Monday, November 15

Do weighted blankets provide relief from insomnia?

Insomnia is a sleep condition that affects around 10% of American people. It is defined by difficulties falling asleep, keeping asleep, and/or waking up too early at least three times per week for at least three months. Contrary to the popular perception that insomnia would resolve on its own, data reveals that it will remain if not treated actively. 37.5 percent of patients with insomnia said that their insomnia was still a problem five years later, according to one study

What are the most often utilized treatments for insomnia?

Perhaps the most often used nonpharmacological treatment for insomnia is a technique called sleep hygiene. It discusses both beneficial sleep habits to adopt (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 an effective treatment for insomnia. When used in conjunction with other critical treatments, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia, sleep hygiene can be a useful supplement. While the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the American College of Physicians suggest cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia as the gold standard of care, finding a doctor with competence in behavioral sleep medicine can be difficult — even via telemedicine.

Integrative treatment modalities are increasingly prominent.

Many people are interested in exploring non-prescription insomnia treatment methods. Increasing data suggest that a variety of techniques, including mindfulness-based activities and mind-body movement practices such as yoga, may be useful. Certain individuals may use nutritional supplements such as valerian, melatonin, chamomile, and cannabis, while the evidence for their benefit is relatively limited. Always inform your physician if you take any nutritional supplements, as these may interfere with other prescription medications.

An integrative treatment approach for those who suffer from sleeplessness and a mental problem

Insomnia is a prevalent symptom among patients who have a psychiatric disease, probably due to shared neurobiology. For example, someone who suffers from sleeplessness is ten times more likely than someone who does not suffer from insomnia to also suffer from depression. Compression and weight have been utilized therapeutically in people getting psychiatric care. The relaxing (and maybe sleep-promoting) effects of this method have been suggested to be similar to those of acupressure or massage.

The Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, undertook a study to assess whether a weighted metal chain blanket may relieve insomnia symptoms when compared to a light plastic chain blanket. They selected outpatients with increased symptoms of sleeplessness who were being treated for one of several mood disorders: major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

The Participants were given a weighted blanket with a metal chain or a light blanket with plastic chains that were sewn on the blankets, both are the same shape and size. Those that were given a weighted metal chain blanket were initially asked to try on an 8-kilogram (17.6 pounds) blanket. If this proved to be too cumbersome, a 6-kilogram (13.2 pounds) blanket was provided. Their sleep was measured over four weeks using surveys and a wrist-worn gadget called an actigraph.

What conclusions did the researchers reach?

Participants who used the weighted metal chain blanket reported significant reductions in the intensity of their insomnia symptoms, but those who used the light blanket did not. Additionally, those who used the weighted blanket reported much fewer sad and anxious symptoms than those who used the light blanket. This secondary finding is consistent with prior research demonstrating that insomnia therapies can have a significant effect on mood.

These encouraging findings are tempered with data indicating that when sleep was objectively recorded using the actigraph, there were no significant changes in critical insomnia parameters such as the length of time spent awake after falling asleep. Additionally, other research in children has failed to demonstrate that weighted blankets had a substantial effect on sleep outcomes when assessed with an actigraph.

Is it necessary to purchase a weighted blanket?

While these results are intriguing, additional research is necessary. It is critical to keep in mind that there is a very significant placebo effect associated with insomnia symptoms. This means that if you believe a weighted blanket will improve your sleep tonight, it is extremely plausible that it will. For healthy individuals, weighted blankets are considered safe as long as the individual is able to remove the blanket when necessary. It's important to remember that there are other treatments for insomnia that have more research to support them.

Do weighted blankets help with insomnia

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