Sleeping disturbances

Many of the Protac-cases are related to sleeping disorders – and sleep is essential for the human well-being. Good sleeping habits starts in the childhood but it can be a serious challenge for both children and adults to fall asleep. It is quite normal to have a short period of time with sleeping issues due to concerns and uncontrolled thoughts, but if the issues continue it can be related to sensory disorders. People with sensory disorders are often under stimulated on the proprioceptive sense and will therefore naturally seek movement to enhance the body perception. In this way, sensory stimulating aids can have a calming effect and provide mental security and comfort.  The Protac Ball Blanket® was originally developed specifically for psychiatric patients and had a sleep-improving effect from the beginning. Some people have a need for constant movement to maintain their body image, and when the body is completely still during night time, the body perception decreases. The body misses proprioceptive stimulation to maintain body perception. Instead of seeking it by active movement, the stimulation can also be achieved passively by lying under the Protac Ball Blanket® with large balls. The balls move every time the body moves a little or during deep breathing. The movement and deep pressure of the balls sends a calming signal to the brain, enhances the demarcation of the body and alleviate the need for constant movement. In this way, both body and brain feel at ease when falling asleep.

A research project with 38 children with ADHD show, that the children can normalize their sleeping pattern by sleeping with the Protac Ball Blanket®

More information on the importance of sleep


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 reduced functional capacity physically and mentally and significant sleep problems

The woman sleeps longer and more calmly with the Protac® BallBase. She appears more alert during the day, and her complaints have decreased. She was already used to sleeping with the Protac Ball Blanket® and Protac SensCircle®. With Protac BallBase® in bed, she seems calmer and happier to go to bed. She lies down right away and snuggles into bed. Previously, she used to sit up several times before falling asleep. It is more common now for her to lie still and be found lying and sleeping in bed in the same way she was put to bed. Previously, she was often found sitting up. There are also fewer complaints in the morning.


5-year-old boy with autism

Our 5-year-old boy with autism and, consequently, motor unrest and sleep disturbances. He has benefited from sleeping on Protac® BallBase; he falls asleep faster and sleeps more deeply and better. He uses it during the day for resting and relaxation and sleeps on the mattress pad at night.


60-year-old woman with Sjögren's syndrome (rheumatic disease)

With the Protac® BallBase, I sleep calmly and deeply. I don't need to move much to get stimulation, and I feel well-rested in the morning, when I have slept on the mattress pad. I did not expect such a significant difference, but I must admit there is one. The mattress pad grounds me even more than the Protac Ball Blanket® does.

Now I sleep wonderfully. I nestle into the balls when I lie down. The mattress pad molds around me, fitting me perfectly. I sleep like a dream and don't need anything on top anymore. I wake up with more relaxed back muscles as they've been stimulated all night. My head benefits as much from the mattress pad as the blanket. If there are nights when I feel the need to "wrap myself up," I will use the Protac Ball Blanket® on top to give my sensory system an extra boost. I wake up fewer times when I lie on the mattress pad than when I do not. It stays fantastic in the bed and doesn't move even if I turn. I feel enveloped, and it's comfortable to lie on.


9-year-old boy with sleeping disturbances and poor sleeping quality

The boy says that the Protac Ball Blanket® Calm is great: “It allows me to lie still without getting rambunctious”. With the blanket on, he lies in his bed and talks for 5 minutes, then he relaxes and calms down. He sleeps within 15 min. He sleeps calmly and without the blanket cover falling off. He wears the blanket all night. It's really nice both for him and for us ".


