Children often have a hard time getting to sleep and this is especially true of those who have special needs. Children with physical difficulties may have problems sleeping. It’s a good idea to consult with your medical practitioner to determine what are the best ways in helping your special needs child get a good night’s rest. Your medical advisor will also be able to refer you to a specialist if required.
Children with emotional or developmental issues may also be prone to sleep problems. Lack of sleep may impact their behavior and emotions, causing difficulty for the entire family. Here are some tips that you can use to help everyone, especially your child, get a good night’s sleep.
Choose the right mattress
There are a number of things you can do, including having the right mattress. A comfortable mattress makes falling asleep a great deal easier. While having a waterproof mattress is useful for any small child, it is a necessity for some. A waterproof mattress is also more comfortable and encouraging of sleep than a waterproof mattress cover that is usually made of plastic and far less comfortable.
Consider a body pillow
A body pillow can also come in handy. It can give your child something to snuggle up to and hold while sleeping, which can effectively reduce anxiety and encourage sleep. A doona is also useful in those cases where a child needs to be comfortable but also needs a certain amount of physical restraint during sleep. You can also get an oversized quilt that covers more than the entire bed and tuck it in around the edges.
Review your routine
Another good way to ensure a good night’s sleep is to keep naps to a minimum, especially in the 4 to 6 hours before bedtime. You can also use bedtime rituals such as bathing or brushing teeth as a signal that it’s time to go to bed. This helps establish good habits and, at the same time, instills a sense of order that encourages your special needs child to sleep at certain times, thereby reducing anxiety or wakefulness. This is much more effective than simply ordering your child to sleep, forcing them to toss and turn or cry him or herself to sleep. Your child should never be put in a position where he or she feels wrong for not sleeping, as this will greatly increase anxiousness. Remember that your child wants to do what is right by you and making him or her feel out of control or wrong will only exacerbate the problem.
Enjoy the sun
Another useful practice is to make certain that your child gets enough sunlight, at least three times a day, ideally in the morning, at noon and before dusk. This is especially useful with an autistic child as children on the spectrum often have elevated levels of melatonin during the day, which means there is less melatonin available at night to encourage sleep. Being out in the bright sunshine can reduce daytime melatonin levels and increase the amount available at night.
Jerry Rice Jersey 400;”>No matter the actions you take to help your special needs child get a good night’s sleep, it’s important that you get sleep as well. Taking turns is a good idea, so that a different parent is on duty each night. This at least guarantees that one of you will get a good night’s sleep several nights a week.