Some resources to help with sleep

4 Aug

From Your Anxious Child: Emails to Parents by Edward H. Plimpton, PhD

Basic Sleep References and Material

Sleep is easily disrupted by anxiety. Without daytime distractions, worry thoughts can fill the child’s bedroom. In addition to the references listed below, consider my essay on making a Worry Motel, it has been an extremely useful intervention for many children. The suggested age ranges are approximate because some children are more indulgent of material that might be geared towards younger children and others have decided intolerance of anything seems babyish. These references are not geared towards the issue of helping your child sleep independently, which is a related issue, but rather providing some alternatives to the “worry channel” that can be playing loud at nighttime.

Dawn Huebner What to Do When You Dread Your Bed: A Kid’s Guide to Overcoming Problems with Sleep
This is good parent child workbook for the elementary school age child (8-12). It has a very child friendly format and discusses some very sound ideas to help with sleep.

CDs

Finding a CD that might be helpful to your child may take some experimenting. We tend to have strong preferences about the type of voice we find calming and the type of music or sounds we enjoy. It is hard to predict what might work for your child. However, I have good luck with the following CDs.

For 5-8 years olds

Jim Weiss Good Night: Enchanting story visualizations with sleeptime music.

Jim Weiss Sweet Dreams: Enchanting story visualizations with sleeptime music

I found the two CDs by Jim Weiss to be very enjoyable for children to listen to.

For 12-18 year olds.

Mark Grant calm and Confident: based on Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing

I like Mark Grant because he places no demand on the listening to do anything and consequently removes any performance pressure that can get in the way of sleeping.

Books

The books that have been written to help children ease into sleep are too numerous to list and there are many delightful books in this category. Often it just may be a good book that is engaging and interesting. I suspect each family has their favorite bedtime books.

For 5-8 year olds

Maureen Garth Starbright: Mediations For Children

In order to fall asleep on their own, children need to develop some coping skills. In this book, the parent provides the beginnings of a visualization story to help set the stage and then invites the child to continue the story on his/her own. This helps builds the child’s imaginative capacity to deal with nighttime worries.

Lori Lite A Boy and a Bear: The Children’s Relaxation Book

This is nice book that teaches relaxation skills in which a boy and bear relax on top of the mountain.

Melanie Watt Scaredy Squirrel at night

Melanie Watt has written a series of books on Scaredy Squirrel dealing with fears in a variety of situations.

Sleep problems can be complicated and a professional consultation may be indicated when simple measures don’t work.

3 Responses to “Some resources to help with sleep”

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  2. sarah king July 28, 2015 at 5:18 pm #

    Thanks for sharing these posts. I thought I’d share a book that was very helpful for sleep issues. We had previously tried other boooks without success. This one is entertaining and immediately engaged my 7-year old. Ever since we got it, we refer to fear as Mr. Shaky. The book made it ok to acknowledge Mr. Shaky, thank him for his worries, and move on to something “helpful”. Here is the link in case it is of use to anyone.
    Taming Mr. Shaky https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B0118IMEFG/ref=aw_ss_kndl_dp/

    • Edward Plimpton July 28, 2015 at 5:56 pm #

      Thank you for this suggestion, I am looking forward to reading about Mr. Shaky. Suggestions like yours are so helpful.

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