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Facing the challenges of taking care of a child with special needs can get complicated at times. This is the reason why any parent that goes through difficult times should receive the appropriate guidance. Children with special needs involve more responsibilities, as parents have to learn how to handle the situation the right way. Getting a good night’s sleep is troubling even when children do not have special needs, so there is no wonder why more care and attention are required when dealing with a child that suffers from a chromosomal condition. Most children who have special needs are showing a cognitive delay, a lower muscle tone, a smaller stature and other small problems that may affect the way they rest. For instance, children who suffer from Down Syndrome have a hard time falling asleep and maintaining a good sleep during the whole night because of the effects of the disease, such as apnea, insomnia, bruxism, and so many others.
This article is meant to be a useful guide for parents who are trying to ease the sleep of their little ones, regardless of the special needs they have. The pieces of advice you will find in this article are applicable to all disorders that are challenging in terms of sleep. A lower overall sleep time might aggravate the symptoms of the disease or affection of your child, so applying all methods to bring their sleep pattern on the right track is definitely worth a shot. By helping your kid sleep better at night, you will get better rest as well. Here’s what you should know:
Besides a good alimentation, using nursery rhymes and kids songs as a therapeutic method to induce sleep is the right option. Soft music combined with breathing exercises is the key to relaxation, which leads to a better sleep. Children with special needs tend to be overactive, which means having them respect a sleep pattern is quite difficult. You can try a big kid stroller. Attracting and directing their attention towards something could be useful. Finding a YouTube channel for kids that offers soothing videos and animations should help in to keep your child relaxed before sleep time. Regular baby songs might not do the job on their own, but visuals usually draw attention pretty easily, especially if they are colorful and entertaining.
If you want to set up a routine for watching animations with your child, you should find websites that provide this kind of service. YouTube channels that post content often or websites such as Kachy TV – Nursery Rhymes are the ones you might want to keep an eye on. Consider your child’s choices because he might not be engaged by certain contents. It’s highly important to find what’s best for the little one’s preferences. Not all children are the same and this is why you have to put together a personalized sleep schedule.
If you don’t want to use any more prescription medication to help your child sleep, you can focus on natural methods to do it. It is well-known that prescription medication could lead to addiction if used regularly. You should use medication only if the doctor prescribed them for the health of your child. If not, rely on other methods to improve your little one’s sleep. Start by using nutritional supplements, which will keep your child away from the adverse side effects of sleeping pills. Look for nutritional supplements that don’t involve any substances that cause addiction or habit-forming. Start by administering supplements with melatonin, and combine it with other substances that encourage a good night’s sleep. For example, you can use Magnesium supplements to reduce stress and help with tight muscles. Other substances that help sleep include valerian, L-tryptophan, B vitamins and different sorts of tea that act as sedatives.
Foods to avoid
Pay attention to your kid’s nutrition before sleep. Certain kinds of foods can worsen some affections or its symptoms. Patients with different autism spectrum disorders that have abnormal brain functions can become overactive due to biological processes in the brain if consuming specific foods. Eliminating all possible triggers from the alimentary plan of a child with special needs is thus mandatory. The proteins in dairy products can cause brain fog, concentration issues, numbness and a series of other receptor issues, which happen because of the exorphins released in the body. Another triggering substance is represented by gluten. Gluten is found in most grains and it causes brain inflammation due to the antibodies that fight the substance. Consuming gluten, in any quantities, can make autism and similar diseases worse.
Sugar is an enemy of sleep, regardless of the condition of your child. Sugar causes inflammation, cell firing and is also addictive. If you give anything that contains sugar to your child, you risk causing more trouble, especially in terms of sleep. Avoiding substances like sugar or anything that’s processed and focusing on lean protein will help your child’s brain to stay healthy. Some affections affect the judgment, concentration, and behavior of children beside sleep, so you need to learn how to keep these in control. Through good nutrition, you can keep your little one away from unpleasant symptoms.
Limit the screen time before sleep, even though you are using videos and animations to keep your kid in place. You should use relaxation techniques a few hours before sleep time and use devices to play videos one hour before actually getting your child into bed. You can switch watching videos by reading a children’s book for your child. The key is to keep them engaged in a relaxing activity instead of letting them overreact. With the right nutrition and by correctly applying relaxation techniques, nothing can go wrong. Your child’s sleep will be improved, regardless of the special needs, he has. Arm yourself with patience, set a strict schedule and make the change happen. Both yourself and your child will have a lot to gain after this change, both in terms of mental and physical health.