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Weighted Blankets to Act as A Safe and Effective Intervention in the Treatment of Insomnia, Study Suggests

Jan, 2021

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According to a new research study, researchers have reported that weighted blankets are safe and aids in reducing the severity of insomnia. Moreover, researchers reported to find that patients with psychiatric disorders had reduced insomnia severity, less daytime sleepiness, and improved sleep when they slept utilizing a weighted chain blanket. Moreover, the study participants exhibited reduced symptoms of depression, anxiety and fatigue.

Dr. Mats Alder, principle investigator stated, “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. There is evidence suggesting that deep pressure stimulation increases parasympathetic arousal of the autonomic nervous system and at the same time reduces sympathetic arousal, which is considered to be the cause of the calming effect.”

In this study, researchers included 120 adults of mean age 40 years, where 32% were men and 68% women and were previously diagnosed with clinical insomnia and a co-occurring psychiatric disorder such as bipolar disorder, depressive disorder, anxiety or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Later participants were grouped randomly and one group were instructed to sleep with chain-weighted blanket and other groups were instructed to sleep with control blanket for four weeks. Moreover, changes in insomnia severity was evaluated utilizing Insomnia Severity Index.

Researchers observed that around 60% of the participants who slept using weighted blanket users had a positive impact and severity decreased by 50% or more in their ISI score, compared with 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, compared with 3.6% in the control group.

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