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Learning Centre

Sleep

Up to 40 per cent of children have a sleep disorder and for children with developmental difficulties, the percentage can be upwards of 80 per cent. Lack of sleep has similar symptoms and behaviours as ADHD and conduct disorder. This diagnoses often results in prescribing stimulants or other medications to control symptoms, which have a poor effect on sleep and include side effects that contribute to the original problem.

A lack of sleep in children can lead to:

  • Bullying
  • Aggression
  • Impulsivity
  • Inattention
  • Hyperactivity
  • Tantrums
  • Crying

What you can do to improve sleep:

  • Eat well and exercise
  • Limit e-devices at least one hour before bed
  • Keep morning and daytime environments bright
  • Keep evening and nighttime environments dark, calm and quiet
  • Have a consistent wake time, even on weekends
  • Have a consistent bed time
  • Follow a consistent bedtime routine

Follow a consistent bedtime routine, even when bedtime is later or in a different location than home:

  • Be consistent as much as possible
  • Set boundaries for activities in the routine
  • When you leave the room after putting your child to bed, try to avoid going back in