Motor unrest

Motor unrest can be expressed in many different ways and can be a symptom of different diagnoses as e.g. tone disorder, impaired ability to sensory integration, have a mental explanation, due to a sensory pickiness, unstable blood sugar, sleeping problems, or a poor with body awareness.  

The term ‘motor unrest’ is often associated with restless children, who are perceived as disruptive in class because they have difficulties in sitting still. It is important to understand, that it is not due to deliberately bad behavior, but can be explained by several factors. For some, the time of the day can be an explanation, for others it is more determined by the contextual situation. 

Sensory and motor unrest occur because the brain misses input from the body – these signals come from the proprioceptive sense, giving information to the brain about movements in the body, muscles, and joints. 

Overall, it is good for human body to be active – but it is not always appropriate. For example, in a teaching situation, where it can be very hard for children to sit still for an entire lesson. In that situation, sensory stimulating helping aids can be a great help – it helps both the restless child to concentrate, it helps the other children in the class, and it helps the teacher to have fewer interruptions and better well-being in the classroom. When the balls in the sensory stimulating helping aids move slightly on the user’s body, signals are sent via the proprioceptive sense to brain. Those signals strengthen the user’s body awareness and have a calming effect. It is the same calming effect as when we instinctively tilt our feet or legs when feeling restless.

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."

18-year-old woman suffering from an eating disorder

The woman is admitted to a closed ward and suffers from severe symptoms of both motor and psychological unrest, insomnia, and hyperactivity, and has a very low BMI. With the Protac® BallBase, she finds that she can sleep for 5-7 hours at a stretch, which she had not done in a long time, and her whole body feels calm.

29-year-old woman with severe depression

The woman tries Protac® BallBase due to motor unrest and racing thoughts. She experiences that the mattress pad gives her peace, and that it is comfortable to lie on. She feels stable lying on the mattress pad, both on her back, side, and stomach, and experiences an even distribution of the balls in the mattress. She has been using the soft side of the mattress pad and for her it functions better that the Protac Ball Blanket®

Case from a psychiatric department in Aabenraa

Protac® BallBase is a product we have really needed for patients who for some reason do not relax with the Protac Ball Blanket® but still need the sensory stimulation it provides. Several patients have also used both the mattress pad and the Protac Ball Blanket® at the same time. The mattress pad has had a positive effect on both sleep, motor unrest, and sense of security.

Patients' feedback:

  • • The mattress pad has not made me sleep longer but better.
  • • Resting on the mattress pad makes the restless patient sit quietly for longer periods afterward.
  • • Resting on the mattress pad relaxes the muscles.
  • • A patient often feels rejuvenated and refreshed after resting on the mattress pad.
  • • "I sleep much better than I normally do."
  • • "The mattress pad is really good because I sleep much better than I normally do, and better than I do with sleeping medication. It works well because it gives me more peace, and I no longer wake up feeling angry in the morning."

High maintenance boy in kindergarden

The boy tries The Protac Ball Cushion®  on a high-chair and it helps him to sit more calmly. Then he also is given the Protac GroundMe® under his feet, which helps him become significantly more attentive and calmer and allows him to follow along with what is happening around the table.

12-year-old-boy with motor unrest

The Protac KneedMe® knee blanket has provided him with the calmness he needs to be able to sit at the table during meals both at school and at home. In the past, he had to get up when he became restless and often did not finish eating. In general, he is in a better mood now and has more energy to when relating to his classmates. He can better manage choosing between activities as well as the choices that the staff gives him when he becomes anxious and restless.

2 boys with severe motor unrest

The pediatric therapist places the ball cushion on the seat of the chair as well as under their feet. It has a surprisingly positive effect on the boys' sitting position, on their ability to sit still and on their concentration. The school uses the Protac Ball Blanket® during the classroom teaching, at lunchtime, as well as during the activities where the children must sit still and focus their attention on the task.

7-year-old boy with severe motor unrest

When we borrowed the Protac MyFit® ball vest for a weekend, the entire weekend became unusually calm for all parties, and the vest is clearly the explanation for that."

11-year-old boy with ADHD severe motor unrest

I like wearing the Protac MyFit® ball vest- it feels like getting a hug, but you cannot get hugged all the time.

14-year-old boy with ADHD motor unrest

The parents state: "Peter uses the Protac MyFit® ball vest during periods when he feels restless and impulsive. The balls and the material clearly help him to become calm and better sense himself. He is just as pleased with the ball vest as he is with the Protac Ball Blanket® - with the ball vest he can achieve the same safe feeling during the day as the blanket gives him at night ".

