Autism Blanket Over Head: The [Best Way] to Relax With Autism

Autism blanket over head

Autism Blanket Over Head

Why does it have to be a blanket over my head when I fall asleep?

Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed? Do you have a hard time relaxing or sleeping?

Today, I’m going to share with your my favorite way to relax.

I use a weighted blanket – over my head!

I have to fall asleep with a blanket over my head

It appears that the meaning of a blanket over the head is deeply rooted in psychology, as many people feel more secure and protected when the blanket is above their head. This feeling of security is likely linked to a subconscious desire to feel protected and hidden.

Autism blanket over head
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The weight of the blanket may provide a sense of comfort for some that helps them to relax and fall asleep faster. Others may require the pressure of a sleep mask to relax, while still others need to go through a routine before bedtime. Ultimately, everyone’s sleep needs and preferences are different, and the blanket over the head may provide comfort and relaxation to those who use it.

Why do we feel safer under the blankets?

We feel safer under the blankets because it provides us with a sense of security and comfort. It creates a barrier between us and the outside world and offers a soothing environment to relax and sleep. This is especially beneficial for toddlers who need control in their sleeping environment. Wrapping themselves in a blanket allows them to feel safe and secure while they sleep.

Moreover, the weight of the blanket can further provide comfort and relaxation by putting gentle pressure on the body, releasing stress and reducing anxiety. It can also be helpful in blocking out light and noise that may otherwise disturb sleep.

However sleeping without a blanket also can have many benefits or positive effects, but not for everyone.

Blanket Over Head in Autism

The behavior of covering one’s head with a blanket can be a common sensory coping mechanism for individuals with autism. Sensory processing issues are common in individuals with autism, and some may become overwhelmed by certain sensory stimuli, such as bright lights, loud noises, or physical touch.

Covering oneself with a blanket can provide a sense of comfort and security by blocking out some of these sensory inputs. It can also create a safe small, enclosed space that can help reduce anxiety and provide a feeling of containment.

Benefits of using an autism blanket over head

The benefits of using an autism blanket over head include improved focus, reduced stress, improved sleep quality, decreased anxiety, improved emotional regulation, increased serotonin levels, calmer nervous system, and improved proprioceptive dysfunction. The deep pressure stimulation from the weighted blanket can provide comfort from feeling over-stimulated and provide a sense of security and warmth.

The consistent, soothing pressure from the blanket can help autistic people focus on tasks and reduce sensory overload, improve autistic meltdowns, and stress hormones in the body. Weighted blankets are also beneficial for those who don’t like to be hugged as the blankets provide a similar sensation.

What is an autism blanket?

An autism blanket, also known as a weighted or sensory blanket, is a type of blanket filled with materials that apply deep pressure stimulation to the body. This deep pressure helps to provide a sense of security and relaxation, and can offer anxiety reduction in the daytime.

The weight of the blanket is usually distributed over the body, rather than equally over the whole blanket, and can be filled with glass beads, cotton, or other materials.

Alternatives To Sleeping With A Blanket Over Head: Eye Mask or Hoodie

A weighted eye mask is a headgear that is designed to help you sleep better by blocking out light. It covers the eyes and forehead area entirely to prevent light from entering the eyes and disrupting your sleep.

Wearing a sleeping mask or a hoodie can be beneficial in improving sleep quality and reducing the symptoms of light-sensitive issues. It is also a cost-effective alternative to a duvet or blanket and can protect your eyes from allergies caused by unclean bedding.

The best way to relax with autism

1. Stress Reduction Techniques

There are several stress reduction techniques that can be used with people who have autism. Weighted blankets can also be beneficial, as they provide gentle pressure on the body, which helps activate the parasympathetic nervous system, calming the individual.

Other ways to reduce stress for people with autism include activities that involve deep-pressure touch, such as brushing and massaging, as this helps promote feelings of relaxation through the release of dopamine and serotonin.

