Children who have problems getting to sleep could be helped by a special “flashing blanket“.

The hi-tech version of a comfort blanket contains flashing lights which react to movement to calm children who are frightened of the dark.

The low-voltage machine-washable blanket is made up of four circuits of 10 lights. Each has different colours, pulse rates and illumination times.

Four sensors linked to a microprocessor react to a child’s movements to alter the pattern of subtle colours and patterns.

McAdam said the blanket was designed to help “smooth the path towards sleep”.