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What Can I Do to Help My Child with Cerebral Palsy Sleep Better?

Posted on in Cerebral Palsy

Cook County birth injury attorney cerebral palsy

If you have a child with cerebral palsy, you already know the typical symptoms. Cerebral palsy can cause problems with movement, posture, walking, breathing, sensory processing, and swallowing, as well as serious pain, seizures, and a myriad of other issues. One symptom that has caused many restless nights for children with cerebral palsy and their parents is difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. Research shows that up to 46 percent of children with CP have sleep problems that interfere with their quality of life. Experts suggest that parents of children with cerebral palsy try the following tips to help their children get the adequate rest they need:

Reduce Noise and Other Sensory Input Before Bed

Infants are born with a heightened reaction to sudden noises called the Moro reflex or “startle reflex.” Typically, this reflex lessens as the child ages, but children with cerebral palsy often retain the strong response to noise long after infancy. This can make children especially reactive to abrupt or loud noises. Even something as simple as a radio playing in another room may be enough to keep a child with CP tossing and turning. One of the best ways to help your child sleep may be to ensure that the child’s home is a quiet, non-stimulating environment.

Try an Adjustable Bed or Weighted Blanket

There are many different types of equipment that may help a child with cerebral palsy sleep more soundly. Some parents find that an adjustable bed that can be moved into different positions helps their child get more rest than a standard bed. Adjusting the position of the bed may help children avoid sleeplessness caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and general body discomfort. Weighted blankets may also be beneficial for children with CP. Although not every sufferer of cerebral palsy enjoys or benefits from the pressure of a weighted blanket, many do.

Help Your Child Stay Active During the Day

Children sometimes cannot sleep at night simply because they are not tired enough. Although many children with cerebral palsy cannot play sports or engage in physical activities the same way children without CP can, this does not mean that they cannot have a safe degree of physical exercise in their lives. If your child’s doctor says it is safe to do so, you may want to help your child play and exercise his or her muscles during the day so that he or she is more tired and ready for sleep at night. Increased activity may help strengthen muscles and reduce the frequency of muscle spasms as well.

Contact an Illinois Birth Injury Attorney

Most children with CP have congenital cerebral palsy, which is often caused by brain damage during the birthing process or before birth. In some cases, this brain damage is the result of the negligent actions of a doctor, nurse, or other medical professionals. If you believe that your child’s cerebral palsy was caused by medical negligence, contact Birth Injury Law Alliance to learn about your possible options for compensation. Schedule a free consultation with a knowledgeable Chicago birth injury lawyer from our firm by calling us today at 312-945-1300.

 

Sources:
https://www.webmd.com/children/cerebral-palsy-parenting#1
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4928749/
https://themighty.com/2016/09/understanding-the-startle-reflex-and-cerebral-palsy/

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