Benefits of Weighted Blankets for Autism
Last Updated on May 10, 2022
Weighted blankets have been used as part of therapy for those with an autism spectrum disorder by occupational therapists for a while now and more and more individuals are bringing these blankets into their homes thanks to their soothing benefits.
Learn more about some of the benefits of weighted blankets for autism, as well as some considerations when adding a weighted blanket into your family's therapy routine.
Overview: Benefits of Weighted Blankets for Autism
Weighted blankets have a number of benefits for individuals, including those with an autism spectrum disorder. Weighted blankets may help provide calming support for people with ASD and work by slowing down the nervous system.
Weighted blankets may:
- Improve focus and mood
- Decrease anxiety
- Aid in deeper, more restful sleep
- Calm meltdown frequency
As Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is more widely understood, scientists and therapists are working hard to provide different treatment options for children and adults on the spectrum. While there's no cure for ASD, there are a number of things experts recommend considering to treat the severity of symptoms. One of those treatments is using a weighted blanket at home.
Let's look at what weighted blankets are and how they may help those with autism.
What is a Weighted Blanket?
Weighted blankets are blankets that are weighed down by small glass or plastic beads. Often, they have quilt-like patterns, allowing the weight to be distributed evenly between the quilted sections.
Weighted blankets are a form of deep pressure therapy, which may provide a sense of calm for autistic patients. A therapist will generally apply deep touch pressure on points of the body to calm or relax a patient.
Weighted blankets for children with autism work to calm the nervous system by inciting a boost of serotonin and dopamine. These are the chemicals in the body that are known to boost moods and allow the autistic child's brain to manage sensory input so he or she may focus better. The increase in serotonin also boosts melatonin, which is the hormone that encourages more restful sleep.
Because of its calming effect, a weighted blanket is a wonderful drug-free addition for the treatment of ASD.
How Does a Weighted Blanket Work for Autism?
The answer to “do weighted blankets work for autism?” is certainly a “yes, they do.” A weighted blanket can help a child with ASD in several ways. From achieving better sleep and focus to helping calm anxiety and meltdowns, a weighted blanket works to boost serotonin to help improve mood and reduce stress. This results in fewer meltdowns and better school performance.
Achieve Better Sleep
Deep pressure therapy may increase serotonin in the body, which works to calm the nervous system and boost mood. Not only is a weighted blanket calming and may reduce anxiety, but it may also promote a deeper and more restful sleep as levels of melatonin increase, as well.
Many children and adults with ASD may also struggle with anxiety, either as a result of their condition or as a result of their diagnosis as they move about their day. A weighted blanket can provide a soothing feeling of being swaddled, which may decrease anxiety.
Improve Focus in the Classroom & at Work
Of course, with improved sleep comes improvement in the next day's activities and classroom performance. Beyond the sleep aid, a weighted blanket can improve focus and classroom or work performance with its deep touch pressure therapy.
Some patients with ASD may find that they can focus and complete tasks better with a weighted blanket draped over them. The self-stimulatory fidgeting behavior that many people with autism have as a block to focusing may also diminish with the help of a weighted blanket.
Calm Meltdown Frequency
Though it may appear as just a normal temper tantrum, those with ASD often have meltdowns because of stimuli around them that may be normal to others, but is overwhelming to them. Sensory overload from lights, sounds, noises, people and places can all incite a meltdown.
Applying a weighted blanket before a meltdown may help provide the deep pressure therapy needed to calm the individual and get them through the storm before a full-blown tantrum occurs.
Frequently Asked Questions About Weighted Blankets for Autism
Are you considering adding a weighted blanket into your ASD therapy or into a loved one's treatment? Here are a few more things to know and some frequently asked questions about the benefits of weighted blankets for autism.
Can a weighted blanket help a person with autism transition from one activity to another?
As a result of sensory overload, people with autism can find it difficult to transition from one activity to another, especially in a busy school or work setting. The deep pressure therapy that a weighted blanket provides may help calm anxiety as a person with ASD transitions to a new activity.
Will a weighted blanket help calm autistic with sensory processing disorder?