2. Comfort Objects

Comfort objects, such as weighted blankets and weighted stuffed animals, are items that are used to help individuals with autism relax and experience a sense of security. This can be achieved through the application of deep pressure stimulation, which signals to the brain to release oxytocin, a hormone known for its calming properties.

This decreased stress can help with regulating emotions, providing comfort, and promoting sleep. Dr. Natasha Burgert, a pediatrician and spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), explains that toddlers are creatures that crave control and sleeping with items over their heads can create a soothing sense of comfort and control.

When considering comfort objects, it is important to take into account the individual’s needs. For example, if an individual feels uncomfortable with close contact, a weighted blanket or vest may be a beneficial alternative.

3. Sensory Stimulation

Sensory stimulation is the stimulation of one or more of the five senses, including sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. It is the use of sensory input to help people relax and regulate their emotional and physiological states. For individuals with autism, sensory stimulation can be especially helpful in helping to create a calming atmosphere in which they can feel safe and comfortable.

Sensory issues, such as an aversion to certain textures, smells, or sounds, are common among people with autism. This can make sensory stimulation, such as using a weighted blanket, particularly beneficial. Weighted blankets for autistic adults provide a deep-pressure touch, similar to that of being hugged, which helps to reduce anxiety and stress.

Furthermore, playing calm and soothing music or even white noise can be used to help individuals with autism to relax and focus.

6. Social Interaction

Providing an environment where the individual does not have to make direct eye contact can be helpful, as it can be unpleasant for them. Providing an environment where the individual is not expected to use verbal and non-verbal communication in a coordinated way, and where they are not expected to find communicative meaning in others’ eyes, can help to create a relaxed environment.

7. Sleep with a Weighted Blaket

Sleeping with a weighted blanket can be a helpful tool for those with autism who often struggle with sensory issues. Weighted blankets provide a deep pressure touch, which has been found to be calming for those with autism. It’s like getting a hug, but without the physical contact from another person.

The weight of the blanket also helps to reduce the fidgeting and restlessness which can sometimes be an issue with autism. The fabric and color of the blanket can be chosen to increase sensory stimulation, or to provide a soothing and calming effect.

4. Practice Deep Breathing

Deep breathing is an important part of helping individuals with autism relax. When someone is stressed, their heart rate increases and their breathing becomes rapid. Practicing deep breathing can help slow the heart rate and relax the body.

It can also help to regulate the body’s autonomic nervous system, which controls basic bodily functions such as digestion, sweating, and shivering. Deep breathing can activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps to reduce the body’s stress response and can lead to a feeling of calm.

9. Spend Time Outdoors

Spending time outdoors has numerous benefits for people with autism, as it can help them relax and de-stress. Studies have shown that nature has a calming effect on the nervous system and can help people with autism reduce hyperarousal, improve attention and focus, and even regulate their emotions.

Additionally, outdoor activities such as gardening, bird watching, or hiking can give individuals with autism an opportunity to practice self-regulation, allowing them to take deep breaths, gain control of their emotions, and increase their overall sense of wellbeing.


Do autistic kids hide under blankets?

Yes, autistic kids may hide under blankets and burrow in pillows due to sensory issues. Many with ASD have difficulty regulating their vestibular system and seek out deep pressure, which can be provided by a weighted blanket or vest.

They may also find comfort and a sense of security by burrowing under pillows and blankets. Parents can also provide other deep pressure activites, joint compressions, trampoline time, putting bean bags on top of their child, wrapping them up in a blanket or a flexible mat, and building a crash pit for them to jump into.

Why does my autistic child cover his face?

Many children with autism may cover their eyes/face/ears with their hands as a way to block out too much sensory stimuli, or to self-regulate and express feelings of being scared or anxious. Clinical Psychologists suggest that this behavior may be a result of hypersensitivity to auditory stimuli, where a sound that is tolerable to us may be very loud and uncomfortable for them.


By lezt

Lez Taylor, Founder and CEO of Corala Blanket. She tried every sleep system and trick to conquer her insomnia for good.