This Study Shows Weighted Blankets Help Cure Insomnia!

This Study Shows Weighted Blankets Help Cure Insomnia!

Finally, a sleeping hack that works.

Since we’re all adjusting to new normals, it’s perfectly understandable that our sleeping patterns may get affected while we adapt to work-from-home setups and wrap our minds around indefinite restrictions, whether travel-related or not. That said, there’s always a way to counter the sleepless nights and the struggles of falling asleep. A recent study tells us that an effective remedy is to actually sleep with a cosy, weighted blanket!

This study was conducted by Swedish researchers and published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. The group of researchers discovered that insomnia patients experience improved sleep when they use a weighted blanket. 

Also read: Here’s Why You Should Never Sleep When The Plane is Taking Off or Landing

How the blanket study was conducted

The Swedish researchers held a controlled study where there were 120 adult participants composed of 68% women and 32% men. Each one of them was previously diagnosed with insomnia, along with psychiatric disorders such as major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, and generalised anxiety disorder. 

The participants were asked to sleep with either a chain-weighted blanket (six to eight kilograms) or a control blanket (one and a half kilograms). They were randomly assigned a particular weight and slept with their respective blankets for four weeks. Afterwards, the weighted blanket participants reported reduced insomnia severity, higher daytime activity level, and reduced symptoms of fatigue and anxiety. Compared to those who slept with control blankets, participants with weighted blankets were 26% more likely to see a 50% decrease in insomnia. 

According to Dr. Mats Alder who headed the study, the sensation of a heavy blanket plays a big part in its positive effects on sleep quality. “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,” he said. 

After the four-week study, the researchers made a 12-month follow-up and asked the participants to choose the type of blanket they wanted to use while sleeping. Most switched to the heavier blanket and experienced the same positive effects that the first weighted blanket participants experienced. 

Also read: COVID-19 Ruining Your Sleep? Here’s the Science Behind It

These findings reveal that we ought to consider the impact that beddings and sleeping surfaces have on our sleep quality. Thanks to this study, we’re seeing comforters and heavier blankets in a whole new light too. You’ve wasted enough time trying sleeping hacks that don’t work. Go on and get a fluffy weighted blanket to have the sweet dreams you deserve!

Image credit: Kelly Sikkema | Unsplash

About Author

Therese Sta. Maria
Therese Sta. Maria

Therese's close friends know that if they haven’t seen her around recently, then she’s probably having an adventure with her luggage and camera in hand. Though she loves staying at home and spending lazy afternoons with friends, there are times when she has to be "away from home to feel at home," — that’s when she’s bitten by the travel bug. See her travels on Instagram @reesstamaria.


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