As parents, we want the best for our kids. We want them to be happy and healthy, but sometimes it can be hard to know the best way to help them when they're not feeling their best. For instance, sleeping can be a struggle for anyone. But if your child has sensory issues, it can be especially difficult for them to fall asleep at night.
Please do not lose hope; we are here for you! Here are some of the ways you can help your child with sensory issues get the goodnight's rest they need to make sure that their mind and body do not get severely fatigued during the day:
(This blog post contains affiliate links which means I get a commission if you decide to purchase through my site, at no cost to you. Read my full disclosure for more information)
Keep the room dark by using blackout curtains.
Often, kids with sensory issues also have trouble settling down at bedtime. This may be partly because their bedrooms are too noisy or too bright for them. Thus, one of the most important things you can do to help your child sleep better is to keep their room dark, quiet, and cool. This helps them feel secure in their own space, making them feel more relaxed and less anxious about bedtime.
You should also consider using a sleep mask or earplugs if your child has trouble falling asleep because of sensory issues (for example, bright lights). If you're using this method, be sure that there isn't any light coming into the room from outside or through any windows at night—this could disturb their rest! A white noise machine is another option; plug it into an outlet near where they'll be sleeping, so it emits a steady hum throughout the house until morning comes around again.
In addition to dimming the lights and controlling noise levels, your child could benefit from relaxation techniques before bedtime. Try doing Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) or tapping your child to sleep. EFT is an effective anxiety and stress therapeutic method that targets the nine meridian points or acupressure points to help your child calm down and feel relieved from emotional distress caused by sensory issues.
Sip some chamomile tea.
Try natural sleep aids like chamomile tea safe for children over three years old (no more than one teaspoon per day). These natural supplements do not have any side effects like drowsiness or headaches associated with medication prescriptions used for treating insomnia-related issues such as anxiety disorders or depression--they help relax muscles, so they're able to fall asleep easier after being awake for several hours during the day!
Chamomile tea is calming, which helps your child to relax and sleep better. It helps with anxiety and depression, too! You can brew chamomile tea in a mug or glass and let your child sip it while curling up on the couch. The relaxing scent of chamomile will help them drift off into slumberland quickly (we all love this).
Use essential oils.
Essential oils such as lavender, chamomile, and peppermint are great in helping your child with sensory issues sleep. They can be added to baths or used in diffusers. They can also be applied directly on the skin (be sure not to use too much), but it's important not to ingest them or use them with carrier oil.
Invest in a weighted blanket.
A weighted blanket is a blanket filled with small pellets or beans. The idea is that these items help your child sleep better because they help them feel more warmth and comfort, making it easier for them to fall asleep and stay asleep. Weighted blankets can also be helpful for children with sensory issues (or anyone else who has trouble sleeping). They're especially useful if you have children who struggle with insomnia, anxiety, or other stress-related conditions such as PTSD or depression, which may affect their ability to fall asleep at night.
If you're looking for an investment in helping your child get a good night's rest every night but don't feel like buying new mattresses just yet—or even if you're simply interested in using something calming around the house—a weighted blanket might be right up your alley! There are many different options out there depending on what type of body shape/size works best: some come as small pieces of fabric while others are bigger blankets meant specifically for adults; others still come folded up into smaller packages ready-to-go whenever needed (and these tend not only to work great but also look stylish!).
For a good overall weighted blanket, this is my recommendation
Try different pillow shapes.
This may seem simple, but it can greatly affect your child's sleep. For example, a small and too high pillow may not be enough to support their head because they tend to move in different sleeping positions. As a result, they can abruptly wake up in the middle of the night or, worse, wake up with stiff necks.
A larger, leveled, softer pillow that supports their neck can help your child stay asleep more comfortably. So try out some different ones until you find one that works best for your kid's needs—it could mean the difference between falling asleep easily versus fighting through nightmares every night!
Find the right bedtime routine for your child based on age and developmental stage.
This could involve slowly moving from one activity (like reading or watching TV) toward another (like quiet time), over time, until finally settling down with no other option left but sleep itself!
Plus, it will keep everyone happy during those long nights when nothing seems very appealing anymore except lying beside each other under blankets while counting sheep together. To learn more tips on how to help your child sleep faster, we highly recommend these articles: How To Get Your High Needs Child To Sleep, Step-By-Step, and 5 Quick Tips To Make Bedtime Easier for Neurodivergent Children.
Stay consistent and kind.
Reassure your child that you will not give up on trying different things until they fall asleep. Be patient with them and consistent with their bedtime routine, even if they seem resistant or stubborn. Your love will trump their fears and help them overcome any challenges they face in their quest for a good night's rest.
Minimize sugary foods intake and caffeine consumption.
Avoid sugary foods like candy bars or chocolate and caffeinated drinks such as soda and iced tea at least six hours before bedtime. These can disrupt sleep patterns by stimulating alertness.
Reduce blue light exposure.
Reduce blue light exposure. Blue light can disrupt the body's circadian rhythm (insert How Light Therapy Helps Your Neurodiverse Child to Have Better Sleep), which may cause difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. Devices like smartphones, tablets, and televisions emit blue light throughout the day and when turned on at night. Reducing your child's exposure to this type of artificial lighting will help them get more restful sleep—and it won't cost you anything!
Consult with a certified Sleep Specialist.
When it comes to sensory issues in children, parents are left to figure it out on their own. But there's no need to do so. A pediatric sleep specialist like Nakayla Von Raeder can help if your child has trouble sleeping. Your child may be reacting to triggers in the environment that are keeping him up or causing him discomfort. A sleep specialist will examine your child, look at his environment carefully, identify what is causing your child's difficulties, and devise an effective sleep plan. In addition, they can also recognize potential medical issues such as insomnia, allergies, or hormonal imbalances that could affect a child's ability to fall asleep at night or stay asleep throughout the night.
We hope these tips have been helpful! Remember that your child's sensory issues will not go away overnight, but with the right techniques and therapies, they can be managed. You don't need to do everything at once, but starting small by changing how you prepare for bedtime each night is a great place to start.
If you have any more questions or concerns about your child's sleep issues, please don't hesitate to contact us here at The Slumber Academy. We will give you a free 15-minute sleep consultation to ease your worries and know your child's needs.