The Protac Ball Blanket improves ADHD children’s sleep significantly.
ADHD children find it easier to fall asleep and sleep better during the night, if they are lying under a Protac Ball Blanket. They also find it easier to stay concentrated at school. These are some of the conclusions drawn by researchers at the University of Southern Denmark.
Researchers at the University of Southern Denmark have confirmed what many specialists and educators in daily contact with ADHD children have known for a long time: The Protac Ball Blanket has a positive effect on the lives of children with ADHD.
The two researchers responsible for the study, Professor of Child Psychiatry, Niels Bilenberg from Odense University Hospital and Child Psychiatrist, Allan Hvolby, from the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Ward in Esbjerg, Denmark, concluded, that the Protac Ball Blanket is a relevant and effective aid in minimising the time it takes for ADHD children to fall asleep. During the period when the children slept with the Protac Ball Blanket, the time taken to fall asleep was reduced by almost 40%, bringing them in line with the children in the control group who did not suffer from ADHD.
When using a Protac Ball Blanket, the children took on average only 15 minutes to fall asleep.
The study also shows that ADHD children’s tendency to wake up during the night was reduced to the level of children, who do not have ADHD.
One in five of the ADHD children in the study spent more than 30 minutes falling asleep without the Protac Ball Blanket. During the two weeks, in which the children slept with a Protac Ball Blanket, none of them took this long to fall asleep.
The number of evenings where the children took more than half an hour to fall asleep was halved with the Protac Ball Blanket, so that all the children in the study – with and without ADHD – fell asleep equally quickly.
Four weeks’ observation
The study was carried out over a four-week period. Sleep patterns were initially measured for a week, in which the children slept with a regular duvet. Then the children slept with a Protac Ball Blanket for two weeks, and finally a further week with a regular duvet.
The study showed that the children's fitful sleep patterns returned in the final week of the study, when they had swapped back to sleeping without a Protac Ball Blanket.
Study in the children’s home environment
The children slept all 28 nights in their own beds. A measuring instrument on their wrist registered their sleep patterns. The parents also kept a “sleep diary”.
One of the more curious details in the study was the tendency of parents to perceive and register the time it took their children to fall asleep longer than the actual time measured by the electronic equipment. This tendency was demonstrated both by the parents with ADHD children and the parents with children without ADHD.
From the researchers’ perspective, this phenomenon may be associated with the fact that children’s problematic behaviour around bedtime is a major concern for parents.
Improved concentration and attention
The researchers also measured how the typical symptoms of ADHD, hyperactivity and lack of concentration, developed during the study period. Parents and teachers were asked to evaluate the children on the basis of a scientific test method.
Teachers noticed an improvement of about 10 % in both hyperactivity and concentration, while parents observed about 6 % improvement. The positive effect appeared to be a lasting one, as the children’s capacity to concentrate and their hyperactivity remained at the improved level even in the final week of the study when the children switched back to sleeping with a regular duvet.
The research team believes that it might have been possible to identify further improvements if the study period had been longer.
Protac Ball Blanket and medication
Is using the Protac Ball Blanket a suitable alternative to medication?"
The two researchers emphasise that they did not specifically investigate the influence of medication on their results. Even so, Bilenberg and Hvolby conclude that the Protac Ball Blanket is a good alternative for treating ADHD children with sleeping difficulties and a supplement to medicinal treatment of these children's ADHD symptoms.