Although not everyone who has ASD has a sensory processing disorder and vice versa, some patients have both. Those with sensory processing disorder have difficulty understanding normal stimuli, making them oversensitive to things such as everyday sounds and smells. A weighted blanket may help calm this overstimulation by putting the body into “rest” mode.
Can a weighted blanket supplement existing treatment plans?
A weighted blanket is the perfect drug-free answer to calming someone with autism and can be used on its own or as part of a larger treatment program.
Weighted blankets are fantastic for anyone looking for relaxation and health benefits. We designed ours with a 100% TENCEL™ cover that stays cool, despite the added weight. Consider it like a “GhostHug” from us to you.
After undergoing three neck surgeries, Marc knew what it was like to live and sleep in constant pain. In 2001, after searching fruitlessly for a comfortable pillow and mattress that supported his neck and back ... Learn More
Quality • Comfort • Cooling
From $1,270.00 $889.00Shop Mattresses
- How to Choose the Best Mattress for You
- GhostBed’s Mattress Size Guide
- Mattress Disposal & Donation Guide
- Do I Need a Box Spring with My Mattress?
- How You Can Finance a Mattress Easily: Two Finance Options
- When Should I Replace My Mattress: The Definitive Guide
- The 3-Step Process to Buying a Mattress Online
- What is the Best Memory Foam Mattress To Purchase?
- Shipping a Mattress: Top Questions Answered
- Memory Foam Mattress in a Box
- How Long Does a Mattress Last?
- How to Choose a Mattress Type: Memory Foam, Latex, Innerspring, Hybrid
- Guide: Why Buy a Split King Mattress Bed
- How Much Does a Good Mattress Cost?
- Guide: Firm vs Soft Mattress - Pros & Cons
- Mattress Firmness Guide & Scale
- What is a Hybrid Mattress?
- Learn How to Clean Your Memory Foam Mattress
- How To Remove Blood Stains From Your Memory Foam Mattress
- How to Get Urine Out of Your Memory Foam Mattress
- How to Disinfect & Sanitize Your Memory Foam Mattress
- How To Flip or Rotate Your Mattress (and Why You Should)
- Top 10 Reasons for Eco Friendly Mattress Cleaning
- How To Move a Mattress: Step-by-Step Guide
- Battle of the Beds: Memory Foam vs. Spring Mattresses
- Which is Best: Foundation vs Boxspring
- Which is Best: Latex vs Memory Foam Mattress
- GhostBed vs. Casper Mattress Review
- GhostBed vs. Purple Mattress Review
- GhostBed vs. Leesa Mattress Review
- GhostBed vs. Tuft & Needle Mattress Review
- GhostBed vs. Tempur-Pedic Mattress Review
- GhostBed vs. Lull Mattress Review
- GhostBed vs Loom & Leaf Mattress Review
- GhostBed vs. Saatva Mattress Review
- GhostBed vs Brooklyn Bedding Mattress Review
- GhostBed vs Helix Mattress Review
- GhostBed vs Novosbed Mattress Review
- GhostBed vs Yogabed Mattress Review
- GhostBed vs. Nectar Mattress Review
- GhostBed Luxe vs Purple 4, Casper Wave, Leesa Sapira & Tempur-Pedic
- 10 Health Benefits of an Adjustable Bed Base
- GhostBed Adjustable Base vs Amerisleep Adjustable Base Review
- GhostBed Adjustable Base vs Lucid Adjustable Base Review
- GhostBed Adjustable Base vs Tempur-Ergo Plus Review
- GhostBed Adjustable Base vs Leesa Adjustable Base
- GhostBed Adjustable Base vs Nectar Adjustable Base
- GhostBed Adjustable Base vs Leggett & Platt Simplicity 3.0 Adjustable Base
- GhostBed Adjustable Base vs Reverie 4M Adjustable Base
- 6 Benefits of Sleeping with Your Legs Elevated
- 9 Benefits of Sleeping With Your Head Elevated
- 10 Quality of Life Benefits of an Adjustable Base Bed
- 6 Benefits of a Zero Gravity Adjustable Bed Base
- How to Sleep Better with Acid Reflux
- Sleeping Elevated Helps with Spinal Alignment & Spinal Health
- Timeline & History of Adjustable Base Bed
- Why GhostBed’s Adjustable Base is High Quality but Less Expensive Than the Competition?
