How to get a good Night Sleep
Commonly kids can have problems easing into a sleep cycle that is normal and routine. However, children with different disorders especially autism can be a challenge to get them to get a good night's rest. So parents with children that have autism should seek information and tips to help with getting their children a good night's rest.
There are many possible causes as to why children with special needs like autism can have problems with getting that much needed good night's rest. One theory is that the child may have problems with social cues. Most children can relate to daylight and darkness in relation to watching their siblings or other family members get ready for bed when it is dark. However, when the special needs child cannot relate the social cues it can be the start of having disorders.
Another theory deals with a hormone. Melatonin is the hormone that helps to regulate sleep cycles in particular the sleep-wake aspect of the overall rest cycle. Melatonin is made with tryptophan which is an amino acid. Tryptophan can be either high or low with kids with health issues. Melatonin tends to rise in darkness and helps to get the rest cycle going but dips during the day. So, this can be an issue with kids with autism.
Tips for parents with children with special needs can be a heaven sent.
First tip is don't. Don't immediately get medications for your little one to get the needed rest. Medications should be a last choice. Lifestyle changes and natural aids should be the first order.
One, do not let the little one have anything that stimulates them before bedtime such as sugar. Get in place a routine for bedtime and stick to it. Routine could be, for example, a bedtime story at the same time each night. A gentle massage can help to relax them along with soothing music.
Sensory distractions should be avoided during the night.
- Heavy curtains to block outside lights should be used to help block sensory distractions along with having things carpeted to avoid any sounds.
- The room temperature should be a fit for the child to help relax and avoid any possible sensory distractions.
- Anything that stimulates must be avoided. Distractions such as television and video games are a big no-no.
Melatonin can be used as a dietary supplement. As previously discussed this helps in getting a good night's rest and can be used to help with any sleep disorders. It helps to regulate patterns of rest.
For more information, read our blog: How to Get My Child to Sleep Alone?
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