A checklist for Good Sleep
1) Room temperature
The bedroom should be between 16-18 degrees.
Is your child kicking the bedding off during the night and waking because they are cold? You may also wish to consider whether your child would be more comfortable wearing a sleep suit. Is the texture of the bedding bothering your child?
Is there any noise inside or outside the home that may be disturbing your child? Some children with sensory issues can be particularly sensitive to noise - what may seem like a quiet sound to you can seem very loud to them. White noise may be worth considering if they are sound sensitive.
Is the room dark enough? Melatonin is produced when the room is dark. Consider buying black-out blinds to make the room darker. Some children are frightened of the dark or may find it disorientating if they have a sensory impairment, a soft glowing nightlight be appropriate.
5) An over-stimulating bedroom
Does your child get out of bed to play with toys? Are they playing computer games or watching TV before they go to bed? If so, your child may be over stimulated by the bedroom environment. Bright colours are often stimulating to children. It is important that your child's bedroom is a calm and suitable environment for them to get to sleep in.
Is their bed comfortable? Try lying on it during the day and seeing how it feels. Is your child wet or soiled? Could this be causing them to wake up?
7) Thirsty / Hungry
What time are they having their last meal? Does this need to be later? Giving your child a snack mid-afternoon can help if you want to try moving their meal time to later in the day.
8) Lack of routine
Do you have a good bedtime routine for your child? Has their routine become unsettled lately because of an event like a family holiday or Christmas?
Is your child in pain? Could they be teething? Some children with disabilities cannot reposition themselves at night which can disrupt their sleep. If you think that your child may be in pain you should seek advice from a medical professional.
Is your child on any medication that may be impacting on their sleep? Or do they have to be given medication during their sleep which may be disturbing them? Check with a medical practitioner if you are unsure.
We hope this guide helps you and your child sleep better through the night.