Sleep problems

cant sleep child

Sleep Strategies~ when your child has trouble sleeping~ Patience Domowski, LCSW

Falling asleep/bedtime routine

·         Turn off screens at least half hour before bed [Don’t let kids keep their ipads and phones in their rooms at night. Parents can charge them in their own bedroom or elsewhere in the house.]

·         Use a bedtime routine including reading books before bed. Sometimes a calming bath is helpful.

·         Sleepytime tea or warm milk can help

·         Listening to music while falling asleep can be helpful for some kids (check with your child if they think this would be helpful or too distracting)

·         Noise machine // fan// sound machine

·         Melatonin (natural vitamin that helps you fall/stay asleep) can buy over the counter at pharmacy

·         Progressive muscle relaxation (can find many scripts for this online)

·         Remind yourself everything will be okay

·         For racing thoughts: write down what need to do tomorrow// or what you’re thinking about to get it out of your head

·         Talk to doctor about medication if necessary

For nightmares:

·         Think happy thoughts / make a “happy things to think about before bed” Sweet Dreams box and have your child draw pictures of things he likes and pick out what he wants to dream about before bed

·         Use a Dream Catcher (can make one easily- look online for craft ideas)

·          Prayers

·         Assure them they will be okay

·         Watch a funny show or funny podcast before bed so thinking happy thoughts

Won’t sleep on their own

·         Parent stay with child until they fall asleep in their own room

·         Let child sleep on floor in parents room getting closer to door until can be in their own room

·         Let pets sleep with child or share bedroom with sibling

·         Give reward in morningif child stays in room all night or falls asleep on their own