 adults including 68% women and 32% men, average age around 40 years, who were previously diagnosed with clinical symptoms of insomnia and as well reported the concomitantly occurring psychiatric disorders, such as, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder.

Participants were randomly divided into two groups: Chain blanket treatment group, and Control group, where they were randomly asked to for four weeks at home with either a chain-weighted blanket or a control blanket.

Source: Penn Medicine.

Individuals who were in weighted blanket group slept with an 8-kilogram (about 17.6 pounds) chain blanket at the clinic. It was found that nearly 10 individuals found the blanket heavy and then asked to take 6-kilogram (about 13.2 pounds) blanket instead. However, in control group, recruiters were asked to sleep with the light plastic chain blanket of 1.5 kilograms (about 3.3 pounds). Following the Insomnia Severity Index was used to determine the changes in severity of insomnia and wrist actigraphy was used to approximate the sleep and daytime activity levels.

“A suggested explanation for the calming and sleep-promoting effect is the pressure that the chain blanket applies on different points on the body, stimulating the sensation of touch and the sense of muscles and joints, similar to acupressure and massage,” said chief investigator Dr. Mats Alder, consultant psychiatrist in the department of clinical neuroscience at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden

Figures reveal that nearly 60% of weighted blanket users showed 26 times more likely positive response by 50% reduction in insomnia severity indicated by ISI score, compared to the 5.4% reduction of the control group.

Positive results were found persistent for 12 months open follow-up study phase. Therefore, study concludes from the results that four weeks frequent use of weighted blanket considerably reduced insomnia severity, showed better sleep maintenance, a higher daytime activity level, and reduced symptoms of fatigue, depression and anxiety.

Source: Neuro Nation

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