Weighted blankets, which have long been used by occupational therapists working with children on the autism spectrum or who have sensory processing difficulties, are now widely available. Weighted blankets also offer benefits to adults with ADD.
By exerting a form of deep pressure on your body, weighted blankets are credited with reducing stress. Also called gravity blankets, they have become part of the mainstream as a way to help with insomnia and anxiety, among other things.
The Science Behind Deep Pressure
Research has shown that deep pressure promotes the release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that contributes to wellbeing and happiness.
According to a paper by Temple Grandin, Ph.D. published in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, “Deep touch pressure is the type of surface pressure that is exerted in most types of firm touching, holding, stroking, petting of animals, or swaddling. In contrast, light touch pressure is a more superficial stimulation of the skin, such as tickling, very light touch, or moving hairs on the skin. In animals, the tickle of a fly landing on the skin may cause a cow to kick, but the firm touch of the farmer’s hands quiets her. Occupational therapists have observed that a very light touch alerts the nervous system, but deep pressure is relaxing and calming.”
Benefits of Weighted Blankets
According to Nectar, weighted blankets may produce a number of effects that would be beneficial for anyone seeking ADD/ADHD treatment in NYC, including:
- Stress relief
- Sharper focus
- Promotes a sense of calm
- Relief from Sensory Processing Disorder
- Enhanced sleep
The pressure from a weighted blanket works in much the same way that swaddling does for an infant. We find that kind of pressure reassuring. Please note, however, that weighted blankets should never be used with infants and toddlers.
Many adults with ADD and children who have received a positive result from ADHD testing have found the use of weighted blankets to be helpful in certain situations. It is definitely worth considering for anyone interested in exploring a holistic approach to ADHD treatment in NYC that may include therapies designed to complement traditional counseling and medications.