How Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Can Help Children Sleep Better

If a child is having difficulty sleeping, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) may be the answer. CBT-I is an effective treatment that helps children learn how to manage their own anxiety and helps parents to help their children improve their sleep. Living with insomnia can be a challenge, but there are treatments available that can help people fall asleep faster, stay asleep, and feel more rested during the day. Occupational therapists can help by educating parents and caregivers about misconceptions and expectations about sleep, as well as addressing factors that can worsen poor sleep quality. Additionally, there are some basic principles of sleep hygiene that can be useful for anyone who has sleep problems.

For instance, Occupational Therapy & Wellness Connection providers in Cleveland work with many parents of children with autism spectrum disorders. The amount of sleep needed gradually decreases throughout childhood, although most children still need about 10 hours of sleep until they are 10 years old. Poor sleep quality can have a wide range of effects on the physical and mental health, cognitive and social functioning, and development of children and adolescents. Children who get at least 10 hours of sleep each night have fewer health problems, while those who get less than 8 hours have an increase in behaviors related to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). According to the Sleep Aid Institute, children under 2 years old should get a total of 14 to 16 hours of sleep (including naps) every day. Children with special needs are at greater risk of sleep disorders and disturbances, which can have a major impact on their mood, behavior, learning, physiology and overall wellbeing. Maintaining good sleep hygiene and following a regular sleep schedule can also help reduce the frequency of parasomnias. Setting regular waking and sleeping times and modifying the bedroom environment - including noise, light, temperature and bedding - can help the child relax and prepare for sleep.

Therapy & Wellness Connection offers occupational therapy to children in Cleveland, Brecksville-Broadview Heights, Akron and surrounding communities.