Everyone knows that getting enough sleep can be a huge part of our effectiveness, functionality and mood!
But for individuals with FASD, sleep disorders are a specific problem. Lack of good sleep means that behavioural issues are elevated. Around 80% of parents and carers of children with FASD say their children have problem with sleep. These can include:
- Frequently waking up at night
- Feeling scared at night
- Sleep walking
- Problems settling
- Problems waking
- Problems understanding the concept of bedtime
- Melatonin or sensory issues
It's a big subject, but there are plenty of great tips: avoiding pre-bed excitement and setting up very solid routines is essential. Creating a calm quiet bedroom with low stimulus (no clutter), ear plugs or headphones, heavy blankets, no screen time and calming music can also be helpful.
Over 2020 there was a PhD project done in at University College London on sleep in children with FASD - the largest study to date. The three key findings were:
• a significant proportion of anxiety can be predicted by sleep problems. This is true for both typically developing (TD) and FASD populations.
• children with FASD experienced significantly higher levels of sleep problems and anxiety than TD children, the majority at clinical levels.
• sleep interventions should be a clinical priority for children with FASD.
Find the FASD Sleep Project here.