According to Swedish researchers, weighted blankets might be your new best friend.
Research found that insomnia patients experience improved sleep and less daytime sleepiness when sleeping with a weighted chain blanket at night.
The randomized, controlled study showed that participants who slept under a weighted blanket for four weeks reported significantly lessened severity of insomnia; better sleep maintenance; increased daytime activity; and reduced symptoms of fatigue, depression, and anxiety.
Participants in the weighted blanket portion of the study were nearly 26 times as likely to experience a 50% decrease in insomnia severity compared to the control group.
Those who slept with a weighted blanket were also almost 20 times as likely to achieve remission of their insomnia. Over the course of 12 months, positive results were maintained.
"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," said Dr. Mats Alder, consultant psychiatrist in the department of clinical neuroscience at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm.
"There is evidence suggesting that deep pressure stimulation increases parasympathetic arousal of the autonomic nervous system and at the same time reduces sympathetic arousal," he continued, "which is considered to be the cause of the calming effect."