Children with Down syndrome are more likely to experience difficulties with sleep than other children of the same age. There are two main causes of these sleep problems. The first is physical causes which can include temporary illnesses like an ear infection to more chronic conditions like sleep apnea. The second is behavioral causes like poor sleep hygiene. These tips are meant to help parents identify the cause of the sleep difficulty and to select a specific course of action to help their child overcome the sleep challenges they face so that they can get the sleep they need.
1. Identify the Root Cause
If your child is struggling with sleep, the first step is to determine if the source of their struggle is physical or behavioral. Temporary physical problems like illness may disrupt sleep due to discomfort but sleep issues related to that problem should resolve when it does. Other physical problems like sleep disorders or chronic conditions may require special accommodations.