Weighted blanket therapy may help individuals who struggle with stress, pain, and sensory issues. This type of therapy is often used by psychiatrists, occupational therapists, and other mental and behavioral health specialists. It can also be used in the home. Typically, weighted blankets, sometimes called gravity blankets, weigh between ten to thirty pounds. They have numerous pouches that are filled with steel, glass, or rice beads to provide weight. Patients may rest under the blankets at therapy sessions or use them for a few minutes at home after a stressful day or event. Some patients also find sleeping under a weighted blanket helps them have a better quality of sleep, fall asleep more quickly, and feel more rested. Weighted blankets are available for consumers to purchase, and they are appropriate for use for teenagers and adults. While some can be used with children, parents and caregivers must use caution and provide supervision as the weight of these blankets may be too heavy for many small children.
Over the past several decades, numerous patients have reported that weighted blanket therapy has helped them with symptom management as outlined below.
Manages Symptoms Of Autism
Autism is a medical term for a spectrum of disorders that affect social skills and communication. Patients with autism can sometimes engage in repetitive behaviors, and many of them have difficulty with sensory issues. For example, bright lights, loud noises, certain textures, and touch may be too stimulating for them and cause them to be upset. Some patients with autism also have additional health problems such as seizures, insomnia, and gastrointestinal disorders. Autism manifests itself differently in every person, and it can vary from mild to severe.
Asperger’s is a mild form of the condition. More severe forms of autism can usually be diagnosed between the ages of two and three, and milder forms like Asperger’s may go unrecognized until patients are adults. Autistic patients who struggle with touch and other sensations may find comfort in using a weighted blanket. Sometimes, parents of autistic children have to sleep next to them at night while they fall asleep. In doing so, they are providing their children with a form of deep pressure therapy in which gentle pressure is distributed across the child’s entire body.
A weighted blanket also manages symptoms of autism by providing deep pressure therapy. Using the blanket can help make it easier for autistic patients to fall asleep on their own. Studies of autistic children have indicated that weighted blankets help them feel less anxious and more focused, leading to better school performance and enabling them to sit quietly for longer periods of time.
Next, find out what else a weighted blanket can help treat.