73-year-old woman with Alzheimer's disease, motor and mental unrest

The woman has great difficulty calming down and wanders restlessly without being able to concentrate on anything. With the Protac MyFit® ball vest on , she calms down and you can see that her facial expression softens.

1-year-old boy with several nightly awakenings

Our son has had challenges with sleeping through the night - this is probably not much different than many other families with small children have experienced, but we thought it might be interesting to try the Protac Ball Blanket ®. Already the first night we saw a clear improvement. He only woke up one time, where we had to go into his room and comfort him. In the past, it was not uncommon for him to wake up 8-10 times during a night, and it could take a long time to get him to calm down again. It seems that the blanket gives him peace and security. We have experienced that we can hear him waking up and making a little "squeak" sound, but then quickly falling asleep again. In the past, he seemed to wake up completely in these situations and would need to be comforted and tucked in again. At present he wakes up a maximum of two times a night, and many nights he sleeps completely through, which was extremely rare before we used the blanket.

9-months-old boy with severe motor unrest

Nine-month-old boy who has always been fussy, physically restless, and heedless. He only briefly explores toys and needs to be constantly entertained. He is not able to calm himself and gets panicky, for example, when he must take a bath. It takes a long time to get him to sleep, he sleeps very uneasily, and is disturbed by even faint sounds. He is very restless, bangs his legs on the mattress and thrashes around with his arms. When he tried the Protac Ball Blanket® Baby, a change was already seen after a few nights. He now sleeps some nights without waking up at all and if he wakes up other nights, his parents can quickly get him to sleep again. He has become happier and less frustrated during the day and has more able to relax and cuddle when sitting with his parents. He is starting to be able to take a bath and is also starting to experiment with and explore toys for a longer period.

6-year-old boy with motor unrest

6-year-old, very restless boy can find peace and relaxation with the Protac Ball Blanket® Calm - and he puts his own words to the experience very nicely: “Mom, it's like I melt when I sleep with that blanket”.

10-year-old boy woth motor unrest and sensory disturbances

The boy has been subjected to massive neglect in his first years of life and has major sensory integrative challenges. He is very a great degree of motor unrest and has specific learning difficulties. The boy's adoptive parents say that they have difficulty getting him to sleep, that he sleeps very restlessly and that he often wakes up at night. After testing the Protac Ball Blanket® Calm, they also say that the boy, after a few days of getting used to it, now sleeps all night. After a few more nights, it also becomes much easier for him to fall asleep.

6-year-old boy with tendancy to be self destructive

From the moment the boy starts sleeping with the Protac Ball Blanket® Flexible, his parents report that he sleeps an hour and a half longer in the morning and they experience him as calmer when he wakes up. He talks about the blanket and looks forward to being tucked in under it. He needs it with him when he spends the night elsewhere.

63-year-old woman with Huntington Chorea disease

Our resident who has Huntington's Chorea says that she has constantly had an inner turmoil for several years. From a sensory perspective, this is also about her muscle fibers constantly contracting, and that the disease also causes perception disorders, amongst others in the perception of interoceptive sensation. This means that she is constantly on guard and feels tense. The motor restlessness therefore influences the mental restlessness. We experience that she feels secure when she feels that she is being positioned with supports surrounding her body and being proprioceptively stimulated. She therefore enjoys the Protac SenSit® ball chair. The woman uses the chair if she needs to have quiet time or participate in a conversation. The woman is very conscious of when she needs the stimuli that the chair can provide. Furthermore, she sleeps with the Protac Ball Blanket® at night. She explains that it gives her peace and that she relaxes as a result. She experiences an increased energy capacity after experiencing sensory integration strategies embedded in her everyday life, and a more positive affective state.

48-year-old woman with motor unrest

A 48-year-old woman has a tendency toward depression and pronounced motor unrest and inner turmoil. When wearing Protac SensOn®, she experiences that she feels calmer and more collected, and she finds it comfortable.

6-year-old boy with motor unrest

After trying the Protac SenSit® ball chair a few times in occupational therapy treatment sessions, the boy says: "You have to tell my mother where to buy such a chair". The boy enjoys being hidden under the neck pillows; the side pieces are draped over him and he also wants to have a ball quilt over him in the meantime. When the parents see the pleasure that the chair brings, they try to create seating that is similar. The mother says, "we must own that chair”. Nothing else gives so much peace to our son."

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