- What Kind of Mattress Works with an Adjustable Bed?
- GhostPillow vs MyPillow® Comparison
- Cooling Pillow Technology and Benefits
- Guide: How to Wash Any Pillow
- Guide: Best Pillow for Side Sleepers
- Guide: Best Tips & Mattress for Hip Pain for 2021
- Best Sleeping Positions for Back Pain
- Guide: Best Tips & Mattress for Arthritis for 2020
- Guide: Best Firm Mattress for 2020
- Best Mattress for Side Sleepers
- Guide: Best Tips & Mattress for Stomach Sleepers
- Best Mattress for Back Pain
- Guide: Best Tips & Mattress for Kids
- Guide: Best Tips & Mattress for the Money
- Guide: Best Tips & Mattress for Heavy People
- Guide: Best Tips & Mattress for Athletes
- Guide: The Best Mattresses for All Types of Couples
- Guide: Best Tips & Mattress for Snoring
- Guide: Best Tips & Mattress for Fibromyalgia
- Guide: Best Tips & Mattress for Sex
- What is the Best Side to Sleep on: Left or Right?
- Best Sleep Positions During Pregnancy
- Easy Guide to Determining How Much Sleep You Need
- 16 Tips on How to Fall Asleep Quickly
- 4 Tips to Do When You Can't Sleep
- 9 FAQs: Benefits of Sleeping Cool
- Cooling Tips for Better Sleep
- Guide: Best Cooling Mattress for Hot Sleepers
- Guide: Science and Benefits of Sleeping Cool
- Sleep Trimester Guide for Pregnancy: 1st, 2nd & 3rd Trimester
- Tips for Healthy Sleeping During Pregnancy
- Sleeping When You’re Sick: How to Get the Rest You Need
- Guide: How to Sleep with Insomnia & Sleep Better
- Guide: Restless Legs Syndrome and Sleep
- Guide: Tips & Tricks to Get Kids to Sleep & Recommended Sleep Hours
- Narcolepsy Guide: Signs & Treatments to Relieve Narcolepsy
- Guide: How to sleep Better with a Chronic Illness
- Guide: The Importance of Sleep for Weight Loss
- Sleeping Tips: Complete Sleep Tips Guide for New Moms
- How to Use a Headboard With an Adjustable Base
- 6 Surprising Reasons Why You Can't Get Comfortable in Your Bed
- Size Comparison Guide: Twin vs Twin XL Mattress
- Size Comparison Guide: Full vs Queen Mattress
- Size Comparison Guide: King vs Queen Mattress
- Size Comparison Guide: California King vs King Mattress
- The Ultimate Guide to Pillowcases
- Guide: 3 Key Benefits of Silk Pillowcases
- Guide: How to Choose the Best Silk Pillowcase
- Silk Pillowcases: Your Newest Beauty Secret
- Guide: How to Wash Your Silk Pillowcase
- Guide: What is Mulberry Silk?
- How to Care for Your Silk Pillowcase
- How Often to Replace Bed Sheets
- How to Buy the Right Bed Sheets
- How to Wash Bed Sheets
- Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Supima Cotton
- Guide to Cotton Sheets: What to Know About Egyptian, Pima and Supima
- Guide: Why Thread Count Does Not Matter When Buying Sheets
- Guide: Why Buy Cooling Bed Sheets
- Guide: How To Choose the Best Bed Sheets
- Guide to TENCEL® Sheets: Everything You Need to Know
- Mattress Toppers: What Are They & Are They Worth It?
- Guide: How to Select the Best Mattress Topper
- 5 Ways to Make Your Mattress More Comfortable
- How Do I Make My “Hot” Mattress Sleep Cooler?
- How to Care for Your Memory Foam Mattress Topper
- Weighted Blanket Size Guide: Determining the Right Size
- Benefits of Weighted Blankets for Autism
- 10 Health-Boosting Benefits of Weighted Blankets