Woman with fibromyalgia and sleeping disturbances

"I have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and have borrowed the Protac Ball Blanket® Combi at the hospital. I use it when my body feels like it is about go to pieces because of the pain. It is good to have it draped over me, because then it feels as if my body is held together. My muscles get warm, and it feels relaxing. I also use the blanket on the floor where I roll myself into it or use it as a mattress. When I sit in a chair, the blanket gets wrapped around me. It is a good position for reading, as I can rest my arms on the blanket. "


12-year-old-boy with brain damage

Martin is 12 years old and has a brain injury. He was born prematurely and had several cerebral hemorrhages in the first 24 hours after birth. He is in family care. In addition, Martin is a neglected and emotionally traumatized child. This means, among other things, that Martin stiffens when hugged and withdraws from physical contact. He complains about it hurts when touched, for example if someone puts their hand on his shoulder. Martin goes to Occupational Therapy, where he works on getting to know his body and what it can and cannot do. When Martin’s Occupational Therapist, advised us to try out the Protac Ball Blanket®. Before, Martin had an extremely hard time sleeping and calming down in the evening. He called out all the time, then he was thirsty, then he had to go to the bathroom, then it was hot, then it was cold, all the time there was something wrong. Since we got the blanket, Martin has slept within 2-3 min. after saying goodnight, he has even been fortunate enough to fall asleep in front of the television while watching cartoons. This was unthinkable before the blanket. Martin has benefited from getting this blanket and we hope we receive funding. Martin himself is very fond of the blanket and thinks it is wonderful. He also does not kick the blanket off anymore. He has become calmer. We are happy with the blanket and Martin loves it. It is still too early to say whether it will change his sense of touch.


46-year-old woman with Parkinson's disease

"I'm 46 years old and have Parkinson's. I have had it for 12 years now, and poor sleep is a big part of the disease. Parkinson’s is much more than being slow, shaky, and sluggish in the musculoskeletal system. It becomes something reminiscent of 12 years of poor sleep! I so want to sleep - just a single night without waking up. It's the dream! Parkinson's is due to a lack of the neurotransmitter Dopamine. Dopamine deficiency causes chaos throughout the chain of neurotransmitters in the brain that make us thinking and empathizing beings. That which characterizes us as human beings. Another of the substances there is also too little of in the brain is melatonin. The body's own sleep hormone. I'm missing that. I can fall asleep, but often wake up after a few hours, and then there is no more melatonin to fall asleep again. As a Parkinson's patient, you rarely dream, the sleep is simply not deep enough or long enough in the deep sleep. I am also a nurse and know the world of tactile stimulation. Being able to feel one’s body and one’s boundaries through firm pressure gives an enormous calm. Internal as well as external turmoil is greatly reduced for those with Parkinson's. If the pressure is wrong, it is only annoying and disturbs the nervous system wildly. I have tried several different blankets with minimal effect - they have not swaddled me enough, been too hot, too heavy, for “everything” and they have made noise. The latest attempt is the Protac Ball Blanket® Granulate and now I do not have to look any further, because it was just lovely under it. I quickly fall asleep, and I dream. I have not done that for years. Now I have been doing it several nights in a row. I still wake up at night - but there is a completely different feeling of calmness in my body. That blanket has made the unattainable dream possible - I have slept well. Several days in a row. Never mind that I wake up in between - the dreams have come back."


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.


Protac Ball Blanket® Combi

Sleeping disturbances and unrest has been recurring challenge for our daughter her whole life – she was born prematurely. We had our doubts if a blanket could help her, but we were quickly convinced that the Protac Ball Blanket® Combi is helpful to her. The first night, she only had the blanket over her legs and a regular blanket over the rest of the body. The second night, she only used the Protac Ball Blanket® - and she loves it. She is now 10 years old and has been sleeping with the blanket for half a year. It is clear, that it makes her fall asleep more quickly and that it gives her comfort. With her own words, she says that is feels nice, comforting and gives her comfort.

Some years ago, she tried the Protac Ball Blanket® Flexible without any success. We can only recommend trying different models of the blankets and to try again later, if no success at first try.


Young woman with ADHD and Borderline, among other conditions

The woman loves the mattress pad and misses lying on it after the trial period. She feels extremely comfortable on the padded side. She does not know if she sleeps better, but she feels extremely comfortable on it. Combined with the Protac Ball Blanket® she feels like a princess.


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