Insomnia and anxiety are troubling many people. We all know that weighted blankets can be a good solution to adult anxiety. So, Can weighted blankets for kids with anxiety?Also learn the following will give you the answer.
Who Needs weighted blanket?
Weighted blankets especially benefit those suffering from anxiety or insomnia. They are particularly helpful for children on the autism spectrum, who crave touch and pressure but are unable to tolerate typical physical touch from loved ones.
These children become sensory-seeking because, although they need stimulation, they cannot endure hugs and squeezes that neurotypical kids enjoy. Temple Grandin, a noted animal expert and advocate for those on the autism spectrum (and autistic herself) recalls the sensation of being touched as a child:
I would stiffen and pull away when people touched me, and I was oversensitive to both touch and sound…
Temple went on to complete a study of a device she built, called the “Squeeze Machine,” which exerted deep touch pressure to users. The study found that deep touch pressure benefited children with autism and ADHD by calming them. It also reduced self-injuring and stimulatory behaviors.
Studies have also found that babies, especially those born prematurely, benefit from deep touch pressure. As for the calming effects of a weighted blanket for sleep, Temple reports: “A high functioning autistic woman stated, ‘I need heavy blankets on me to sleep well, or else my muscles won’t calm down.’”
Weighted blankets provide the calming touch those on the spectrum need, in a way they can receive it.
Can Weighted Blankets Benefit Neurotypical Children?
While it may seem that weighted blankets are clearly a help for children on the spectrum who need the calming effect of the weights, weighted blankets can benefit all children.
Parents have reported that, despite the blankets being originally designed to benefit children on the autism spectrum and with sensory processing disorder, their children without such a diagnosis have experienced extraordinary benefits from using a weighted blanket, primarily in the form of better sleep.
A writer for Forbes Magazine reports: “When word got out among parent friends at my son’s school that weighted blankets were turning moody 10-year-olds into well-rested angels, everyone started tucking in.” He goes on to say his 10-year-old son began sleeping more soundly and waking up happier and more focused after regularly using a weighted blanket, and that other parents reported similar results.
Research on Weighted Blankets
A recent Wall Street Journal article discussed the use of weighted blankets for people with insomnia and autism, While that article concluded that published research on the effectiveness of weighted blankets for children with anxiety or autism spectrum disorders was scarce, I believe there is strong evidence for the premise behind weighted blankets, Deep Pressure Touch Stimulation.
In an article published in 1998 in The American Journal of Occupational Therapy, Edelson, Goldberg, Edelson, Kerr and Grandin concluded that deep pressure might help calm children with autism, especially those who also have high levels of anxiety. ajot.aota.org/article.aspx?articleid=1873405.
Compelling anecdotal evidence exists for using weighted blankets. Keith and Lora hear success stories from too many clients to count.
“I have so many people who call me and say that the love the feeling of the weighted blanket on their body. That it feels calming, like the vest you wear at the dentist’s office,” Keith says.
What Do Professionals Recommend?
Brenda says that weighted blankets reduce anxiety in her young occupational therapy clients.
“Many children seek sensory input, like deep pressure, to relieve anxiety,” says Brenda. “Deep pressure offers sensory input that calms the nervous system. There are many ways to offer deep pressure stimulation, like through joint compressions, massages, weighted vests, backpacks, and weighted blankets.”
“Weighted blankets comfort and calm children helping them fall and stay asleep,” says Brenda.
Most children sleep with a special blanket or a stuffed animal. Psychologists call them security or transitional objects. When you add weight to a blanket, it becomes therapeutic as well.
“Weighted blankets, or weighted lap pads help many children who are anxious, on the autism spectrum, have sensory integration dysfunction, or attention deficit disorder,” says Brenda.
“With a weighted blanket the child has the sensation of a firm hug while also being warmed. It’s a wonderfully relaxing sensory input for them.”
Weighted blankets and lap pads help calm anxious children during the day, which is beneficial to their attention, learning and academic success. This is a bonus for classroom teachers who find that weighted lap pads reduce time off task behaviors in children who are using them during the school day.
Many parents confirm that weighted blankets have improved their child’s sleep, which results in a better night’s sleep for them as well.
The parent of a child with an autism and anxiety disorder says, “I don’t need to read volumes of research on whether or not weighted blankets work. My daughter sleeps better and is less anxious since she began using her weighted blanket. Improving her quality of life improves my quality of life. That’s the only research study I need.”
Keith agrees. “Regardless of what studies say, I have hundreds of customers who swear by weighted blankets for themselves and their children. Our business keeps growing, so the blankets must be effective.”
How to Find a Good Weighted Blanket
Weighted blankets have become common enough that you can find them easily online.
What to look for:
Choose a fabric your child will enjoy; many weighted blankets are made from a soft minky or fleece material.
Pay attention to weight; blankets should typically weigh between 5-10% of your child’s body weight plus 1 or 2 additional pounds, though suggestions vary.
Choose a blanket size that will work for your child; sizes can range from a small lap blanket to ones large enough to cover a bed.
A 9-12 pound weighted blanket is generally recommended for children. Here are some good choices:
CJXM weighted Blanket – Reasonably priced. We have this one and love the weight and quality. It uses glass beads instead of plastic.You can easily get it on our website.
Can weighted blanket for toddler sleep?The answer is yes. Click on this article and you will learn more about it.