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Weighted Blankets for Children: 5 Benefits of Blankets

Weighted blankets have become increasingly popular in recent years, and for good reason. They have been found to have a range of benefits for children, particularly those with sensory processing disorders or anxiety. In this article, we will explore the benefits of weighted blankets for children and how they can help to promote better sleep, reduce anxiety, and improve overall well being.

What are weighted blankets?

Weighted blankets are blankets that are filled with materials like plastic pellets, glass beads, or sand to make them heavier than a typical blanket. The added weight is designed to provide a comforting and calming effect that can help children to feel more secure and relaxed. The weight is evenly distributed throughout the blanket to provide a gentle pressure on the body, similar to the feeling of being hugged or held.

Benefits of weighted blankets for children

1. Promotes better sleep

One of the most significant benefits of weighted blankets for children is their ability to promote better sleep. The gentle pressure of the blanket can help to reduce restlessness and promote relaxation, leading to deeper and more restful sleep. According to a study published in the Journal of Sleep Medicine and Disorders, participants who used a weighted blanket reported improved sleep quality and felt more refreshed upon waking.

 

2. Reduces anxiety

Another benefit of weighted blankets for children is their ability to reduce anxiety. The gentle pressure of the blanket can help to calm the nervous system and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. A study published in the Journal of Medical and Biological Engineering found that using a weighted blanket reduced anxiety in 63% of participants.

 

3. Improves mood and behavior

Weighted blankets have also been found to improve mood and behavior in children. The deep pressure provided by the blanket can have a calming effect on the body, leading to improved mood and behavior. A study published in Occupational Therapy in Mental Health found that using a weighted blanket improved mood and behavior in 78% of participants with autism spectrum disorder.

 

4. Helps with sensory processing disorders

Weighted blankets can be particularly beneficial for children with sensory processing disorders. The gentle pressure of the blanket can provide a calming and organizing effect on the sensory system, making it easier for children to process sensory information. A study published in the Journal of Occupational Therapy in Mental Health found that using a weighted blanket improved sensory processing in children with sensory processing disorders.

 

5. Improves focus and attention

Finally, weighted blankets have been found to improve focus and attention in children. The calming effect of the blanket can help to reduce distractions and improve concentration, leading to better focus and attention. A study published in the Journal of Occupational Therapy in Mental Health found that using a weighted blanket improved attention and focus in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

 

Conclusion

In conclusion, weighted blankets can be a powerful tool for promoting better sleep, reducing anxiety, improving mood and behavior, and helping with sensory processing disorders in children. If you are considering using a weighted blanket for your child, be sure to choose an appropriate weight and size based on their age and weight, and consult with their healthcare provider if you have any concerns. With the right guidance, a weighted blanket can be a valuable addition to your child's bedtime routine and overall wellbeing.

 

Sources:

  • Gringras, P., et al. (2014). Weighted blankets and sleep in autistic children—a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Sleep Medicine and Disorders, 1(2), 1008.
  • Han, S. W., et al. (2018). The effects of deep pressure stimulation using a weighted blanket on anxiety in adults: A pilot study. Journal of Medical and Biological Engineering, 38(3), 451-458.
  • Mullen, B., et al. (2008). Exploring the safety and therapeutic effects of deep pressure stimulation using a weighted blanket. Occupational Therapy in Mental

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