Weighted Blankets to Treat Insomnia? | Sleep Issues | Andrew Weil, M.D.

Is it true that certain types of blankets can relieve insomnia? What kind of blankets work best?

Results of a Swedish study published in September (2020) showed that special weighted blankets reduced the severity of restlessness and improved sleep in 120 patients who had been diagnosed with insomnia. Participants not only slept better when they used a weighted blanket but had fewer symptoms of fatigue, depression, and anxiety. These benefits continued for 12 months of follow-up. Most of the participants were women whose mean age was 40. They had been previously diagnosed with clinical insomnia as well as a psychiatric disorder such as major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or generalized anxiety disorder.

Weighted blankets are filled with plastic or glass beads, and generally range from five to 25 pounds. Reportedly, the best ones equal five to 10 percent of your body weight. The pressure they provide is said to be calming.

All the participants in the Swedish study were randomized to sleep for four weeks at home with a weighted metal chain blanket (a type of heavy weighted blanket) or a control blanket. Those using a weighted blanket could choose between one weighing about 17.6 pounds or another weighing 13.2 pounds. Participants in the control group slept with what the researchers described as a “light plastic chain blanket” weighing about 3.3 pounds.

Those who used the weighted blankets for four weeks reported significantly reduced insomnia, better sleep, a higher daytime activity level and fewer symptoms of fatigue, depression and anxiety. And they were nearly 26 times more likely to experience a 50 percent or more decline in the severity of their insomnia compared to those in the control group and nearly 20 times more likely to achieve remission of their insomnia, a change maintained through the following year.

Study leader, Mats Alder, consultant psychiatrist at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute, said the explanation for the calming and sleep-promoting effects is the pressure of the chain blanket on different points on the body, “stimulating the sensation of touch… similar to acupressure and massage.”

These are interesting findings. Weighted blankets are widely available. If you’re interested in trying one, look for one that weighs about 10 percent of your body weight. Online prices range from $50 to $300 or more.

Andrew Weil, M.D.

Mats Adler et al, “A randomized controlled study of weighted chain blankets for insomnia in psychiatric disorders.” Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, 2020; DOI: 10.5664/jcsm.8636

This content was originally published here.


0 out of 5 stars(0 ratings)

New Study Shows Weighted Blankets Help Those With Anxiety and Depression Get Better Sleep

In a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, it was determined that those who suffered from anxiety and depression and who sleep with a weighted blanket were able to get a better night’s sleep than those who didn’t use one. This study followed the participants for four months and then did a […]

Read more

The Truth About Weighted Blankets

<img class="size-full wp-image-2512 aligncenter" src="data:;base64,” alt=”” width=”534″ height=”353″ data-lazy-srcset=”https://www.chatterboxpeds.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Blanket.jpg 534w, https://www.chatterboxpeds.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Blanket-300×198.jpg 300w, https://www.chatterboxpeds.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Blanket-227×150.jpg 227w” data-lazy-sizes=”(max-width: 534px) 100vw, 534px” data-lazy-src=”https://www.chatterboxpeds.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Blanket.jpg” />Weighted blankets are a sensory tool used by occupational therapists to help manage emotional and physical regulation. The use of deep pressure releases a neurotransmitter called serotonin into the body, causing a calming effect. It can […]

Read more

Best Weighted Blankets for Anxiety & Insomnia – Top Heavy Blanket Benefits

While there are all kinds of insomnia solutions already out there for the 83 million Americans who don’t get enough sleep (hello, lavender body lotion!), more and more people are turning to these cozy, weighted blankets to help them get some shut-eye. Kpblis Weighted Blanket – Dark Grey The dozens that are currently available on […]

Read more

Share Great Content for Our Resource Section


Napping.com provides the latest news, information and expert articles related to sleep, sleep research, napping and better health and wellness. We welcome visitors to share useful resources for our Editorial Team.

Have a suggestion? Send us an email at: contact@napping.com


Suggest Content