Attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder which makes it difficult for children to focus on just one thing. It increases levels of hyperactivity, impulsivity, and decreases social awareness. Children with ADHD sometimes present immature or destructive behaviors. While these children can be very loving and kind, they often lack the control to be fully self-aware.
ADHD affects both children and adults, and is normally treated through prescription medication. If you are looking for a natural alternative treatment, ask your physician about weighted blankets and whether they might work for you or your child. For a closer look at weighted blankets and how they help those with ADHD, read on below.
Sleep Schedules and Insomnia in ADHD Patients
Children and adults with ADHD often have difficulty putting their minds and bodies to bed at the same time. This results in restlessness, insomnia, and other sleep disorders. Fortunately, weighted blankets offer a natural solution to healthier sleep habits. In one 2015 study, researchers monitored the sleep habits of six individuals diagnosed ADHD using chain weighted blanket. The results showed that individuals who used the blanket needed less time to fall asleep, enjoyed a more thorough night’s rest, and felt more awake and functional the following day.1
Science shows that the use of deep pressure therapy, especially in cases of ADHD create a calming effect. Anxiety blankets evenly distribute weighted objects, such as poly-fil beads, to help the user feel more secure and safe in their environment. This is particularly useful at bedtime, when ADHD patients have time to let their minds wander.
Sensory overload can affect anybody with ADHD, but is especially disruptive for children who have yet to build coping methods. Sensory overload can stem from too much noise, flashing lights, and other sensory stimuli. Weighted blankets help to block out the external stimuli which could cause a meltdown, or for a child to become upset and inconsolable. The use of a weighted blanket provides a tangible resource on which the child can focus; this restores some balance, even if the stimulant is still active in the child’s personal space.
Contact Without Contact
Those diagnosed with ADHD often have trouble making and keeping friends, which can be difficult emotionally. Fortunately, weighted blankets simulate the sensory experience of a hug, increasing natural serotonin production and making the user feel happy. Human contact is a proven necessity for any healthy person, making weighted blankets an important resource in the lives of children and adults who may miss out on most social and sensory experiences of this nature.
This synthetic hug can also prevent feelings of loneliness in children or adults who have been diagnosed ADHD, but also suffer from social anxiety or other social disorders which prevent regular physical interaction from occurring.
Weighted Blankets in the Classroom
One of the main areas of life where weighted blankets come in handy is in the classroom. This is because the evenly distributed weight of the blankets allows individuals to focus better, and pay attention to trouble subjects. Occupational therapists may suggest having a few different weighted items on hand, such as vests, lap blankets, or neck wraps for children with special needs, such as ADHD or autism.
Some children prefer to bring their own weighted blankets from home, making the transition from home to school a little bit easier. Having an item of familiarity can help your child connect the happiness and comfort of home, with the potential comfort of new surroundings.
Wearing a weighted blanket may not always be an option, which is why some teachers only promote the use of them in learning centers, and other specialized learning areas. Children with ADHD respond well to boundaries and schedules, so working weighted blanket therapy into a time slot during everyday activities will help your student follow procedure and come to expect the use of the blanket as a learning tool.
Weighted blankets may also be useful for students with ADHD who suffer from test anxiety. Being able to focus on the questions being asked, by focusing on the weight of an anxiety blanket could improve grades and self-esteem.
For more information on weighted blankets and how they help in cases of ADHD, visit our main webpage at www.anxietyblanket.com. You can also following along with our blog as we continue to update new information on weighted blankets, and their benefits.