Let’s face it, sleep is very important – both for parents and their kids. According to AboutKidsHealth.ca, children with healthy sleep habits have fewer mood swings, are more creative, better able to concentrate on tasks, more open to learning, more apt to make positive decisions, and, of course, simply have more energy.
Quite often, a parent’s lack of rest is not due to their own sleep issues, but rather, their child’s. If your child is not sleeping properly, chances are, neither are you. We all know the telltale signs of irritability and an inability to concentrate when we’re tired. Adults need from seven to eight hours of sleep a night, although some can get by on just five hours while others need as much as ten. Without enough rest, ChildrensMD.org warns that sleep-deprived parenting robs your children of your best attention, and can also lead to excessive punishments due to overall prickliness.
It’s vital for health and well-being that everyone in your house gets a good night’s rest. Weighted blankets for children having trouble falling (and staying) asleep could be an option for keeping you and your children operating at both of your highest levels.
How Weighted Blankets Work to Induce Sleep
Parents.com states that the proper amount of sleep is as important as nutrition and exercise for kids. It can also help fight obesity (and diabetes at the same time), as well as help avoid colds and other common childhood illnesses. While we are sleeping, our bodies reconfigure our neurotransmitters, which allow brain cells to communicate with each other, meaning everyone just functions better after a good night’s sleep. In addition, there is evidence that the sleeping brain also gets rid of disease-causing toxins from the body. The growth hormone is secreted mainly during sleep, so growing pains at night are very real indeed.
Weighted blankets for children work by applying what is known as deep pressure touch stimulation (DPTS), which has both physical and psychological benefits. Like a warm hug from mom or dad, deep pressure touch stimulation results in a relaxing and calming feeling for your child. Many children find a darkened, silent bedroom causes anxiety, which triggers the sympathetic nervous system, or the “fight or flight” response. Weighted blankets activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which causes the release of dopamine and serotonin, assisting with calming.
Weighted blankets for children also help to reduce excessive movement at night. You can design your custom weighted blanket to have more weight in the leg area to keep your child from kicking their blanket off and waking themselves, and with less weight at the top to allow them to move freely. In fact, weighted blankets are often used in pediatric hospital units. And the best part about Hippo Hug weighted blankets is they can be made with any one of our comfy, huggable, and warm fabrics, the choices for which your kids will love.
More Tips for a Better Bedtime
Kids of school-age need about nine to 11 hours of sleep each night. More ways to help get your kids in bed at a time that is comfortable for both you and them are:
- Set a consistent, no-arguing-about-it bedtime and wake-up time throughout the week and do your best to make sure your kids feel like they are a part of the program.
- Create a routine, such as having a bath, putting on PJs, brushing teeth, washing up, and reading a bedtime story.
- Stop screen time at least an hour before bedtime, and do not allow electronics in bedrooms.
- White noise such as a fan or a noise machine can be helpful.
- Surround them with things they find comforting, including their specially made weighted blanket.
- Make them feel loved. Battling before bedtime just causes stress for everyone, so concentrate on keeping calm, present, and enjoying the moment. Bedtime can be beautiful!
Weighted Lap Pads for School Days
If your child is restless at night, chances are they will also be restless at school. Our Hippo Sit weighted lap pads are perfect for children who are using weight or deep pressure therapy at home. They sit in laps to help calm and focus kids while they are in class, and help kids who have a hard time concentrating for an extended period, or who have ADHD or anxiety. Hippo Sit weighted lap pads have a removable cover with a pocket, making them easy to wash, and provide a space to fidget without being a classroom distraction. A Grade 4 classroom in Acadia School in Calgary recently used a Hippo Sit for the 2017/2018 school year and both the teacher and students reported it was a great calming tool and was often in demand for more than one student at a time.
What Size and Weight of Blanket Does My Child Need?
A weighted blanket is an investment and you want it to fit your little one for as long as possible. In general, most children ages three to five will be sufficiently covered by a 30×40 inch weighted blanket. A 40×50 inch blanket is usually good for ages five to nine, and 40×60 inches tends to work for ages 10 and above.
Most research indicates that 5 to15% of body weight is the universally agreed-upon range for a weighted blanket. For growing children it is usually best to be on the higher end of their maximum weight because the blanket will be a reasonable weight for longer as they grow. For example, the “maximum” weight for a 100-pound child is 15 pounds, however we have one client who is using an 18 pound blanket simply because they are growing so quickly.
Choosing the right size and weight for your child’s weighted blanket is essential, and we have the necessary expertise to help you make the right decision. Please feel free to contact us at any time with your questions. We are happy to help!