How to help your child get a good sleep

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Losing sleep over your child's sleep? You're not alone. The reality is that

sleep problems in children are common and even more common in kids with autism,

developmental disabilities, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. As a

parent, you know that sleep problems can affect the whole family, creating stress

and lost sleep for parents too. What are some common sleep complaints? Crying at

bedtime or refusing to go to bed and let the parent stays with them. Moving to

their parents bed during the night, sleeping in car seats, strollers and

basically anywhere but their own bed. Here's the good news: many sleep problems

can be improved if not completely resolved with simple changes to the

bedtime routine and environment. Sleep hygiene means good habits that promote

sleep. Here are our top tips for good sleep hygiene. Make sure bedtime and

morning wake-up is around the same time each day, including weekends. Keep

bedrooms cool, comfortable and dark. Here's a tip: if you can read a book, the

room is too bright. Beds are for sleeping, not playing or watching TV or playing on

tablets or devices. No drinks or food with caffeine in the late afternoon or

evening. No big meals right before bed. Try relaxing activities in the evening

to wind down. A warm bath or reading are good bets. Keep the bedtime routine

activities in the same order every night so it's predictable. Make sure it's

enjoyable and short. Here's the big one: keep screens out of the bedroom there's

research saying that devices in the evening make it harder to fall asleep

and stay asleep. Remember talk to your child's family doctor if you have any

concerns about your child's sleep. Some medical conditions cause sleep

disturbances and medications can interfere with sleep too, so it's very

important to speak with your child's doctor about these concerns. If the sleep

hygiene changes aren't improving their sleep ask about having a sleep behaviour assessment.