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Sensory & Sleeping Disorders

A Natural Solution

You should have full control over your wellbeing. Treatment for mental disorders are often expensive, drug dependent, and full of adverse side effects. Weighted blankets can help aid symptoms of sensory and sleeping disorders naturally. It is free of side effects and can be integrated affordably into your life. More importantly, you decide when and how you would like to use it.

Sensory Processing Disorders (SPD)

According to pioneering occupational therapist, educational psychologist, and neuroscientist A. Jean Ayres, PhD, SPD is like a “traffic jam” between the brain and the body parts that receives sensory information. People with SPD has trouble processing sensory information and they can be hypersensitive or unresponsive to senses such as touch, smell, and sounds.

People who are hypersensitive find sensory information overwhelming and even painful. On the contrary, people who do not respond to sensory information often seek out sensory stimulation and can have a high pain tolerance. SPD exists on a spectrum and it is rare for someone to only be hypersensitive or unresponsive to sensory information. People with SPD often experience random fluctuations between the two and therefore, can experience both symptoms of sensory seeking and sensory avoiding.

  • Overwhelmed by people and places.
  • Seeks out quiet spots in noisy, crowded environments.
  • Startled by sudden noises.
  • Bothered by bright light.
  • Refuses to wear itchy or uncomfortable clothing.
  • Avoids hugging or touching other people.
  • Strong reactions to smell and texture of foods.
  • Has a strict and limited food preference.
  • Gets upset with small changes in environment and avoids trying new things.
  • Unexpected tantrums or meltdowns when they feel out of control and usually triggered by changes in their environment.
  • Often distracted and lacks focus.
  • Experiences a lot of anxiety.
  • Has to constantly move by squirming or fidgeting their bodies.
  • Constantly seek out sensory input through physical contact and pressure.
  • Low or high pain tolerance.

Weighted blankets have a long history in sensory integration therapy used by professionals to treat patients with SPD. Recently it has became more publicly accessible and parents have been using it for kids with autism, ADHD, and anxiety. The reason why weighted blankets are used in sensory integration therapy is because it is a way to affect and control sensory information.

The way weighted blankets affects our sensory information is through a type of pressure, scientifically referred to as Deep Pressure Therapy.  Deep Pressure therapy has many benefits for people with SPD. Below is a list of ways that weighted blankets help relieve symptoms of SPD.

  1. Reduces sudden noises and bright light, which is uncomfortable for people who are hypersensitive to sensory information.
  2. Decreases bodily movements such as fidgeting and squirming, a common symptom for people who are sensory seeking, so that the body can relax.
  3. Provides a confined, familiar, and safe space that is isolated from the distractions of their environment.
  4. Allows people who are hypersensitive and often receive too much sensory information to focus on one dominating sensory input, which is the pressure and weight of the blanket.
  5. It provides the pressure that people who are sensory seeking often look for.
  6. To learn more about DPT, read our research on how DPT helps your body relax by clicking here.

Sleeping Disorders

It is difficult to define sleeping disorders because there are many forms of sleeping disorders. It ranges from Sleep Apnea which affects our breathing to Insomnia or Hypersomnia which affects how much we sleep. Generally, sleeping disorders can be characterized as a condition that affects the way we sleep.

Because there are many forms of sleeping disorders that have unique symptoms, we gathered a list of common symptoms that are caused by most sleeping disorders.

      • difficulty falling or staying asleep
      • daytime fatigue
      • strong urge to take naps during the day
      • irritability or anxiety
      • lack of concentration
      • depression
      • Irregular sleeping patterns
      • Too much sleep
      • Going long periods of time without sleep

 

Weighted blankets help regulate the sleeping cycle and improve your sleep quality through Deep Pressure Therapy (DPT). Below is a list of ways that weighted blankets affect sleeping disorders.

  1. Trigger melatonin secretion, which helps regulate your body’s circadian rhythm and improve your quality of sleep.
  2. Trigger the release of dopamine and serotonin, which turns on your parasympathetic nervous system to help you rest and digest.
  3. Decreases body movements during sleep.
  4. Provides a pressure similar to a massage that helps your body relax.
  5. Reduces cortisol levels to help decrease stress levels and promote relaxation.
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