Low Tech Lifesavers: Weighted Blankets
Weighted blankets are heavy, specially made bed coverings. They use sewn-in bags of sand or other dense materials to make the covering heavy. They are mostly used for children with autism but be used to calm people with dementia or for other neurological conditions. They help children sleep and can help with tics and involuntary movements and conditions like restless leg syndrome.
This is another post inspired with thanks to @touretteshero. One of her fab blog posts led us to this product which we really believe deserves a mention on Living with Disability. The product in question is the use of weighted blankets, a simple invention which provides a carefully determined amount of pressure during sleep to help control any involuntary movements. They can improve the sleeping patterns and experience for those who have a number of different conditions.
Like the post on wrist straps, Tourettes Hero’s blog post, describes a product that has helped her get on with her life. She discusses how it helps provide some resistance to her tics but also mentions how the product was already on her horizon as she had seen them in use with autistic children. People who have an autistic spectrum disorder can have extreme difficulty sleeping due in many cases to proprioceptive imbalance and even experience insomnia. A weighted blanket can significantly improve these problems and they can also help in the day time to help control the stimming that is related to autistic spectrum disorders.
So, what does a weighted blanket do?
Many of us have experienced the comforting feeling of heavy eiderdowns or blankets, maybe at grandparents as a child or the feeling of being ‘tucked up tightly’ with sheets. A weighted blanket provides what’s described as ‘deep pressure’ which is found to be calming and comforting especially for children on the Autistic Spectrum as research suggests they seek this deep pressure and want to be covered under several layers. With a weighted blanket, several layers aren’t needed and there is no risk of suffocation etc.
A large specially made heavy bed covering can be used at night to aid sleeping. Many families have said that using weighted blankets has given their child the first uninterrupted night’s sleep of their lives. They can help the child relax and feel comfortable in their bedroom. As well as large blankets there are a range of smaller products and lap pads which are designed for day time use, even in classrooms and at the dinner table. A weighted lap pad is designed to promote calm behaviour, enhance focus and concentration and also allows for further learning and comprehension if used in schools.
This video shows reviews on brand of weighted blankets and shows their uses:
For more info about the weighted blankets for sale on Amazon, click the box above.