Sensory Processing Disorder Parent Support
Sensory Processing Disorder Parent Support

Sensory Processing Disorder Sleeping Solutions For Kids

Children with sensory differences ... painting the world beautiful.  

Sensory Processing Disorder Sleeping Solutions For Kids 

Jeanette Loftus 

child with sensory processing disorder sleeping in their bed Sensory Processing Sleeping Solutions
It is very common for children and adults who have Sensory Processing Disorder to struggle with sleeping difficulties.

I would suggest making a doctors appointment for a referral to have a sleep study done to receive the answers as to why they are not sleeping properly because sleeping difficulties can be caused by so many different conditions.

I know as an adult who has Sensory Processing Disorder how challenging it can be to get a good nights rest each night and I also know as a parent to a child who struggles with sensory differences how much they struggle to get proper rest each night.

Children with Sensory Processing Disorder and Autistic children often have difficulties sleeping. This can be a source of great frustration for both the child and their parents.

Many children with sensory differences have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up too early. The sensory sensitivities can make it challenging for them to relax and feel comfortable enough to fall asleep. They may also experience frequently waking throughout the night.

Children with sensory challenges often have difficulties with self-regulation and this can impact their sleep-wake cycle. They may have irregular sleep patterns and struggle to maintain a consistent bedtime routine. This can result in them feeling tired and fatigued during the day.  

A sensory-friendly bedroom is so important for children with sensory processing disorder and Autism. This means creating a calming environment that minimizes sensory input.  

- Use blackout curtains to block the light or a sound machine to block out external noise.  
- Using a weighted blanket or compression sheets to provide a calming sensation
- Use dimmed lighting and avoiding screens before bedtime 

Children with sensory processing disorder and Autism thrive with structure and consistency. Establishing a regular bedtime routine can help them relax and prepare for sleep. Calming sensory activities before bedtime like a bath, reading a book or listen to calming music can be helpful.

If the sleeping difficulties continue, it may be helpful to seek advice from a pediatric occupational therapist who specializes in sensory processing. They can offer sensory strategies and techniques tailored to the child's individual sensory needs. A consultation with a sleep specialist may also be beneficial for your child.

child with sensory processing disorder sleeping in bed with eye sleep mask on struggling to sleep Sleeping Solutions For Children with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) & Autism
How Many Hours of Sleep Do Kids Need?
All children are different and require a different amount of sleep but these are general guidelines from the National Sleep Foundation
1 to 2 months old: 10 1/2 to 18 hours per day
3 to 11 months old: 9 to 12 hours per day 
1 to 3 years old: 12 to 14 hours per day
3 to 5 years old: 11 to 13 hours per day
5 to 12 years old: 10 to 11 hours per day
12 to 18 years old: at least 8 1/2 hours per day

40 Sensory Ideas To Try For Sleeping Difficulties

1. Make sure bedroom is cool, dark and quiet2. Exercise during the day
3. Avoid big meals before bedtime
4. Have a healthy bedtime routine
5. Same time for bed time each night
6. Listening to slow relaxing music or nature
7.White noise machine
8. Warm epsom salt bath
9. Don't drink soda or caffeine in the afternoon or before bed
10. Be consistent and don't give up! 
11. No TV or screen time after dinner
12. As much sunlight during the day as possible
13. Dimmed lights after dinner and try a sleep mask at bedtime
14. Calming activities after dinner
15. Diffuse essential oils
16. Set a wake up time
17. One stuffie or favorite toy before bed, too many is too over stimulating
18. Soft bed sheets
19. Comfortable pajamas
20. Room darkening shades
21. A lot of reassurance they are safe and you are close by
22. Don't dismiss bed time fears, always address them
23. Your kiddos focus should be relaxing not going to sleep
24. Avoid all stimulating activities at least 6 hours before bed time
25. Always prepare your kiddo it's soon bed time, have a countdown
26. Use visual schedules
27. Bed time routines should be 20-30 minutes
28. Avoid singing or rocking your child to sleep, because if she wakes in the middle of the night she may need you to sing or rock her back to sleep (they need to learn to self sooth)
30. When your child yells out for you always wait a few moments before answering and try to engage as less as possible
31. Every time your child comes out of the bedroom, gently put them back into bed and remind them it is bedtime
32. Tools to overcome fears (flashlight, spray bottle of "monster spray" or a stuffie to "protect" them)
33. Reward system sticker chart and praise all good bedtime behaviors
34. Explain to your kiddo why a good sleep pattern is healthy and important
35. Egg timers to help your kiddo visually see time, it also helps with routine
36. Weighted blanket
37. Turn on a fan
38. Brushing and deep pressure massage before bedtime
39. Food that contains natural melatonin before bedtime 
40. Wrap your kiddo in a burrito

Sleeping Solutions for Kids 

Nighty Night KidSafe Essential Oil 10 ml Does your child have occasional trouble calming down at night before bedtime

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DISCLAIMER: I am not an Occupational Therapist. I am an adult who has Sensory Processing Disorder, a sensory parent and a Grandma. The information on this website is not medical advice and does not replace the information that your child's therapists gives you. These are just ideas and information that I have learned myself over the years of being a parent and an adult living with SPD. If you are concerned for your child, please always seek medical attention through a family doctor, pediatrician or therapist. This website is for suggestions and informational purposes only. Each child is different and what works for one child may not for another because all children have different needs. Please always consult with a professional. Amazon offers a small commission on products sold through their affiliate links on my website.  Each of your purchases through links on my website for Amazon affiliation links or sponsored links support me but no additional cost to you so thank you. I appreciate it so much!