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Weighted products as cognitive devices

In Sweden these cognitive devices are usually free of charge, but funding varies from country to country. They may be funded via the national health system, insurance companies, charities or by the individual.

If you are eligible for full or part funding, it will generally be your doctor, occupational therapist or physiotherapist who will prescribe it. Based on your situation, we recommend that you or your care provider should assess your need for a weighted cognitive device using the tool below.

If you have any questions regarding how best to get help in your country, please contact us at info@somna.com or get in touch with one of our  distributors.

For prescribers and other professionals

 

Sensory Integration (SI)

In 1968, Dr. A. Jean Ayres started calling her theory Sensory Integration (SI). The theory relates to how we constantly receive information from our surrounding via receptors, which take information from our senses and send them to the brain. Receptors are essentially messengers. The information from the senses is interpreted, processed and organised in the brain, through connections between nerve cells. You could say that the messengers gather and talk to each other. The information comes from our well-known senses: smell, taste, sight and hearing, but also from three more fundamental but less well-known senses: tactile, proprioceptive and vestibular senses.

 

The interpretation of sensory impressions is different in each individual. Some may experience sensory impressions very strongly, and may for instance be sensitive to sound, hearing sounds that others can’t. Some may experience sensory impressions weakly, and might for example go outside with just a T-shirt in the winter and not feel the cold.

 

Most people have a filter which enables them to shut out sensory impressions that do not provide essential information. For instance, they can block out background noise. Some people don’t have this filter, but take in all sensory impressions all the time. People who receive and process all sensory impressions get more tired than those who can shut them out.

 

Those who have a functioning system tend not to think about it, but for those who haven’t it can be a serious problem. They spend a lot of unnecessary energy constantly requesting information from the body: constantly moving (activating the vestibular senses), chewing and grinding teeth (proprioceptive senses) and so on.

 

Our weighted products compensate and assist this system with feedback from the various fundamental senses. The user therefore avoids having to constantly ask for information from the senses, thus saving energy which can instead be used to focus on a task, for example.

Tips & Tools

Advice before testing

  • Sleep diary
  • Testing notes: day and night
  • Testing environment: minimise sensory impressions from light, sound and movement in the room.
  • The user should lie as normal on their side, back or front.
  • Start laying the blanket from below the feet and up.
  • Try both sides of the blanket, starting with the padded side against the body.
  • Some may need to increase use gradually, while others can use it all night from the start. It could take up to 2 weeks before you feel the full benefit of the blanket.
  • Generally speaking, the more severe the problem is in the individual the heavier the blanket should be – but note that the weight of the blanket has nothing to do with the bodyweight of the user.