Weighted blankets, homeopathic medicines

Created date

September 27th, 2019

Dr. Andrew Kundrat, M.D. is the medical director at Riderwood, the Erickson Living community in Silver Spring, Md.

Q: Can weighted blankets help you sleep better?

A: Weighted blankets are purported to help people sleep better. They are usually filled with plastic pellets, ranging from about 4 to 25 pounds. People compare the feel of a weighted blanket to the feeling of an X-ray apron. To be safe, you have to keep the blanket away from your neck and face, and it is important to know that the use of these blankets does not yet require medical clearance. Because of this, if you have medical conditions, especially respiratory or skin problems, talk to your doctor about problems sleeping and whether you should use a weighted blanket. You should also use proper sleep hygiene practices such as keeping your room cool and dark, using a comfortable mattress, avoiding caffeine and alcohol, and avoiding using electronic devices like tablets, cell phones, or computers before bed.


Q: What are homeopathic medicines?

A: Homeopathic compounds have been around for 200 years or so. They are manufactured from ingredients taken from animals, plants, or minerals. The medicines themselves can come in many forms, including pills, ointments, or creams. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates homeopathic medicines with regard to marketing practices; however, the FDA has not approved homeopathic remedies as safe or effective. That is because years of research haven’t yielded any reliable scientific evidence about whether they reliably treat any disease or condition. In addition, the basic tenets of homeopathy directly contradict some basic laws of science. For example, homeopathic practitioners believe that the lower the dose of a medicine, the greater its effect. Because seniors tend to take several medicines, they shouldn’t try homeopathic medicines unless they talk to their doctors first. Regardless of claims of being natural, they could negatively interact with another medicine or contain unknown ingredients.

Health and wellness experts practice exclusively at Erickson Living-managed communities all over the U.S. Dr. Kundrat received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., and his medical degree from Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital/Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia. He completed his internship at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, Va., and his residency at Eastern Virginia School of Medicine in Norfolk, Va. Board-certified in internal medicine and geriatric medicine, he joined Riderwood in September 2008.