Compresso-T Aids in Sleep Disturbances in Children with ASD

Posted by Shannon on Apr 4th 2023

APR 05, 2023

Compresso-T Aids in Sleep Disturbances in Children with ASD

Do your children with ASD have difficulty sleeping?
Compresso-T may be the answer you’re
looking for.

Recently, SmartKnitKIDS Compresso-T was part of a Research Study conducted by the University of Kansas Medical Center Department of Occupational Therapy Education. The study examined whether wearing compression shirts during sleep helped children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to get better, less interrupted sleep.


The KU researchers had identified that a common problem among children on the autism spectrum was a high occurrence of sleep disturbances. These disturbances included insomnia, night walking, increased time to fall asleep, and a decreased total sleep time.

Sleep is a daily activity that falls within the scope of practice of occupational therapy,” said Priscila Hernandez, an OT not connected with the University of Kansas Study. Occupational therapists understand that sleep quality influences all aspects of daily life, including overall health and the ability to accomplish everyday tasks.

Occupational therapists have used a variety of techniques with patients to encourage better sleep habits, including consistent bedtime habits, changes to the sleep environment, and sensory-specific strategies. Weighted blankets have become a frequent sensory strategy in recent years, but the existing
literature offers little evidence to support this strategy as being effective.

The Study

The KU researchers designed their study to test the effectiveness of a compression shirt, specifically SmartKnitKIDS Compresso-T, on improving sleep quality. Compression shirts provide sensory input in the form of deep pressure throughout the child’s torso to help regulate the sensory system. The subjects were children aged four to twelve years old, had a diagnosis of ASD, and experienced disturbed sleep patterns.

The study was conducted over the duration of seven weeks. Children wore Garmin watches to monitor the their sleep patterns, including night walking, sleep duration, and daytime sleepiness. The children’s sleep was monitored for one week before wearing the Compresso-T. Next, they wore the Compresso-T for three weeks while sleeping, followed by another week without the shirt. During the final two weeks they wore Compresso-T again


The study results indicated the effectiveness of the Compresso-T varied among the children. All the children showed fair improvement in their sleep patterns, but older children and hyposensitive children experienced the greatest improvement. The researchers stated it was possible that the older children experienced better sleep results because it was easier for them to comply with the study guidelines. “The researchers listed age and sensory preferences as factors that can potentially influence the effectiveness of compression garments,” Hernandez said. As clinicians, it is important to consider these factors to determine if deep pressure strategies are an appropriate therapeutic option for our clients. Occupational therapists can offer guidance when navigating compression garments and suggest alternative sensory strategies if deep pressure is not a suitable fit for the child’s sensory needs. These results serve as a reminder that sensory preferences are part of our human diversity, and that everyone has different sensory needs.”


The researchers stated that more studies on this topic are needed and would be beneficial. Research has shown that deep pressure input found in compression garments, like Compresso-T, can be beneficial for children with sensory differences. This study adds to the existing research that suggests compression
garments such as Compresso-T can be a positive solution for children with autism who experience sleep disturbances.


Lawson, Lisa Miche; Foster, Lauren; Hodges, Morgan; Murphy, Mia; O’Neal, Melissa; Peters, Lesan. “Effects of Sensory Garments on Sleep of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.” Occupational Therapy International, Volume 2022, Article ID 2941655, 9 pages


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This is general information and not intended to diagnose or treat patients. It is the provider's responsibility to ascertain the appropriateness of individual applications of compression therapy. Patients should always consult with their provider prior to wearing compression products.