Doctor of Medicine - Magdalena Mroczek
Sleeping disorders accompany many diseases - both those of organic origin and those originating in psyche. Disruptions of the sleep-wake rhythm are particularly common in depressive and anxiety disorders, in restless legs syndrome (RLS) and among people with dementia. Disturbances of the sleep-wake rhythm are also frequent among children with Asperger's syndrome, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and sensory integration disorders.
Sleep disorders can have different forms and their symptoms can be manifested, for example, as problems with falling asleep or as too little REM sleep. Lack of adequate quantity or quality of sleep during the night affects daytime functioning and may contribute to behavioural changes, particularly among children. Such a condition requires a specialised diagnosis and appropriate treatment of the primary disorder. However, no matter what the cause is, proper sleep hygiene should be ensured.
It is important to introduce a fixed time to go to bed or to use appropriate relaxation techniques before going to sleep. One of the non-pharmacological methods of treating sleep disorders is the use of sensory ( weighted) duvets. This type of duvet puts pressure on certain parts of the body, thus stimulating the sense of deep feeling and helping to relax the muscles. It improves the quality of sleep of children and reduces motor restlessness. Adults suffering from sleep disorders also noted the beneficial effects of sensory quilts on sleep by increasing sleep duration and reducing motor restlessness at night. Subjectively, they felt much more well-rested in the morning and noticed an improvement in the speed of falling asleep. Sensory quilts can also reduce the intensity of pain stimuli among people suffering from chronic pain syndromes.
Sometimes when it comes to sleep disorders we use pharmaceuticals too quickly, forgetting how important a role of non-pharmacological therapy is. One of the basic forms of therapy is taking care of proper sleeping hygiene. Regulation of the stimuli supply at falling asleep and at night can improve the quality of night's rest.
Psychologist - Justyna Janusz
The idea for a weighted duvet came to Keith Zivalich, a father of three children, in 1997. As he was testing his product, he asked a friend who was also a teacher at a school for special needs for his opinion. It turned out that the quilt had a calming effect on one of the students in his class. He asked for more quilts.
The relaxing effect of the weighted duvets has been observed by other therapists and educators working with disabled children. They are commonly used among people with sensory impairments. They are also increasingly used by parents who want to improve the quality of their children's sleep. Despite their popularity, it is only recently that weighted quilts have become the subject of numerous scientific studies.
The Penn Medicine Academic Medical Center, headquartered in Philadelphia, concluded that weighted quilts are the equivalent of a hug or a cuddle, which in itself is a pleasant experience. The quilt also lowers heart rate and slows breathing, reducing feelings of anxiety. It is particularly useful for children with autism spectrum disorders and ADHD. It activates the sense of touch while reducing sensory input from the other senses, which helps to calm and relax. Many other professionals, including sensory integration therapist Tina Champagne, have spoken positively about Weighted Duvets.
Because of their weight, the duvet activates the proprioceptive system, which is responsible for deep sensation. It helps to learn more about the body's reflexes and to increase control over them. It also makes it easier to fall asleep. However, it is important to ensure that the baby is always covered with a duvet under the supervision of someone who looks after them. It can be used during the day or before the baby goes to sleep. However, the baby should not be left under the duvet all night, nor should his face and neck be covered with it.
The duvet should also be chosen according to your baby's height and weight. You should therefore consult a specialist before buying a duvet. You should also consult a doctor, who will exclude the risk of problems with breathing and blood circulation.
Psychologist - Joanna Kacyniak
One of the most important human needs is the need for sleep and a sense of security. The use of sensory duvets helps to satisfy both of them.
A weighted duvet reduces self-stimulatory movements, helps with falling asleep and with achieving a deep sleep. The deep pressure calms the central nervous system and has a positive effect on the perception of external stimuli. Properly fitted weight duvets help in the process of self-regulation, reduce the feeling of insecurity, have a calming and relaxing effect. That is why I recommend them to people with difficulties to control emotions, with anxiety, neurosis and depression. They support the therapy of many disorders: ADHD, neurodevelopmental and genetic disorders. Above all, they are used in sensory integration disorders: they stimulate the receptors located in muscles and tendons, which provide correct information about the position of the body in space and its general components in relation to each other. By applying gentle pressure, they help the body to function correctly. In addition, its calming effects have a positive influence on people with concentration problems and abnormal sensitivity to stimuli.
As a psychologist I recommend the use of sensory duvets to both children and adults, it is a simple therapeutic product that will improve the comfort of home, school and work life.
Psychologist and Child Therapist - Justyna Jarosz-Jarszewska
Weighted duvets have extraordinary therapeutic properties and are therefore often used to support the therapy of children not only with sensory integration disorders. They also significantly help children suffering from developmental disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, Asperger's Syndrome, Down's Syndrome and ADHD to function in everyday life. A sensory duvet is also a good solution for children who struggle with hyperactivity, irritability, concentration problems and sleep disorders. Under the influence of the pleasant pressure of the duvet, the child's body calms down. The weight of the duvet stimulates the nervous system and has a calming effect. Fear and anxiety are reduced, the child relaxes, falls asleep and has a deeper and more peaceful sleep. This is a very pleasant form of therapeutic interaction, especially for children. Weighted duvets are also great for adults struggling with stress and sleeping problems. Many of my patients use sensory quilts as an additional therapy support at home. It is important to remember that a weighted quilt must be always individually adjusted to the person's weight and height, and its use must be consulted with a therapist or a doctor.
Certified Sensory Integration Therapist, special educational needs teacher - Anna Krzyszczyk
The weighted duvet is a medical product that has been successfully used as part of sensory integration therapy. I use it as a therapy solution in the clinic and I recommend it for use at home.
The weighted duvet has a direct effect on the deep sensory receptors. This system uses the data provided by the muscles and joints to inform the brain about the position of the body. Thus the gentle and constant pressure of the duvet on the body makes it possible to feel the weight of the body and its individual parts better in space and to improve coordination.
The weighted duvet helps the body to quickly calm down after a day full of excitement and it is ideal for short relaxation periods, e.g. relaxing after lessons or work, reading in the evening, etc. Systematic use of the duvet "restores balance" to the nervous system, eliminating the feeling of restlessness and tendency to impulsiveness. The quilt enables patients to focus again and to control their bodies more easily, which improves daily functioning. It improves sleep comfort among patients struggling with a large number of awakenings during the night.
If there are no contraindications to the use of the quilt, both I as a therapist and also the parents see the positive effects on the child. The duvet has a beneficial impact on children who have a greater need for movement, e.g. children who enjoy vigorous play after which it is very difficult for them to stop, or children with impaired proprioception. These children have a constantly elevated state of excitement, it is difficult for them to plan their own activity, organise their own play or follow the generally accepted rules of social life. They have problems with controlling their emotions or concentrating their attention, and therefore it is more difficult for them at school. A duvet in these situations has a toning effect.
The weighted duvet used for adults has a similar effect. Adults quickly notice the beneficial effect in terms of relaxation and the reduction of tension that builds up in the body. The gentle pressure of the duvet makes them feel safe and relaxed and makes it easier to fall asleep. The weighted duvet is an invaluable aid in the therapy of sensory integration disorders and an important support in the treatment of many other psycho-physical disorders, i.e. (ADHD, cerebral paralysis, Asperger's syndrome, autism, Down's syndrome).