A Priceless Gift
A few times in life, you receive the perfect gift that transcends both the giver and receiver. This Christmas one of our mentors and residents experienced such a life changing moment.
One of our mentor’s gave our Launch Pad resident a weighted blanket as a present, and the results were far beyond what she expected.
Like most of the foster youth we work with, life hadn’t been easy for this resident and her previous trauma kept her from sleeping at night. Even when she finally had a secure place to rest her head, she still struggled with anxiety and insomnia, which left her exhausted and never fully rested.
The weighted blanket changed all this. Finally, she is able to obtain a decent night’s sleep. This has an enormous influence on all of her activities. She is now able to work more hours at school during the winter break and is exercising regularly.
So what is a Weighted Blanket?
A weighted blanket is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a blanket with weight built into it to make it feel heavier than normal items.
Weighted blankets are typically anywhere from 3-25 pounds and can be very helpful for those who may have trouble sleeping or need extra support as far as anxiety goes .
What makes weighted blankets so effective is the deep pressure stimulation (DPS). This form of touch therapy works by applying even, slow and gentle pressure to one’s body.
Weighted blankets offer a combination of something as simple as touch with the added benefit of deep pressure, which can be very helpful for those who may have trouble sleeping or need extra support as far as anxiety goes
Weighted blankets are often used as a therapeutic tool for teens with anxiety, ADHD, Asperger’s Syndrome, PTSD, or autism. Wrapping one around yourself at bedtime can help ease anxious thoughts and promote healthy sleep patterns.
Foster youth who struggle with anxiety and insomnia benefit most from weighted blankets because it simulates the feeling of being hugged, which can improve sleep in some cases.
But why does it work? The tactile stimulation provided by the blanket gives the brain enough sensory information to tell the body that everything is okay. But it doesn’t just stop there, the pressure also induces serotonin production which helps lift moods and induce better sleep!
However, all of these benefits pale in comparison to how much our resident loves her gift. We are so grateful for both the mentor’s thoughtfulness and this gift that keeps on giving.