What is a Weighted Blanket – Autism, ADHD, Anxiety, & Insomnia!

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Weighted blankets, vests, and other similar devices are spread throughout our home.  Having three children with autism, sleep apnea, anxiety, ADHD diagnosis, these tools are priceless!  Soon after their diagnosis, I started hearing about deep pressure devices.  I began asking “what is a weighted blanket?” and “what are the benefits of a weighted blanket?”

Our first deep pressure touch stimulation (DPTS) device was a weighted compression vest for our son.  The compression combined with the weights gave him the equivalent of a big hug the entire time he wore it!  It was great when he would wear it.  The problem was, he wouldn’t wear it often because he does not like tight-fitting clothing.

That had us onto our next search, which ended in tons of searches for the benefits of a weighted blanket.  I found so many amazing benefits, but I was quite nervous about the price tags associated with it!  Let’s face it, none of us want to buy something so pricey just to find out the kids won’t use them!

Today, we’re going to go over the scientific benefits of a weighted blanket as well as our personal experience with weighted blankets.  So let’s dive in!

What is a Weight Blanket?

A weighted blanket is just like what it sounds, a blanket full of weights.  They start from 5 lbs and go up to 25 lbs.  These weights are used in comparison to the person’s weight.  The rule of thumb for these is 10% of body weight.

Blankets are made with poly pellets designed into the blankets.  Some are sewn directly into the blanket, while others are separate parts with a comfy duvet cover on them.  (I’ll go over that a little further down).

What are the Benefits of a Weighted Blanket?

Weighted blankets use the power of Deep Pressure Touch Stimulation (DPTS).  This creates a calming and secure feeling for the person using it.  The comfort alone is a huge benefit, but there are many more benefits of a weighted blanket.

  1. Promoting and Improving Sleep – By using a weighted blanket, the DPTS naturally increase levels of relaxation with Serotonin and Melatonin release.  Both of these are found naturally in our bodies, but different disorders like Autism Spectrum Disorder and Insomnia can interfere with the natural production of both melatonin and serotonin.
  2. Helps Reduce Anxiety– There have been a large number of studies on the anxiety-reducing benefits of a weighted blanket.  According to one study, even short-term use of a weighted blanket significantly reduced anxiety.
  3. Helps with ADHD Symptoms-  One of the largest struggles for those affected with ADHD is focusing.  There have been countless studies that show using weighted devices can help minimize fidgeting, anxiousness and improve overall focus.
  4. Helps with Meltdowns!- This is a huge one for us! In the midst of distressing situations, studies have shown the use of a weighted blanket greatly reduces distress and anxiety.  Any parent of an autistic child will tell you, a tool like this is absolutely priceless!
  5. They Are Non-Medicinal-  A tool to use that’s not just another pill to take!  Not only are they non-medicinal, but they also help with a wide array of diagnoses.  Weight blankets help with Insomnia, Anxiety, Panic attacks, Autism, Restless leg syndrome, ADHD, PTSD, and many more!

Personal Experience with Weighted Blankets

We were very fortunate to receive two complimentary blankets for our children to use from the CMFRT company.  This gave us the chance to fully try them out for ourselves, and be able to give you our honest feedback.

Bean has a huge list of diagnoses, so she was the first to try a blanket.  She is diagnosed with (you ready for this?)  Autism, ADHD, RLS, and Sleep Apnea.  So as you can imagine, she would be the toughest critic.  If it doesn’t help her, she won’t use it.

I am happy to say that the 7 lb blanket from CMFT works wonders for her!  She has been using it every night since she got it!  Thankfully, it has a removable duvet cover that I can wash when needed.

For Little Man and Sis, they share a blanket.  They don’t need one nightly, but only when they are experience anxiety or having a meltdown.  Sis loves the fact that the duvet cover is two-sided.  A Minky side for warmth and texture and a ClimaCool, smooth cotton side to stay cool.

There Ya Go!

Hopefully, we answered your questions of “what is a weighted blanket?” and “what are the benefits of a weighted blanket?”  Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter to keep up with the latest at The Mom Kind!

By TheMomKind

Alicia Trautwein is an Autism advocate, writer, motivational speaker, and dedicated mom of four. Alicia’s desire to advocate for Autism comes from her own autism diagnosis and that of her three children, niece, and brother. Her life’s mission is to educate on autism acceptance and change the world for future generations of autistic individuals.

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