We’ve found something that really works – a weighted blanket for ADHD. My son’s weighted blanket calms his anxiety and restlessness at bed time and induces a more restful nights sleep.
The Bedtime Struggle is Real.
You thought your kiddo would be asleep by now.
You’ve heard them go to the bathroom about 5 times. They’ve yelled at their brother twice.
You’ve called up to them, “Good night, honey!”, although now it’s not sounding so nice.
There’s been several trips up to give more kisses and reassure them the rain will stop very soon.
Your legs are falling asleep because you’re sitting in an awkward position on the stairs, so your kiddo knows you’re close.
Does any of this sound familiar??
Getting to Sleep is Difficult for ADHD Kids
Dealing with ADHD can fall somewhere between a winding road and a hair-raising roller coaster. I feel for families who have had sleep problems like ours and I love to share whats working for us.
For many kids, the diagnosis of ADHD is not just about hyperactivity. If you are like our family, hyperactivity may be the least of your worries.
A whole host of other symptoms can come under the ADHD umbrella – anxiety, sensory issues, sleep trouble, emotional disregulation – to name just a few. In our family, we can list anxiety and trouble sleeping at the top of our list. Our weighted blanket literally erases those two issues during the entire night for us!
Sleep is sooooooo important for ADHD kids
I know sleep is so important for kids in general, but less sleep can really exacerbate the symptoms of ADHD. Getting the recommended 10 to 12 hours of sleep can be really difficult. Kids with ADHD may have trouble calming themselves down at the end of a busy day. Once asleep, they may wake up frequently and have restless sleep.
I have been hyper vigilant about my kids getting at least 10 hours of sleep a night. (I have an entire blog post devoted to our bedtime routine.) Many nights, even with our time-tested bedtime routine and our supplements, dozing off to sleep was still a challenge.
Enter the weighted blanket.
I was familiar with weighted blankets, but thought they were more for kids falling on the autism spectrum or kids with extreme sensory issues. – I did not know weighted blankets could help someone with ADHD.
I was so wrong.
In fact, there have been many, many studies which have proven that using a weighted blanket for ADHD can have a therapeutic effect. It was not until a friend shared how a weighted blanket had helped her sons with ADHD that I bit the bullet and bought one for us.
Why weighted blankets work for ADHD
Weighted blankets–where the weight is evenly distributed throughout the entire blanket–can be a great source of Deep Touch Pressure. The pressure can reduce the bodies “fight or flight” activity so often seen with ADHD.
Not only that, this Deep Touch Pressure can help with sleep.
The pressure releases serotonin in the brain which helps regulate mood and provide relaxation. Serotonin also has a big part in the production of melatonin – your bodies natural sleeping aid.
Many kids find weighted blankets to be a great benefit in many other areas , as well. They can help kids focus on school work and provide relaxation when needed. These adorable weighted stuffed animals are great for use in school settings or while reading or doing homework.
How a weighted blanket helps my son
I can’t tell you what a relief this has been for us. My son gets more sleep and I can relax knowing I get time in the evenings to do a bit of relaxing myself!
With the weighted blanket, my son wakes refreshed and in a much better mood.
Better sleep leads to so much more – less anxiety and better focus at school.
When my son was a baby, he LOVED to be swaddled really tightly – swaddling releases all those same great brain chemicals as the weighted blanket – so this makes total sense now. The weighted blanket is giving him that sensory input that his body craves at age 11.
My son now says, “Mom, I used to hate sleeping, but now I see how relaxing it can be.”!
I’ve got my evenings back!
What a gift this has been. I used to sit on the stairs waiting for my son to stop trips to the bathroom, calling out to me, talking to his brother…90% of this has disappeared.
When it is bedtime, my son lays down in his bed, under his weighted blanket and goes to sleep.
On the odd occasion that is falls off, he’ll wake up and call out for me. I simply go to his room and put the blanket back on and he is back asleep in minutes.
I wish I had gotten a weighted blanket earlier!!
Beware of cheap imitations
While there are many different companies that sell weighted blankets, they are not all created equal. I bought ours from SensaCalm and I could not be happier with it.
SensaCalm was started by Donna Chambers, a grandmother who was trying to find help to calm her grandson after he was diagnosed with autism. Donna began sewing blankets in her church basement and it’s no surprise that she has built the company into the World’s longest running weighted blanket company. The blankets are such high quality…..ours has been used nightly for two years and has not even one loose stitch.
How to choose a weighted blanket
My son was about 80 pounds when we purchased ours and his blanket weighs 8 pounds. Children may prefer a slightly lighter or heavier blanket than suggested, so make sure you can exchange your blanket. The blankets are not huge and are meant to fit just over the body or the top of the bed. We use ours over a down comforter in winter and alone in the warmer months.
Weighted blankets are costly. I can honestly say, it is one of the best ways I have spent money in a long time. (SensaCalm does have a great clearance section where I purchased ours and they have sales often.)
You can even find them on Amazon now!!
The benefits of a restful nights sleep effect so many other aspects of my son’s – and our family’s life.
More than just a good night’s sleep
My son uses his weighted blanket for reading and watching TV, too. Getting under the blanket is a great way to calm down and relax after a long day at school.
*******Update on our blanket*******
Three and a half years later and our blanket looks brand new! My younger son is now using the first one we purchased and my older son has a newer, heavier one for his growing teen self.
I have seen a lot of companies start to sell weighted blankets that just do not compare in quality. These cheaper blankets are manufactured overseas in areas historically known for human rights violations. SensaCalm stands behind their product 100%, which can’t be said for most companies.
To cater to the needs of their customers, SensaCalm now conveniently offers Afterpay, a way to enjoy your blanket now and pay later. Details are on their checkout page.
Want more about ADHD?
Read about my favorite breakfasts for ADHD here.
Need more help getting your ADHD child to sleep. Read about our successful sleep routine for ADHD here.
In the market for a good parenting read? I share three of my favorites here.
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Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you purchase a product with these links I may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products that I purchase myself and have had share-worthy success with.