24 Aug Can Weighted Blankets help with Insomnia?
Recently heavy blankets fill with pellets, balls or chains have been marketed to provide a ‘firm hug’ to help comfort the user for a better night’s sleep.
A study in the Journal of Sleep Medicine and Disorders studied 31 adults with chronic insomnia who slept a week with their normal bedding followed by a week with a weighted blanket. 80% of the participants said they preferred the heavy blanket and found it easier to get off to sleep. They reported better sleep and feeling more refreshed in the morning. Sleep testing confirmed that when using the weighted blanked, they slept longer with less time awake during the night.
The mechanism is thought to provide ‘firm, deep pressure stimulation’ and also the material inside produces a lighter, stroking like sensation when you move, which may also be comforting, causing the release of calming neurotransmitters.
Studies have also shown benefits in children (aged 5+) with ADHD and autism with reported improvements in sleep and preference for the weighted blanket.
It’s important to consider the weight of the blanket which shouldn’t be much more than 10 percent of the user’s body weight. Personal preference may affect the optimal weight for you however be sure not to restrict movement, or risk smothering of children or the elderly if they are unable to move the blankets.
If you suffer from insomnia, remember to consult your doctor as other feelings of anxiety or stress may be the cause.