Weighted blankets for insomnia in affective disorder and ADHD – a clinical follow up study
Bodil Ekholm, The Affective Disorder outpatient clinic at Psychiatry Southwest, Karolinska University Hospital Huddinge. Mats Adler, Institution for Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden (2018).
A clinical follow-up study has been conducted at the Affective Disorder outpatient clinic at Psychiatry Southwest, Karolinska University Hospital Huddinge in Sweden. 199 psychiatric patients with affective and ADHD diagnoses and co-occurring insomnia were included consecutively and treated with weighted blankets as a part of a clinical routine. 139 chain blankets and 79 ball blankets were prescribed. The patients were evaluated before and after four weeks use of the blanket concerning time to sleep onset and ten sleep-related symptoms, using a self-rating scale, and after one year by a telephone interview.
The use of weighted blankets reduced the median time to fall asleep from 70 to 30 minutes (p<0.001) and led to a significant improvement of ten other sleep-related symptoms at the follow up after four weeks. After one year the positive effects on sleep were still maintained.
In spite of the positive results, studies with controlled design are warranted.