Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder, and in Spain affects more than 4 million people. However, for a person to be diagnosed with this problem they have to experience sleep problems for at least four weeks. The three main types of insomnia are as follows:
- Conciliation or initial insomnia.
- Maintenance insomnia or fragmented sleep.
- Late insomnia or early awakening.
People usually go to the doctor when they have problems falling asleep in the early hours of the night, and in order not to resort to chemistry and thus avoid counting countless sheep, several things are advised: that the room be kept at an adequate temperature (or too cold nor too hot, around 21ºC), which does not exercise up to two hours before or watch screens and whenever possible, the insomniac takes a hot bath to acclimatize and relax the body before sleeping.
Blankets are used not only by the medical community to treat insomnia, but also anxiety and depression
In addition to all that, a new study ensures that a blanket that weighs a little could be beneficial when it comes to resting without continuous tossing and turning. The Good News comes from a Swedish analysis, in which their researchers tested the effectiveness of blankets on 120 adult patients with insomnia for four weeks as part of a controlled study, 'Best Life' reports. They found that those volunteers who used the blanket were 26% more likely to experience a decrease of up to 50% in the severity of their insomnia, compared to those who did not use it, they were also 20 times more likely to achieve complete remission of their sleep condition.
And the good news does not end there: the patients who belonged to the blanket group not only did they experience better sleep maintenanceThey also reported more activity during the day and fewer symptoms of fatigue, depression, and anxiety. A follow-up to the study found that the results were sustained for a year. "A suggested explanation for the calming effect of sleep is the pressure applied by the blanket at different points on the body, stimulating the muscles and joints in a manner similar to acupressure and massage," explained Swedish psychiatrist Mats Alder, principal investigator of the study.
The pressure applied by the blanket at different points on the body may stimulate the muscles and joints. Something similar to when you get a massage
This is not the first research to discover the benefits of sleeping with such a blanket. Another analysis from 2015 already explained in its day that using them had a positive impact on our rest and improved the quality of sleep. It may surprise some, but for some time they are used by the medical community as a form of therapy not just to treat insomnia but also other conditions such as general anxiety and attention deficit disorder. "Many children with autism or behavioral disorders use them. It is one of the most common sensory tools used in psychiatric units," says Cristina Cusin, assistant professor of psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School.
Hugs lower cortisol
But what could be the best blanket for you if you suffer from insomnia? The aforementioned 2015 study recommends snuggling under one that's about 10% of your body weight for best results. That is, if you weigh approximately 70 kilos, you should buy a six. And if sleeping under a weighted blanket weighs you down a bit, there is always the option that someone hug you, as it has been shown to be an effective way to lower cortisol (stress hormone) levels and raise oxytocin levels.