Many people, both children and adults, have problems with sleeping. This can lead to further exaggerated health problems, as a good night’s sleep is essential for your health. In children, lack of sleep can lead to irritability and other problems that come with it, and a poor sleeping pattern is one problem that is associated with children who suffer from ADHD. Parents of ADHD children know only too well the need to give them all the help they need, and there are some ways in which an ADHD child can be helped to sleep. One that is gaining in popularity is the weighted blanket. Below, we explain what weighted blankets are, why they are becoming popular, and who might use them.
What Are Weighted Blankets?
ADHD affects many children, and it can do so in a variety of ways. One common symptom is increased levels of stress and anxiety. This can manifest when alone and trying to sleep. So, what does a weighted blanket do, and why are they being used for children with ADHD, autism and other conditions?
A weighted blanket is a simple concept; it takes the form of a double-layer blanket into which weights are placed. The weights can be made from a variety of materials – glass beads are a common type – and they are encased in small pockets. Each pocket is sewn inside the blanket, providing a uniform spread of weight across the blanket as a whole. You can see examples of weighted blankets at Truhugs and learn more about their uses.
A weighted blanket will typically – as is advised by those who prescribe them for children with ADHD – weigh a tenth of the bodyweight of the user plus a couple of pounds. This is determined to give the best effect. How do they work?
How Weighted Blankets Work
The idea behind a weighted blanket is that of providing a sense of comfort. There is a form of massage therapy known as ‘Deep Pressure Stimulation’ (DPS). DPS works by a practitioner applying pressure – by hand – to particular areas of the body. This stimulates the nervous system, causing it to release endorphins – these are the hormones that help relieve stress and anxiety, and make us feel happier and more relaxed.
A weighted blanket replicates the effects of DPS. By spreading the weight evenly across the body, the child – they are used by adults too – feels ‘cocooned’ and more secure, and the brain responds to the release of endorphins with impressive effect. The result is that rather than failing to get to sleep through trying to hard, which we all know does not work, the child relaxes, feels more secure, and is able to sleep naturally and for a good length of time.
There is a lot to be said for the science behind the effects of weighted blankets, for it is well-researched and proven. If you have a child who you believe may benefit from one then why not check them out further, and join the ranks of satisfied parents who already use this method.