Festival of Sleep

The Festival of Sleep is a celebratory day created to remind individuals to take a rest after the chaos of the festive season. But life with a child with learning disabilities may make it difficult to get the essential sleep required for wellbeing, let alone indulgent post-Christmas naps.

The importance of sleep is well known but can often be undervalued. Sleep is absolutely essential to wellbeing, just as much as healthy eating and getting enough exercise.

Studies show that children with severe learning disabilities experience more sleep disturbances, which often results in reduced sleep for yourself as a parent or carer, as well as the rest of the family. This is then compounded by evidence linking sleep disturbance with increased incidences of challenging behaviour during the day.

Most parents feel unable to use many standard techniques to manage night waking as, with complicated medical histories and potential night care needs, there is a higher chance of there being a physical cause to disturbance. But there is help available.

If your child is experiencing difficulties sleeping, there are a variety of charities and support networks which offer valuable specialist advice, The Children’s Sleep Charity being particularly notable, as well as accessing NHS services. These services are designed to support you with a variety of personalised behaviour management techniques, helping you to find one that works well for both you and your child.

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