In a few years, the weighted blanket has become a very effective tool to promote sleep.
These heavy duvets are weighted with thousands of microbeads or glass or plastic beads, distributed in squares of approximately 10x10cm.
One chooses his heavy blanket by calculating about 10% of the sleeper’s body mass (or bodyweight).
Sleeping with a weighted blanket means having even pressure exerted on the whole body, which allows it to calm down and relax.
A feeling of a deep embrace for minor children or a massage for adults.
In both cases, it helps to fall asleep by reducing stress and promoting this reassuring “cocooning” effect.
You are in a profoundly beneficial state of well-being without necessarily needing melatonin or sleeping pills to help you sleep.
Many parents would like to try a weighted blanket to help their child fall asleep but wonder when it is safe to use one.
This article gives you some tips on whether your child can use this type of blanket.
Table Of Contents
- The weighted blanket is safe from the age of 3
- Contraindications for weighted blankets in children
- The benefits of a weighted blanket for children with specific conditions
- The effectiveness of weighted blankets for sensory processing disorders
- The positive effects of the weighted duvet for the elderly
- What you must remember
The weighted blanket is safe from the age of 3
Some might think it’s way too young to sleep with a heavy duvet on, but in reality, it’s recommended.
Generally speaking, a weighted blanket for children will always be lighter than an adult model. It makes sense.
Indeed, its weight corresponds to approximately 10% of the body mass of the child.
However, it is essential to follow specific guidelines to use weighted blankets safely: this product is recommended for a child weighing at least 20 kg and at least three years old.
With this build and this age, the child can get out on his own, without the slightest effort, if the blanket bothers him.
Otherwise, there may be a risk of suffocation and suffocation if the child cannot remove the blanket or with difficulty.
In addition, we recommend one of the parents at bedtime to check that everything is going well.
For example, you can wait until your child is asleep with his weighted blanket, then remove it to put his usual blanket back on.
This therapeutic accessory has the power to transform your child’s nights and to simulate the soft envelope of a hug.
Contraindications for weighted blankets in children
For their safety, not all children can use a heavy blanket.
This is all the more the case if they suffer from:
- respiratory problems;
- circulatory problems;
- temperature regulation disorders.
In any case, it is strongly recommended to speak to your doctor before considering the use of such equipment for your child.
In addition, it is essential to check beforehand that your child is in good health and that his sleep hygiene is good.
Let’s not forget that a very agitated child or having trouble falling asleep at night often means that he is not getting enough sleep.
In this case, a blanket may not be necessary.
The benefits of a weighted blanket for children with specific conditions
The weighted duvet helps resolve sleep disorders and calm the child’s nervous system by exerting deep pressure.
However, you can also consider this type of heavy blanket for children with special needs.
Indeed, the weighted duvet can be used for children with ADHD (attention deficit disorder with or without hyperactivity), restless legs syndrome, or an autism spectrum disorder.
The cocoon and reassuring effect provided by the weight of the blanket make it easier for them to let go and have a restful sleep.
Moreover, this article from Wake Up Serenity, the French manufacturer of weighted blankets, shows a link between the use of the weighted blanket and the secretion of well-being and relaxation hormones.
Since they act directly on anxious and anxious states, weighted blankets have the power to release serotonin (also called the hormone of happiness) and oxytocin (responsible for rest).
This effect is also called “Deep Touch Pressure” and automatically triggers a feeling of well-being and a calming impact on the sleeper.
The effectiveness of weighted blankets for sensory processing disorders
Like ASD in children with autism (autism spectrum disorder) and ADHD (attention deficit disorder with or without hyperactivity), sensory processing disorders manifest at a young age.
When diagnosed very early, there is a chance that children with sensory hypersensitivity will live more or less commonly in an environment that is generally hostile to them.
When placed on oneself, these weighted blankets bring many positive effects and a feeling of calm.
They stimulate proprioceptive sensations and strengthen sensory integration.
However, if you want to calm your child during the day, it is possible to put on a weighted jacket, which prolongs this state of calm, even after the sleep cycle has passed.
Do not hesitate to speak about it to the attending physician or the occupational therapist who follows your child.
The positive effects of the weighted duvet for the elderly
If there is a minimum age required for using a weighted duvet, there is no such thing as a maximum age!
This is excellent news since the therapeutic effects of such equipment for seniors are more than positive!
As it promotes sleep, it helps reduce anxiety levels and has a positive effect on stressful situations resulting from some factors:
- memory loss;
- mood and personality changes;
- difficulty performing familiar tasks.
In addition, the glass beads contained in the cover exert such pressure on the body that it releases hormones that will help soothe the sleeper.
Moreover, this coverage is even recommended for the treatment of specific pathologies, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
This duvet stimulates in them the sense of proprioception. Thus, they can finally concentrate on their physical sensations and relax.
However, Alzheimer’s is not the only pathology involved.
Many other psychiatric illnesses and behavioral disorders appear with age and can disrupt the sleep of seniors:
- sleep disorders (nocturnal ambulation, daytime sleepiness, disturbance of the sleep-wake cycle, evening restlessness, etc.);
- the Depression ;
- addictive disorders (alcoholism);
- Parkinson’s disease.
With such a weighting device, they concentrate only on their bodily sensations and fall asleep more quickly and peacefully.
What you must remember
- The weighted blanket is a beautiful natural tool that helps fall asleep, reduce stress and calm down;
- Its use is recommended from a bodyweight of 20 kg, and the age of 3 years. Below this, there is a risk of suffocation and suffocation for the child, who is unable to extricate himself from the blanket;
- Discuss your desire for a weighted duvet with your doctor or occupational therapist, before using it with your child, and always stay with him when he uses it;
- The heavy blanket has many positive effects on children with ADHD or ASD disorders, as well as on the elderly with neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s.