TIP of the WEEK: The Art and Science of a Good Nights Sleep

Everyone needs a good nights sleep. So often we hear from parents of children with PWS that their child struggles with sleep issues. Whether they struggle to fall asleep, wake easily, too often throughout the night or too early in the morning, at some point most kids with PWS will have sleep issues. First, a sleep study must be a priority if you are concerned about sleep difficulties. Sleep apnea is a serious condition and should be addressed sooner rather than later. If sleep apnea is ruled out then the next step is to look at the environment both, physical and emotional.

Your body causes stress hormones when you are feeling anxious or are feeling as though you need to be on alert for whatever reason. These stress hormones naturally keep you awake. Find something that soothes your child; an item like a teddy bear or blanket, quiet music, a favorite story- really anything that will take away those feelings of anxiety and turn off the brain’s automatic reaction to stress.

Everyone is different. Some will be calmed by certain smells, others agitated by the exact same scent. Sensory issues play a very important part in the bodies ability to calm itself enough to allow for a restful sleep.

 “Is it too cold?”
 “Is it too loud?”
“Are their pajamas the wrong material?”
“Are they feeling rested enough to let their bodies settle?”

Lack of physical exercise or too much exercise right before bed can adversely effect sleep cycles. Some kids need total darkness, others need night lights or hall lights on. These preferences can change over time. The key is to find what works for your child and stick to it. If you notice that your child’s behavior has recently changed for the worse, take a look at their sleep patterns. Like everyone else, a bad nights sleep can have a direct effect on mood and behavior. Establishing a quiet and soothing night time routine can do wonders for everyone’s sanity!

Submitted by:
Patrice Carroll
Manager of PWS Services

Related Posts:
Getting a Good Nights Sleep
Sensory Overload
Nights at Latham

“A ruffled mind makes a restless pillow.”
 ~Charlotte Brontë

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