# Why might sleeping on the floor alleviate PTSD symptoms?

Question:

Does sleeping on the floor have similar neurotransmitter effects, as sleeping under a weighted blanket might? Psychiatrically, would it be expected that a person having PTSD would find similar results sleeping under a weighted blanket as they do when they sleep on the floor?

Could sleeping on the floor actually be a subconscious attempt at regulating neurotransmitters or possibly even to promote better REM sleep?

Background:

There are many views on the interplay of different neurotransmitters and hormones, (dopamine, serotonin, etc.), and PTSD, anxiety, depression, etc.

There is also a lot of consensus on how weighted blankets seem to help alleviate these symptoms, providing that sense of security. They also seem to be used a lot by parents of children with Autism, Aspergers, and ADHD.

There are a variety of theories why people with PTSD sleep on the floor, could a valid rival hypothesis be a neurotransmitter affect?

1. To be in a position to respond to threats more effectively.
2. To askew comforts, and lavishness, in view of self-worth.
3. The sense of security and being "grounded".

Article linking sleeping on the floor with hypervigilance: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Reactions.

I feel that this traditional connection to hypervigilance is not a good enough explanation because I have been observing that the quality of sleep is the same, if not better, in terms of durations of Light, Deep, and especially REM sleep.

Why might sleeping on the floor alleviate PTSD symptoms?

Question: Does sleeping on the floor have similar neurotransmitter effects, as sleeping under a weighted blanket might? Psychiatrically, would it be expected that a person having PTSD would find similar results sleeping under a weighted blanket as they do when they sleep on the floor?

There is also a lot of consensus on how weighted blankets seem to help alleviate these symptoms, providing that sense of security. They also seem to be used a lot by parents of children with Autism, Aspergers, and ADHD.

Could sleeping on the floor also be related to this, possibly because of the firmness and sense of security felt from being on the floor? (Even if physically uncomfortable.)

No. Don't connect those very different studies and use it as a basis for a conclusion.

The article you reference mentions the word "floor" 3 times, twice to mention that 2 children sleep on the floor and the third time the author writes:

"Children who sleep on the floor instead of their bed after a trauma do so because they fear the comfort of a bed will let them sleep so hard that they won’t hear danger coming.".

It is the claim, of proponents of weighted blankets, that they: reduce movement, let you feel as if you are being held, and thus promote better sleep.

Source: "What's the deal with weighted blankets?":

"The thought is that this weight mimics the pressure of being held, which helps release anxiety to let you fall asleep faster. Some studies, including a 2015 one "Positive Effects of a Weighted Blanket on Insomnia" from the Journal of Sleep Medicine and Disorders, back this up (.PDF). The research found that weighted blankets did in fact provide a "beneficial calming effect" for those suffering from insomnia.

In case one it is the decision of a few children that they won't sleep as well, in the second case it is businesses that want to sell weighted blankets to cause you to sleep better. Opposites.

References on beds such as Wikipedia's "Bed" webpage or Mattress Mart's "History of the Bed" ;) attribute the invention of the bed as a means to increase comfort. One must also consider pressure ulcers caused by insufficient padding and reduced movement.

Comparing misread articles, few in number, and extending it to other unreferenced articles and ailments isn't a supported basis on which to advance a theory on psychology involving biological, behavioral, cognitive and social disciplines.

Prior to 3600 BC mankind did without bedding.

Source: "History of the world - Early Humans":

The closest living relatives of modern humans, Homo sapiens, evolved around 4.6 to 6.2 million years ago. Anatomically modern humans arose in Africa about 200,000 years ago, and reached behavioural modernity about 50,000 years ago.

By the reasoning of your theory and extension of those two prior paragraphs one would conclude that prior to 5620 years ago there were no PTSDs, it is the modern bed that is a contributing factor.

• +1 And thanks! I am not sure I agree with: "Children who sleep on the floor instead of their bed after a trauma do so because they fear the comfort of a bed will let them sleep so hard that they won’t hear danger coming." I know for a fact that people are sleeping as "hard" because I have been monitoring light, deep, and REM sleep. And it doesn't make a whole lot of sense that a person would continue to do this knowing it wouldn't affect their vigilance, or alertness. I am definitely not trying to suggest beds caused PTSD, only play to those symptoms in some cases. – elika kohen Jul 31 '18 at 15:34
• @elikakohen - You are welcome. The text quoted is a decision made by an upset child, I would not think of the quoted text as supporting the decision; only explaining the child's reasoning. Perhaps a weak analogy would be comparing sitting in a seat of a fighter jet with normal clothing (or just sitting on a blanket, if that improves the comparison a tiny bit) versus wearing an anti-G-suit. The blanket would slightly improve an already somewhat comfortable seat while the anti-G-suit would compress your abdomen and legs, improving blood flow. – Rob Jul 31 '18 at 15:54