Are weighted therapy blankets all just hype? Or can a weighted blanket truly help my child with autism get to sleep?
With a special needs child, getting them to sleep is the hardest part of the day. If you are a special needs mom then you know exactly what I mean. There are often special things that you have to do to get them into bed and certain routines that you absolutely must follow or you have to start completely over.
That is our life. We have been having difficulty getting our oldest child to sleep since she turned 2 years old. She started having a hard time calming down and then began needing a very specific routine that could not be changed in the slightest. We even had to say the same thing every night or my daughter would not go to bed.
We have also been woken up several times in the middle of the night when she has needed to be comforted back to sleep.
Needless to say, autism is exhausting. I felt like my household was always being woke up in the middle of the night and if I wasn’t getting any sleep then I knew my daughter wasn’t either. I honestly think she needed that comfort of someone holding her to get back to sleep.
So when I started looking into ways to help our daughter to sleep better, I came across recommendations for a “weighted blanket.”
My first thought was why would anyone want extra weight on them when they are sleeping? But as I read more and more about the benefits and the remarkable results that parents of children with special needs were having I knew I had to give it a try for myself.
(THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS HOWEVER, I WILL NEVER RECOMMEND ANYTHING THAT I DO NOT BELIEVE IN OR USE MYSELF. YOU CAN READ MORE ABOUT MY DISCLOSURE POLICY HERE)
What is a Weighted Blanket?
A weighted blanket is just as it sounds – a blanket that is filled with extra weight inside. Sometimes called a “heavy blanket.”
To be more specific a weighted blanket is made of two pieces of fabric that are sewn together and filled with weighted beads that are evenly spread throughout the blanket. This allows you to have some weight over your entire body that is covered.
How Does a Weighted Blanket Help with Sleep?
Weighted blankets put gentle, deep pressure onto the body which then causes the body to produce serotonin and endorphins, which are natural chemicals in the body that help you to feel relaxed and ready to sleep.
The pressure is also very similar to feeling someone holding you and comforting you when you are having trouble sleeping.
Who Could Benefit from a Weighted Blanket?
Honestly, anyone could benefit from a weighted blanket. We all need sleep and deep pressure therapy helps to get those natural sleeping chemicals going.
But weighted blankets are also very helpful to those who have special needs since they often have a difficult time getting to sleep and staying asleep. If you are a parent of a child with any of these diagnoses then your child could definitely benefit from a weighted blanket.
- ASD Autism Spectrum Disorder or Asperger’s Syndrome
- ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder)
- ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)
- SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder)
- Sleep Disorders or Insomnia
RELATED – 10 Signs that your Child may have ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)
Does a Weighted Blanket Really Help with Autism Sleep Issues?
My daughter has been using a weighted blanket to sleep with for a few months now and has been able to get to sleep much faster when sleeping under it. She has also seemed more alert and happier during the day.
After asking her how she felt about her weighted blanket, she said that she loved how it hugged her and made her feel safe. She now sleeps with it every night and it also has helped her to have less anxiety at night.
So does a weighted blanket help with autism sleep issues? Yes! my daughter cannot sleep without her weighted blanket and is much easier to get to sleep than she was previously without her blanket. I have also been told by many other moms who have kids with special needs that their kids have been sleeping so much better since they added a weighted blanket to their sleeping routine.
Where Can I Buy the Best Weighted Blanket?
I searched through several different companies that made weighted blankets and many of them are simply overpriced. Finally, I found a business that was created by a work at home mom of two names Dawn Gelenski. Her children also have autism spectrum disorder and use weighted blankets all the time.
Dawn started her business – Weighted Blankets by Dawn back in 2009 when a friend of hers with a special needs daughter asked her to make a weighted blanket to help with the sensory and sleeping issues her daughter was having. After making that first blanket other friends began asking her to make weighted blankets for their children as well.
Now it’s almost a decade later and she is still going strong. In fact, here is her son helping her with the process of making a weighted blanket.
Making blankets is something that also makes Dawn happy. She loves hearing that parents are seeing a difference in their children who have sleeping, sensory, or anxiety issues. With two kids on the autism spectrum, she knows how much it helped her kids.
Dawn also knows that weighted blankets can be very pricey so she tries to keep her prices as low as possible.
This is ultimately one reason that I chose to get my daughter’s weighted blanket from Weighted Blankets from Dawn. The second reason was how she is able to customize the weighted blankets specifically for each person. When placing an order, you get to customize the material, pattern, weight, and size of the weighted blanket you want.
For my daughter Aubrey, she made a beautiful weighted blanket with a My Little Pony top side and a super soft purple mink on the bottom. And when it comes to washing the blanket, Dawn has made is so simple.
The entire blanket is in one piece and is fully washable and can be dried on medium heat. There are no extra pieces to take off. This takes the hassle out of washing and drying.
Lastly, head over here and check out Weighted Blankets by Dawn and see all of her latest creations. And to place an order just send her a message on her Facebook page. She is so fast at getting back to you and is so helpful in helping you decide how to create the perfect weighted blanket for your child’s needs.
Great story, Heather/ . I’m so glad to read that Aubrey’s weighted blanket is helping her so much. I’m an adult and I don’t think I’m the spectrum or have anxiety, etc., etc, but i enjoy a throw blanket that I have this is heavier than most and also very soft. It is comforting, so I can see how a weighted blanket makes a difference to children with the autism challenges.