Objectives: Based on actigraphic surveillance, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptom rating and sleep diary, this study will evaluate the effect of Ball Blanket on sleep for a sample of 8-13-year-old children with ADHD.
Design: Case-control study.
Setting: A child and adolescent psychiatric department of a teaching hospital.
Participants: 21 children aged 8-13 years with a diagnosis of ADHD and 21 healthy control subjects.
Intervention: Sleep was monitored by parent-completed sleep diaries and 28 nights of actigraphy. For 14 of those days, the child slept with a Ball Blanket.
Main outcome measures: The sleep latency, number of awakenings and total length of sleep was measured, as was the possible influence on parent- and teacher-rated ADHD symptom load.
Results: The results of this study will show that the time it takes for a child to fall asleep is shortened when using a Ball Blanket. The time it takes to fall asleep when using the Ball Blanket is found to be at the same level as the healthy control subjects. Teacher rating of symptoms show an improvement in both activity levels and attention span of approximately 10% after using the Ball Blankets.
Conclusions: The results of this study show that the use of Ball Blankets is a relevant and effective treatment method with regard to minimizing sleep onset latency. We find that the use of Ball Blankets for 14-days improves the time it takes to fall asleep, individual day-to-day variation and the number of awakenings to a level that compares with those found in the healthy control group. Furthermore, we find that the use of Ball Blankets significantly reduces the number of nights that the ADHD child spends more than 30 min falling asleep from 19% to 0%.