Weighted blankets can decrease insomnia severity

Weighted blankets really are a secure and efficient intervention in treating insomnia, based on Swedish researchers who unearthed that insomnia sufferers with psychiatric disorders seasoned reduced insomnia severity, increased sleep and fewer daytime sleepiness when resting with the weighted chain blanket.

Results of the randomized, controlled study show that participants utilizing the weighted blanket for a month reported significantly reduced insomnia severity, better sleep maintenance, an increased daytime activity level, and reduced apparent symptoms of fatigue, anxiety and depression. Participants in the weighted blanket group were almost 26 times more prone to experience a loss of 50% or more within their insomnia severity in contrast to the control group, plus they were 20 times prone to achieve remission of the insomnia nearly. Very good results were maintained within a 12-month, available follow-up phase of the scholarly study.

“A suggested explanation for the calming and sleep-promoting effect could be the pressure that the chain blanket applies on different points on your body, stimulating the impression of touch and the sense of joints and muscles, just like massage and acupressure,” said principle investigator Dr. Mats Alder, consultant psychiatrist in the department of clinical neuroscience at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden. “There’s evidence suggesting that deep pressure stimulation increases parasympathetic arousal of the autonomic nervous system and at precisely the same time reduces sympathetic arousal, that is considered to be the explanation for the calming effect.”

The scholarly study is published in the Sept. 15 problem of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

The study involved 120 adults (68% women, 32% men) previously clinically determined to have clinical insomnia and a co-occurring psychiatric disorder: major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or generalized panic attacks. They’d a mean age around 40 years.

Participants were randomized to sleep for one month at home with whether chain-weighted blanket or even a control blanket. Participants assigned to the weighted blanket group tried an 8-kilogram (about 17.6 pounds) chain blanket at the clinic. Ten participants found it to be fat and received a 6-kilogram (about 13.2 pounds) blanket instead. Participants in the control group slept with a light plastic chain blanket of just one 1.5 kilograms (about 3.3 pounds). Change in insomnia severity, the main outcome, was evaluated utilising the Insomnia Severity Index. Wrist actigraphy was used to estimate sleep and daytime activity levels.

Nearly 60% of weighted blanket users had an optimistic response with a loss of 50% or more inside their ISI score from the baseline to the four-week endpoint, weighed against 5.4% of the control group. Remission, a score of seven or less on the ISI scale, was 42.2% in the weighted blanket group, in contrast to 3.6% in the control group.

After the first four-week study, the possibility was had by all participants to make use of the weighted blanket for a 12-month follow-up phase. They tested four different weighted blankets: two chain blankets (6 kilograms and 8 kilograms) and two ball blankets (6.5 kilograms and 7 kilograms). Following the test, plus they were allowed to select the blanket they preferred freely, with most picking out a heavier blanket. Just one participant discontinued the scholarly study as a result of feelings of anxiety while using the blanket. Participants who switched from the control blanket to a weighted blanket experienced the same effect as patients who used the weighted blanket initially. After 12 months, 92% of weighted blanket users were responders, and 78% were in remission.

“I was surprised by the large effect size on insomnia by the weighted blanket and pleased by the reduced total of quantities of both anxiety and depression,” said Adler.

In a related commentary, in the September dilemma of JCSM also published, Dr. William McCall writes that the research results support the psychoanalytic “holding environment” theory, which states that touch is just a basic need providing you with calming and comfort. McCall urges providers to think about the impact of sleeping surfaces and bedding on sleep quality, while calling for additional research to the effectation of weighted blankets.

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Materials given by American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Note: Content might be edited for style and length.