Sleep for Children with Trisomy 21 | Down Syndrome
Down Syndrome Sleep Consulting
Sleep is important for any child, but for your child with Trisomy 21, it’s especially important! While your child sleeps, the brain is working overtime — the brain organizes and store all the new information learned that day, but also works to regulate hormones, boost immunity, and more. When your child is getting adequate sleep, all of the body rhythms are working together easily. This allows for your child not only to wake up feeling better rested, but it allows them to have the energy they need to do therapy, learn, and can create the runway for better quality of life for the whole family.
However, most children with Trisomy 21 aren’t getting the sleep they need. Nearly 50% of children with Down syndrome struggle to sleep well. Some common struggles are:
• Inconsistent breathing patterns
• Issues with sleep apnea
• Difficulty falling asleep on their own
• Waking frequently at night, or staying up for long amounts of time
• Having difficulty to settle back to sleep
These interruptions can be major road blocks when the brain is trying to get all its work done! Not only will poor sleep affect neurological function, but will lead to more frequent illnesses and other physiological issues.
Children with Down syndrome are more likely to have breathing difficulty at night and will have surgery to fix this. But despite this, the struggle persists — at that point is it genetic phenotype, or poor habits around sleep?
And, to make things more challenging for parents, there’s very little information out there to get them started on the right foot when it comes to improving their child’s sleep. Most doctors and specialists cannot do more than suggest supplements or medications for your child. Many people will say that because children with Trisomy 21 have a genetic issue, there’s little that can be done to change that.
And, it’s not your child’s diagnosis that leads to their poor sleep — chances are, your child just doesn’t have the skills yet to sleep great.
Whether your child is just a few months old, or a few years old, great, independent sleep skills can be taught. Your child is incredibly smart, and your child’s sleep plan should reflect this!
My goal is to give parents the tools and guidance they need to make a great night’s sleep happen in the most holistic way possible. Parents get recommendations that are specific to their child, and step by step instructions on how to get their child sleeping independently, for longer stretches, and waking up rested the next day.
Changing anyone’s sleep takes a lot of work and consistency, but your child with Trisomy 21 needs this! Sometimes, all it takes is having someone keeping you accountable and guiding you in the right direction.
If you’re ready to get your child with Trisomy 21 sleeping better, contact me to book your first assessment call!
Sleep Consulting for Kids with Down Syndrome
Melissa Doman is a sleep consultant for children with down syndrome. At Melissa Doman Sleep Consulting, we understand that you face special challenges, and that’s why we offer services only to parents with special needs children. Please contact us today to get more information on how we can help you and your child the rest you need.