7 Sleep Tips for Kids with Special Needs

Sleep is a precious commodity to precious to parents raising kids with special needs and sleep issues. Here are 7 sleep tips to help them.

Sleep is a precious commodity to new parents. It’s doubly precious to parents raising kids with special needs, kids who often have sleep issues. Katy Bird, a favorite special needs blogger mom at Bird on the Street, is on a mission to get more sleep. That’s not an easy task for a mom who’s oldest son Charlie, lives with cerebral palsy. She’s also the mom to twin boys, Louis and August (who needs a gluten-free diet), and baby Rex. The twins and Rex are under 3 years old.

7 Special Needs Sleep Tips

As you can imagine, Katy doesn’t get enough sleep. But, she’s been implementing some simple strategies to add order and security to her daily life. The latest is increasing the amount of sleep for everyone in the family, starting with her son with special needs. Here are 7 tips she recommends:

  1. Consider a melatonin supplement. After consulting the doctor, of course.
  2. Limit sleep medications.
  3. Try a weighted blanket.
  4. Look for sensory stumbling blocks.
  5. Get rigid in your routine.
  6. Dim lights in the house thirty minutes before bed.
  7. Eliminate any spaces between a child’s tight muscles and the bed.

 

Katy explains each tip in detail at her post Getting Special Needs Kids to Sleep, where you’ll also find pictures of four of the cutest little boys you’ve ever seen. You might also like her post about Getting the Kids to Bed, where she shares some facts about sleep in kids and adults. Pretty interesting stuff.

Your Sleep Tips?

Does your child with special needs have sleep issues? What kind? What strategies have you discovered to improve your child’s (and your) sleep? What are some areas where you and your child still need help? Leave a comment to share your frustrations, your breakthroughs, and your advice and to encourage other parents dealing with similar challenges. Thanks!

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photo credit: www.freedigitalphotos.net

20 Comments

  1. April 6, 2013    

    Oh my goodness I am SO glad to have come across this post (stopping by from Love That Max). We have a very very hard time with my son and sleep. A lot of his has to do with his g tube and reflux. We have tried the weighted blanket and it does help but he also runs warm, like has to have a fan on him even in winter, so its not working as well as I hoped. I am going to check out her suggestions in more detail. I keep hearing about the melatonin supplement but my husband looked it up and saw negative side effects but we may need to look into it more. Looking for a solution. I am TIRED 🙂

  2. April 6, 2013    

    Oh my goodness I am SO glad to have come across this post (stopping by from Love That Max). We have a very very hard time with my son and sleep. A lot of his has to do with his g tube and reflux. We have tried the weighted blanket and it does help but he also runs warm, like has to have a fan on him even in winter, so its not working as well as I hoped. I am going to check out her suggestions in more detail. I keep hearing about the melatonin supplement but my husband looked it up and saw negative side effects but we may need to look into it more. Looking for a solution. I am TIRED 🙂

  3. April 7, 2013    

    Dear Jo Lynn,

    Thanks for stopping by. I hope one or more of those tips works for you. Stop by with an update when you can. I’m praying for sweet dreams for all of you!

    Jolene

  4. April 7, 2013    

    Dear Jo Lynn,

    Thanks for stopping by. I hope one or more of those tips works for you. Stop by with an update when you can. I’m praying for sweet dreams for all of you!

    Jolene

  5. April 10, 2013    

    We carry a line of safety beds that also help parents to be able to sleep! http://tadpoleadaptive.com/brands/beds-by-george.html

  6. April 10, 2013    

    We carry a line of safety beds that also help parents to be able to sleep! http://tadpoleadaptive.com/brands/beds-by-george.html

  7. April 12, 2013    

    Thanks for the link, CJ, and for carrying a line of products to keep kids safe.

    Jolene

  8. April 12, 2013    

    Thanks for the link, CJ, and for carrying a line of products to keep kids safe.

    Jolene

  9. Joy Joy
    May 21, 2013    

    We use melatonin 3mg for my 11 ye old son. Our pediatrician and his neurologist both recommended it as safe and works great!!!

  10. Joy Joy
    May 21, 2013    

    We use melatonin 3mg for my 11 ye old son. Our pediatrician and his neurologist both recommended it as safe and works great!!!

  11. maureen bartwink maureen bartwink
    May 21, 2013    

    Jo Lynn
    My grandson is 4 and is autism. We used to rock him for hours and he would only sleep about 4-5 hours a night. His Dr. recomended we
    use Melatonin. We started when he was 3 and the first night he slept 10 hours. We use it nightly and he sleeps for 10-12 hours a night. No naps during the day, but hey, he sleeps great at night. and we have seen no side effects. We give him 2.5 mgs

  12. maureen bartwink maureen bartwink
    May 21, 2013    

    Jo Lynn
    My grandson is 4 and is autism. We used to rock him for hours and he would only sleep about 4-5 hours a night. His Dr. recomended we
    use Melatonin. We started when he was 3 and the first night he slept 10 hours. We use it nightly and he sleeps for 10-12 hours a night. No naps during the day, but hey, he sleeps great at night. and we have seen no side effects. We give him 2.5 mgs

  13. May 22, 2013    

    Thank you Maureen. How wonderful that it worked for you. Perhaps your hint will help someone else, too.

    Jolene

  14. May 22, 2013    

    Thank you Maureen. How wonderful that it worked for you. Perhaps your hint will help someone else, too.

    Jolene

  15. May 22, 2013    

    Joy,
    You’re the second vote for melatonin in one day. Thanks for the tip.
    Jolene

  16. May 22, 2013    

    Joy,
    You’re the second vote for melatonin in one day. Thanks for the tip.
    Jolene

  17. Kim Kim
    November 5, 2013    

    I don’t understand tip #7 ….

  18. Kim Kim
    November 5, 2013    

    I don’t understand tip #7 ….

  19. November 5, 2013    

    Kim, pop on over to Katy’s original post at this URL for a complete explanation: http://birdonthestreet.com/2013/02/getting-special-needs-kids-to-sleep-and-a-reminder/

    Thanks for stopping by!
    Jolene

  20. November 5, 2013    

    Kim, pop on over to Katy’s original post at this URL for a complete explanation: http://birdonthestreet.com/2013/02/getting-special-needs-kids-to-sleep-and-a-reminder/

    Thanks for stopping by!
    Jolene

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Meet Jolene

Jolene Philo is a published author, speaker, wife, and mother of a son with special needs.

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