Give Your ADHD Kid the Gift of a Good Night’s Sleep
I did it. I bought a weighted blanket. I liked it so much, I bought three weighted blankets. I had read about the benefits of weighted blankets for so long but never acted, so finally, I took the plunge. I bought a 12 lb. blanket for my 10-year-old grandson, a twin size. He has ADD but I wasn’t thinking about that when I bought it. I bought it because he always seemed a bit restless when he went to bed, and I thought it might calm him. It worked. Not only did it help him fall asleep faster, he stayed asleep.
His mother was so impressed, even a bit envious, so I bought her one. A 20 lb. twin. She sleeps with it every night. It does much the same thing for her; helps her calm herself, fall asleep faster and stay asleep. She describes it as a long lasting, comforting hug. With both of them sleeping better, I wanted to get in on the all-night hugs, so I ordered one for our house. Another 12 lb., twin. I use it on my side of the bed but relinquish it on sleepover nights.
Why it works
Weighted blankets are often recommended for kids with ADD or ADHD because they have a calming and organizing effect on the central nervous system. The ‘hugs’ are like deep touch pressure (DTP) massage, that helps the body release dopamine and serotonin, feel good hormones in the brain. These hormones help the body combat stress, anxiety and depression. Studies have shown weighted blankets can cause an increase of 31% and 28%, of dopamine and serotonin! These are both so important for kids with ADD/ADHD, and a blanket is such an easy way to give them what they need. And if that’s not enough good stuff, serotonin also converts to melatonin, the chemical that tells the body when to go to sleep and stay asleep.
When to use it
Weighted blankets are not just for bedtime. if you notice your child is having a hard time transitioning from a high energy situation to a low energy one, spending a few minutes with their blanket can help. They can snuggle up with it for nap time, reading time, before homework and even long car rides. Think of it as an easy to use tool that helps your child find calm in busy or anxious times.
Weighted blankets are readily available and easy to use, so don’t hesitate. Let’s get those kids calm and sleeping better. But don’t just think about the kids. Buy one for yourself or anyone else in the family that needs a hug. A really long lasting, serotonin releasing hug.
I’d love to know who you buy for and how a weighted blanket has helped. Please leave your comments below!