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Is your child getting enough sleep?

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Additional supports for promoting sleep

If your child has strong preferences or wants to control what is happening around him consider providing the following supports to promote sleep:

  Allow your child to select the pajamas he will wear.
  Allow your child to select the stuffed animal or other quiet security object he will take to bed.
  Allow your child to select which music he will listen to when he goes to bed.

If your child has proprioceptive problems (for example, has difficulty knowing where his body is in space or in relation to objects or does not recognize how hard or light he is doing something or tends to touch/grab things too hard or too soft) consider providing the following supports to promote sleep:

  Provide a tent, canopy or other enclosure to help your child feel more secure.
  Provide a heavy quilt, blanket, comforter or a weighted blanket. This will help your child feel more secure. Lightweight sheets tend to feel irritating.

Some individuals relax more readily when exposed to lavender sachets during bedtime. Avoid burning candles when providing calming scents. This creates a significant fire hazard.

Provide one or more fans for air circulation. Some individuals tend to awaken between 2:00 and 4:00 am, when the air in the bedroom becomes still and stuffy.

 
Sleep researchers report that 65 – 67 degrees Fahrenheit is the ideal temperature to help people fall asleep or remain asleep. Many people sleep well in these temperatures when covered with a heavy quilt or blanket.

If you provide a massage for your child, try to use lotion that includes a calming scent. This helps your child relax. The scent also provides an ongoing cue to relax so long as he can smell the scent (the same sensation that he had when the lotion was applied). Keep in mind that our skin is the largest organ of our body. It absorbs whatever we apply to it.

You may wish to minimize your child's exposure to chemical additives by selecting a baby lotion, natural lotion or organic lotion. Baby lotions usually contain fewer ingredients and undergo more rigorous scrutiny of chemical additives than lotions manufactured for adult use.

If you use a sound machine or music source to play soothing sounds to mask interruptive noises throughout the night, the ocean sounds or white noise are reported to be the most helpful by most individuals we have worked with.

Be careful when selecting a sound machine or music with ocean noises—some include seagull noises that are very annoying and can awaken someone from sleep. Listen to the sound machine or music before making a purchase.

When playing relaxing music to facilitate sleep, set the CD player on "continuous play" mode so the CD will play throughout the entire night.



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