Weighted Blanket: A Great Gift for Your ADHD Child
About five percent of U.S. children have ADHD, according to the American Psychiatric Association. Boys are more than twice as likely as girls to be diagnosed with ADHD, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Studies have shown that up to seventy percent of parents of children with ADHD report that the children have difficulty falling asleep and that they spend a long time putting them to bed. Even one night of poor sleep can negatively affect mood, academic performance, and even intellectual ability. Unfortunately, for many kids with ADHD, sleep problems are chronic, and parents are exhausted trying to find answers. Children with ADHD are two to three times more likely to have sleep problems when compared to kids without the disorder.
While sleep may be hard to come by for kids with ADHD, a recent study suggests that even moderate sleep gains (approximately 30 more minutes each night) can lead to improved alertness and better behavior in school-aged children. Many options are available when seeking out better sleep, but the most regularly recommended is a powerful sleep tool — a weighted blanket, a great gift for your ADHD child.
What is a weighted blanket
Like the name indicates, weighted blankets are made with added weight so that they feel heavier than a typical blanket. Weighted blankets work on the principle of Deep Pressure Touch Stimulation(DPTS), the pressure from a weighted blanket forces the body to relax by a process known as ‘grounding.’ If you have ever cuddled under a fluffy down blanket, or you feel calm and relaxed while zipped up in a heavy sleeping bag, you have probably already experienced the benefits of DPTS. Studies have shown that weighted blankets were effective in improving quality and quantity of sleep for participants with insomnia.
Why weighted blanket works for your ADHD child
Weighted blankets are often recommended for kids with ADD or ADHD because they have a calming and organizing effect on the central nervous system. The ‘hugs’ are like deep touch pressure (DTP) massage, that helps the body release dopamine and serotonin, feel good hormones in the brain. These hormones help the body combat stress, anxiety and depression. Studies have shown weighted blankets can cause an increase of 31% and 28%, of dopamine and serotonin! These are both so important for kids with ADD/ADHD, and a blanket is such an easy way to give them what they need. And if that’s not enough good stuff, serotonin also converts to melatonin, the chemical that tells the body when to go to sleep and stay asleep.
When to use a weighted blanket
Weighted blankets are not just for bedtime. if you notice your child is having a hard time transitioning from a high energy situation to a low energy one, spending a few minutes with their blanket can help. They can snuggle up with it for nap time, reading time, before homework and even long car rides. Think of it as an easy to use tool that helps your child find calm in busy or anxious times. But there are a few things you should consider before you put a weighted blanket on your child:● First and foremost, NEVER force a child to use a weighted blanket. You can demonstrate on yourself and encourage, but remember we’re talking about sensory input and a weighted blanket may actually feel painful to your child.● When first presenting the weighted blanket to your child, pull it up slowly from their feet and lay it down on top of them. Ask them what they think!● If your child could benefit from some calm down time outside of bedtime, try wrapping the weighted blanket around them while they sit on the couch or floor while reading, playing board games, doing homework, etc.● Please don’t use weighted blanket if your kids is under the age of 2.
If you are thinking of investing a weighted blanket for your ADHD child, we strongly recommend YnM Kid’s Weighted Blanket 3.0, it is made of high-quality breathable cotton with hypoallergenic glass beads sewn in pockets of the inner layer. This gives a smoother sensation and is reasonably quiet compared to plastic materials. The weighted blanket functions well to help reduce anxiety in children and promote better sleep. In addition, YnM is one of the top sellers on Amazon, known for good price and high quality, got 4.5 out of 5 with over 3000 reviews.
Weighted blankets are readily available and easy to use, so don’t hesitate. Let’s get those kids calm and sleeping better. But don’t just think about the kids. Buy one for yourself or anyone else in the family that needs a hug. A really long lasting, serotonin releasing hug.