TIP of the WEEK: Getting a Good Nights Sleep

One of the most common issues we hear about from families and other providers is sleep problems. Too much sleep or extreme fatigue, restless sleep or difficulty falling asleep, waking too early or struggling to rouse in the morning. The common thread is that people with PWS often do not have quality sleep and this affects every aspect of their lives. We always suggest a sleep study and sometimes this will tell us that there is an underlying physiological reason for sleep disturbance. Many of our children and adults are prescribed medications for sleep or machines that aid with the flow of oxygen but what do we do when the issues prevail after these interventions?
Here are some suggestions:

  • Pick a reasonable bed time and stick to it. Our kids will often fall asleep at a very early hour, sometimes right after dinner. Although this may give your family some time to yourselves in the evening you will undoubtedly be looking at a wake time of 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning and unless you have also gone to bed after dinner this is sure to have an impact on your entire day.
  • Create a routine after dinner that keeps your child’s interest but is not so stimulating that it will be difficult to transition from wakefulness to sleep. There are a number of apps and computer games that are fun and interesting but calming at the same time. Search for ” nighttime games for iPads or PC’s”.
  • Low impact exercise will also keep your child awake but not interfere with the transition from awake to asleep, in fact this is the best way to transition to bedtime. Walking, yoga and stretching exercises are a good way to calm the body down.
  • Choose a morning routine that is quiet and predictable. This will start your day off right and will make waking less stressful for your child. If your morning is typically hectic it is much more likely that your child will learn to stay in bed to avoid facing the anxiety of a busy routine.
  • Naps throughout the day may be necessary but keep them short and as early in the day as possible.

Sleep issues may be organic. Our kids are tired and fatigue easily but these issues can also be a learned behavior to either avoid stress or assert some control over their environment and routine.
And it goes without saying that getting a good nights sleep yourself is the very best thing for you and your family too.

Submitted by:
Patrice Carroll
Manager of PWS Services

“Sleeping is nice. You forget about everything for a little while.” 
 ~H.K Ruman

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