Positive effects of a weighted blanket on insomnia
Ackerley R, Badre G, Olausson H (2015). J Sleep Med Disord 2(3): 1022.
The study was presented at The World Sleep Congress of the World Sleep Federation, in Istanbul in 2015 and looks at the effects of the Somna Chain Weighted Blanket™ in 31 subjects who suffer from insomnia. The level of insomnia and any daytime tiredness and sleepiness in the participants were assessed using two well-known assessment scales: the Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) and the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS).
The participants were monitored over four weeks. For the first week they slept as usual, while during week two and three they slept with a Somna Chain Weighted Blanket™ weighing 6, 8 or 10 kg. During the final week they once again slept as usual without a Somna Chain Weighted Blanket™.
The study took both objective and subjective measurements. Objective measurements were taken throughout the period (four weeks), partly by asking participants to wear an actigraphy watch, which continuously measured their activity and sleep quality both day and night. Objective measurements also included polysomnography (PSG). In the first week (sleeping without the Somna Chain Weighted Blanket™) and at the end of the third week (sleeping with the Somna Chain Weighted Blanket™), the subjects’ night’s sleep was registered using PSG.
PSG entailed the participants sleeping as usual at home in their beds, while electrodes attached to their bodies registered and measured several variables simultaneously, such as brain and heart activity, muscle activity, breathing, blood oxygen levels and eye movements. Finally, body movements were also registered and analysed in a special way using a soft sensor pad placed under the sheets. Subjective measurements were also taken throughout the test period. Over the four-week period, all the participants kept a sleep diary, reporting their sleep quality using a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS). They also completed a questionnaire every day, in which they assessed how refreshed they felt on awakening and their perception of well-being and tiredness during daytime according to the Karolinska Sleepiness Scale (KSS). At the end of the four weeks, the participants also answered questions about their experience of sleeping with and without the Somna Chain Weighted Blanket™.
The subjective results showed that the participants liked sleeping with the Somna Chain Weighted Blanket™. They felt that it was easier to settle down to sleep, and that they slept better.
They also said they felt more refreshed in the morning. Objectively, the study found that the sleeping period increased, and that movements during sleep decreased when participants slept with the Somna Chain Weighted Blanket™.
In summary, the researchers found (both objectively and subjectively) that the participants could sleep more calmly when they used the Somna Chain Weighted Blanket™.