Friday, June 29, 2012

The Best Weighted Blanket Ever!

Best Weighted Blanket Ever!
Restless sleep is a tough one.  For those who know me, you know I’ve struggled with insomnia for years and I have had to work with my son on many sleep strategies.  Recently we have been using the SleepTight weighted blanket and I cannot say enough great things about it!!  The SleepTight has a rounded out area at the top of the blanket so that the weight from the blanket can go over your shoulders.  This is huge because the weight on the shoulders is very calming, yet the blanket doesn’t bunch up around the sleeper’s neck.  Just the thought of that makes me cringe.

Also I hear a lot of talk about weighted blankets should be 10 percent of a person’s body weight.  Who came up with this magic number?  When you have a teen or adult with autism who needs a weighted blanket 12-15 pounds of weight distributed across their body often isn’t enough.  When you take into account the larger size of the blanket, the amount of weight distributed across their body is much lower than a smaller size blanket.  The large SleepTight has a weight of 16 pounds the XL has a weight of 25 pounds.  For my son who weighs 120 pounds he prefers the XL.

I have been looking for published research on weighted blankets.  If anyone has read or found any current research on this topic please let me know!  I don’t doubt how helpful they can be, it’s just everyone seems to be guessing on what weight to suggest for their weighted blanket.  It would be nice to have some academic answers!

Please note: the weighted blanket I refer to was furnished to us as a gift from National Autism Resources.

1 comment:

Suse said...

Bonnie, I think the 5-10% weight is what is suggested as a generic weight - including for small children, and for things like weighted cushions, vests, belts and the like.
An OT acquaintance of mine told me there was not much research based evidence about using weighted products to help with behaviour - it is mainly anecdotal.
Here is one article you may find interesting. It does talk about adults needing extra weight.
Glad to hear the weighted blanket has been so successful - and the efficacy of the cut out makes good sense. This OT has done research into how well weighted vests work and she talks about how positioning the weights over the shoulders is important.
Sorry, probably too much info in reply but I've been recently looking into this for work - I'm an aide at a disability organisation.
Interesting post! It's great to hear how well it is working :)