About Weighted Blankets
In its simplest description, a weighted blanket is two pieces of fabric sewn together with a heavy filling inside of it. The filling is distributed evenly throughout the weighted blanket. When laid upon a child, the overall affect or feeling that results can be comparable to a big warm hug. In fact, many kids report that the weighted blanket for children feels “like a big hug” when they describe it.
Weighted blankets and vests have been around as a therapy tool for a while now. Many parents have observed the calming effect they can have on children with autism and sensory issues. The science behind these weighted items is called Deep Touch Pressure (DTP). This is the term for the feeling of gentle, distributed weight on the body.
You can get the benefits of DTP in a variety of ways. Hugging is one way that everyone can experience DTP. Weighted vests, blankets, stuffed animals, or lap pads are all ways to get the benefits of DTP. As long as there is gentle, distributed weight, there will be benefits from DTP.
Research into the benefits of DTP can help you find new ways to help your child with weighted items. Following are some links to research that we have found helpful.
Focus In the Classroom
There are quite a few studies that show that using DTP in the classroom can help improve children’s performance. One study found that children with ADHD improved their in-seat behavior, attention, and task completion while wearing a weighted vest.
Another study looked specifically at fine motor activities like writing and found that DTP had a positive effect on on-task behavior. It’s also been shown that children with autism specifically have better in-seat behavior when using DTP.
More Studies & Information
Weighted Blankets or LapPads can be used to calm down and relax in many different ways: by covering the whole body for sleep, wrapping it around one's shoulders or by laying it across the lap or legs only. Our products can provide relief and comfort and can help supplement sensory disorder therapy treatment for the following:
- Sensory or Sleep Disorders of any kind (weighted therapy can help increase Serotonin and Melatonin levels overnight)
- Ehler’s Danlos Syndrome
- ADD/ADHD Spectrum Disorder (many ADHD kids use our blankets to calm down after school or during Therapy sessions, or to relax and fall asleep)
- Asperger’s and Autism Spectrum Disorder (many of these kids use our blankets to calm down after school or during therapy sessions)
- Anxious Feelings and Panic symptoms, Stress and Tension
- Cancer or Dental Anxiety, Peri-menopause and Menopause symptoms.
- Sensory Integration Disorders/Sensory Processing Disorders
- People who are 65 or older: weighted blankets help calm a myriad of symptoms, including those who have Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s Disease
- The deep pressure touch simulation, or swaddling that happens when you cuddle up with a Comfort Me Weighted Blanket can help you or your loved one feel better and ease the mind allowing for complete relaxation
- When using a Comfort Me Weighted Blanket, gently drape it across the body to get the full effect of DPT on all pressure points
Have a good night's sleep.
A study in the Journal of Sleep Medicine & Disorders speaks of benefits of a weighted blanket for insomnia.
If you experience bouts of rough sleep and uneasiness as well as those who just can't relax or get a deep state of mindfulness a weighted blanket could be the key!
No prescriptions or drugs..no apps to download!
One study looked specifically at dental patients and used weighted blankets as a way to reduce their anxiety in a high-anxiety situation. The study showed that the weighted blanket caused physiological changes on the patients’ nervous system, helping them feel calmer at the dentist.
Another study found that even short periods of DTP brought about a reduction in sympathetic arousal, which generally means a calming-down effect. If anxiety is an issue for your child, a weighted blanket could be a good tool to have on hand.
A related study specifically mention that those patients who “used the weighted blanket reported significantly greater reductions in distress and clinician-rated anxiety than those who did not.”