Thursday 15 December 2016

December 15th - Sleep

Sleep ( ha ha )...


Well what can I say….
Keep routines in place wherever possible.
Visuals can help prepare children for any changes to the routine, and work well for children like my son who can often becomes demand avoidant at bedtime. He will often follow the visuals better than me telling him again and again.
There will be the odd few late nights, we just have to accept that.
Create a social story to help your child to understand the bedtime routine(see link above.)
If your staying with family,  taking your childs own duvet/ covers/ pillow/ night lights can really help them settle.
Christmas Eve may well be a long night.. sorry folks no advice for that one…. other than drink Baileys and eat lots of mince pies to get you through! My little man has already warned me he knows he's not going to be able to sleep that night!
Sounds silly but make sure to have enough medication for the festive period as lots of surgeries work on reduced hours as do chemists and this can mean getting your prescription can take longer. I have set a reminder on my phone or that's the stupid kind of thing I would forget to do.

Think about the layout of the room. It can help to show them the function of the room has changed from somewhere to play to somewhere to now sleep. My son now has a separate desk for watching TV (AND HE ONLY EVER USES HIS BED FOR SLEEP...NOTHING ELSE .)

A dark room will naturally produce melatonin so keep lights dim half an hour before bedtime. Keep the lights in the house bright everywhere else in the house so there is a contrast.

It can help to use motivation to help encourage sleep, and it has to be something that is manageable and your child actually wants. Use reward charts.

There is evidence to suggest  that TV and screen time can stimulate kids before bedtime. So it could be worth considering limiting this half an hour before bedtime.

My son likes to take a snack to bed as he often feels hungry before he falls asleep.

Have a set pattern of things your child always does before bedtime and try to stick to it whenever possible. It's also worth keeping a consistant get up time in the morning throughout weekends and holidays. 

Worry dolls under the pillow/ worry boxes / diaries can help if children write down what is worrying them. Also knowing what will happen the next day can help alleviate any worries that prevent sleep.

As tempting as it is to stay up late and watch another episode on Netflix remember that kiddo will still be up at the crack of dawn so ensure you have lots of coffee stashed in the cupboards. I'm a sucker for late nights but then always regret it in the morning.

Weighted blankets can really help kids to settle to sleep at bedtime, it may be worth investing in one if sleep is hard for your little one. They work by relaxing the body and they can be made or bought online.
A massage before bedtime can help a child to relax as can sensory lights ( links to examples above.)

1 comment:

  1. My son likes to take a snack to bed as he often feels hungry before he falls asleep. Relax Sleep