Anxiety can manifest itself in many ways – if often starts with uncontrolled concerns and excessive thoughts. Over time it can develop into sleeping disturbances and physical symptoms as stomachache, continuous trembling, palpitation, and social fear or withdrawal from other people.
For some people with anxiety, the diagnose is linked to sensory disturbances. Therefore, it can be helpful to use sensory integrating helping aids to provide better terms for daily activity and a good night’s sleep. A sensory disturbed brain has difficulties in organizing and regulating external sensory input and will often benefit from working with sensory integration. When the senses are not regulated and the brain is in need for proprioceptive stimulation, you risk losing the perception of your body and become restless and insecure.
The cases below are linked to children and adults who suffer from anxiety issues and show our experience and the effect of using sensory stimulating helping aids.
10-year-old boy with autism and severe ADHD
The boy experiences significant motor and psychological unrest, substantial concentration challenges, and is easily distracted. The boy exhibits stress reactions and suffers from anxiety. Additionally, he faces significant difficulties in sensory modulation and integration.
We unpacked the mattress pad together; the boy lay down on it and immediately expressed that it felt comfortable. Since then, he has used it during all his breaks, often when playing on the floor and when lying on the sofa. The boy reports, and we observe, that he can relax much better, his body is rested, and he can concentrate more effectively on his activities. His body remains much more still, and he does not change positions as frequently. We also notice that he engages in activities for longer periods compared to when he is not using the Protac® BallBase.
In the evening, the boy has always struggled to fall asleep and stay asleep even though he is used to sleeping with the Protac Ball Blanket®. The boy is very restless both physically and verbally when trying to sleep, and it can take a long time before his body, thoughts, and concerns settle. The top mattress has made a significant difference for him. He lies still, talks less, and may only change position a couple of times before falling asleep, whereas before he could lie in numerous positions and sit up, trying to fall asleep. This has reduced his falling-asleep time from over 60 minutes to a maximum of 20 minutes.
Both we and the boy notice that he wakes up more rested and benefits more from his breaks throughout the day than he did before having a Protac® BallBase. The boy uses both sides of the top mattress—he has mostly slept on the extra soft side and has used both sides for relaxation.
12-year-old boy with autism, ADHD, Tourette syndrome, and OCD
The boy experiences significant motor and psychological unrest. Additionally, he has many tics throughout the day and faces substantial challenges in sensory modulation and integration. The boy's body becomes very restless physically and verbally when tired, overstimulated, unsure of what to do, or under pressure. He is fully homeschooled and is at home all day. The day is highly structured and predictable, including the breaks. The boy often sits in his SenSit chair during breaks and/or when using the iPad. The BallBase has been a valuable addition because it stimulates the body differently, is easier to move, and can be used in a bed and on the sofa. The boy primarily keeps it in his sensory room and actively seeks it, which is something he usually finds challenging. He can feel that it helps him. He typically sits on it for 10-15 minutes.
"Usually, I sit in the SenSit chair during breaks, but I have used the mattress pad in my gamer room. I have sat or lain on it in my bed when taking a break or when my body has become too restless."
"I relax much better in my body when lying on it. I am calm and I also fall asleep much faster. The mattress pad is good for relaxation. In general, it makes me more relaxed, and it feels great to lie on it."
6-year-old boy with severe anxiety
Tobias has anxiety - a problem that developed gradually but has increased over time. It has affected his nighttime sleep throughout his childhood, which certainly does not make the anxiety problem better. In the evening, Tobias could not calm down, and had difficulty sleeping. The evening ritual could easily take 1.5 hours, as he could not relax, and didn’t want to sleep. Furthermore, Tobias woke up every night with nightmares and snuck into the bedroom to sleep between us. It seemed to help his uneasiness that he was lying close to us, and despite the unrestful sleep until then, he slept from that point onward. However, always having a child in the middle affected our sleep! Tobias needed to be completely close so he could "feel us". It made me think of the Protac Ball Blanket®. I contacted Protac and rented a ball blanket. From the first night Tobias slept with it, our evening rituals and nights were completely different. Suddenly he fell asleep within approx. 10 minutes, and he slept the first night with the blanket from 8pm to 7am the next morning. I must honestly admit that I thought this was too good to be true - and expected to prove it to be temporary "pure luck". But it wasn’t! Since he got his blanket, Tobias has found peace in his own bed. The evening routines have become much easier, he falls asleep by himself and he sleeps all night. This results in more energy during the day, less anxiety and more 'get go'. Then Tobias had to have casts on both legs for 6 weeks, and therefore during this period could not sleep with his blanket due to the discomfort with both legs in casts. We then immediately experienced the irregular sleep, the problems with the evening routines, and thereby more anxiety attacks and problems the next day. When Tobias got the casts off again and started sleeping with the ball blanket, his evening routines calmed down again, and his sleep was no longer interrupted. So, we experienced first-hand what a clear change occurred when the blanket was not used, and again what effect it had when it was used again. All in all, we can conclude that with the use of Protac Ball Blanket® Calm, it results in more energy for Tobias, more 'get-go' and less and fewer anxiety attacks. I can recommend others to try the Protac Ball Blanket® for their children if they have children in the same or similar situation.
Adult woman with anxiety
After a severe anxiety attack, I became very restless and was afraid of falling. The ball chair’s "cave- like” feeling made the restlessness in my body gradually disappear. The chair also provided a comfortable warmth. After 10-15 minutes the anxiety attack was diminished and after half an hour in the chair, I was able to function in the group again. The wings of the Protac SenSit® ball chair feel as if they are holding me. I think it's great!
Man with severe anxiety
With the Protac SensOn® neck and shoulder wrap on his shoulders, he notices that it alleviates anxiety for a while. "It feels so nice," he says when it is placed on his shoulders.
Social participation despite anxiety
When going for a camp, our son had a melt-down and was afraid to go and concerned about being able to fit in. He accepted to try the Protac SenSack® and he could immediately feel calming effect. He instantly liked it, especially because it gave him comfort and still looks like the sleeping bag of his friends. The camp turned out to be a great success - a proud and happy boy came home. We expected him to be tired, but he had slept tightly in the sleeping bag and had also used it during daytime to ‘charge his social battery’ as he said.
(Mother to a 13-year-old-boy with social anxiety)