Do Weighted Blankets Reduce Autism Anxiety?

Weighted blankets have created quite a hype lately. They are basically blankets with evenly distributed weights, and they create a sense of protection for people or children with anxiety, sleep disturbances, and even autism spectrum disorders. Weighted blankets for autism helps to relax and minimize the number of times people roll over, to some extent improve the quality of their sleep. But to what extent ? Read on to find out!

Benefits of a weighted blanket for autism

There is no doubt that putting pressure on your body helps you immediately relax and feel better. For example, a pressure massage makes you feel calmer than just rubbing against your skin.

People with autism also tend to experience anxiety. Therefore, a weighted anxiety blanket also alleviates some symptoms of autism. The pressure triggers the nervous system, which in turn lowers the heart rate and breathing and allows an individual to sleep peacefully. It can also allow your brain to release serotonin to keep you in a good mood and enjoy uninterrupted sleep.

In addition, the weight of the blanket causes a sensory effect that produces a calming effect to make people with autism feel safe and protected.

Do Weighted Blankets Really Work?

According to one study, anxiety in adults was reduced by 60% when using a weighted 30-pound blanket. It made them feel relaxed. While in children their sleep time did not change much but the quality of their sleep increased dramatically and autistic children enjoyed sleeping with a weighted blanket more than regular blankets.

In a nutshell, if your child likes to sleep with a weighted blanket because it helps them sleep better, then there’s no reason you shouldn’t allow them to use it. Just be careful to use it well.

How to properly use weighted blankets?

If weighted blankets are not used properly, they can present serious risks. It is also essential that children under the age of two are not allowed to use weighted blankets, as this can increase the risk of suffocation.

A weighted blanket is also not suitable for people with sleep apnea, asthma and claustrophobia, as it can interfere with their peaceful sleep.

However, a weighted blanket used with sufficient care will not pose any risk. A good initial guideline is that a blanket should weigh between 15-20% of body weight. You can start with the lower weight limit and increase gradually. For example, if your child’s weight is 45 lbs, it is safe to have a weighted blanket that weighs between 7 and 9 lbs. Your child’s preference is also important. If they don’t like wearing one, don’t force them to.

What should you watch out for before buying a weighted blanket?

Although it all depends on your personal choice, you should consider the weight of the blanket as mentioned above and whether the texture is comfortable enough as you don’t want to sweat and feel trapped overnight. It is also essential to take into account the washing instructions to assess whether it is convenient for you to wash at home.

Interesting Related Article: “Your Ways To Improve Your Home For Your Child With Autism”