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Is it true that weighted blankets can aid with insomnia?
27 Jan' 21

Is it true that weighted blankets can aid with insomnia?

 

 

Insomnia is a type of sleep disturbance that affects about 10% of adults in the United States. It's defined as having trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or getting up too early at least three times per week for three months or more. Contrary to popular perception, insomnia does not improve on its own over time. Evidence suggests that if it is not treated, it will remain. In one study, 37.5 percent of insomnia sufferers said their condition was still bothering them five years later.  

  

What are some of the most frequent insomnia treatments?  

  

One of the most prevalent nonpharmacological treatments for insomnia is called hypnosis. It outlines both beneficial sleep habits to practice (such as keeping your bedroom quiet at night) and bad sleep habits to avoid (turning off electronic devices before going to bed).  

  

Unfortunately, as many patients are aware, sleep hygiene alone is not a particularly effective treatment for insomnia. Sleep hygiene can be a useful complement to other essential strategies when utilized as a part of a multimodal approach, such as cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia. Sleep hygiene can be a useful complement to other essential strategies when utilized as a part of a multimodal approach, such as cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia. While the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the American College of Physicians suggest cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia as the gold standard treatment, finding a clinician who specializes in behavioral sleep medicine, even via telemedicine, can be difficult. 

  

Many people are interested in exploring different insomnia treatment methods that do not entail taking prescription drugs. A growing amount of data suggests that a variety of techniques, including mindfulness-based activities and mind-body movement practices like yoga, may be useful. Some people utilize nutritional supplements including valerian, melatonin, chamomile, and cannabis, while the evidence for their effectiveness is limited. Always inform your doctor if you are taking any nutritional supplements, since they may interact with other prescription prescriptions.  

  

For persons with insomnia and psychiatric illness, an integrative solution is available. Because of shared neurobiology, insomnia is a typical problem for persons with psychiatric disorders. For example, someone who suffers from sleeplessness is ten times more likely to suffer from depression than someone who does not suffer from insomnia. Compression and weight have been utilized therapeutically in people getting psychiatric care. It's been speculated that the relaxing (and possibly sleep-inducing) effects of such an approach are comparable to those of acupressure or massage.  

  

A study was undertaken at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, to see if a weighted metal chain blanket could help with insomnia symptoms when compared to a light plastic chain blanket. They looked for outpatients with high levels of sleeplessness who were being treated for one of many mood disorders, including major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).  

  

Participants were given a choice of a weighted metal chain blanket or a light blanket with sewn-on plastic chains that were the same form and size as the metal chains on the weighted blanket. Those who received a weighted metal chain blanket were given an 8-kilogram (17.6-pound) blanket to try on first. A 6-kilogram (13.2 pounds) blanket was offered if this was too heavy. Surveys and an actigraph, a wrist-based device, were used to assess their sleep across a four-week period.  

 

Read more Is taking melatonin over night safe?

  

What did the scientists discover?  

  

Participants who used the weighted metal chain blanket indicated that the severity of their insomnia symptoms improved significantly, whereas those who used the light blanket did not. Furthermore, those who used the weighted blanket experienced significantly less depression and anxiety symptoms than those who used the light blanket. This secondary finding is consistent with recent research that shows that insomnia treatments can have a significant impact on mood. These optimistic findings are tempered by data revealing that when sleep was measured objectively using the actigraph, there were no significant changes in critical insomnia indicators including the length of time spent awake after falling asleep. Other studies in children have failed to show that weighted blankets had a substantial impact on sleep outcomes when measured with an actigraph 

  

Is it necessary to invest in a weighted blanket?  

  

These findings are intriguing, but additional research is required. It's vital to remember that there's a real placebo effect when it comes to insomnia symptoms. This means that if you believe a weighted blanket will help you sleep better, you should try it. 

 

Expert help on how to manage insomnia at just Rs.100/-

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