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Tips to Promote Healthy Sleep in People with Down Syndrome

Sometimes falling asleep and having a restful night isn’t as easy as we would hope. In some cases, sleeplessness can be helped by tweaking certain routines and fostering healthy bedtime habits. After all, sleep is important to maintain balanced mental and physical health.

LuMind IDSC compiled eight tips to encourage your loved one with Down syndrome (or anyone, for that matter!) to acquire good bedtime routines. These are a first step, however, it’s important to keep in mind that sleep disorders are a prevalent condition that affect individuals with Down syndrome. Sometimes people may need more than a dark room and a quiet place to achieve a healthy night of sleep.

According to experts at Advocate Medical Group, Adult Down Syndrome Center, “untreated sleep disorders have a negative impact on physical and mental health, behavior, and cognitive performance. Growing evidence suggests that sleep disruption may also accelerate the progression to symptomatic Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in this population.”

Always consult with your healthcare provider about your loved one’s unique needs.

For more resources, become a member of the myDSC community and gain access to free materials, tips, and medical info around sleeping and Down syndrome.

  • Regular sleep schedule: Maintain a consistent sleep pattern, getting up at the same time every day .
  • Relaxing bedtime routine: Spend time before bed relaxing: read a book, have a shower or bath.
  • Avoid stimulants: Don’t drink caffeine, sugary or energy drinks in the evening.
  • Good sleep environment: Keep your bedroom aired, cool and comfortable with a quality mattress and bedding.
  • Block out noise and light: Make sure the bedroom is dark and quiet, or use white noise, a fan or music to mask external noise.
  • Only sleep: Avoid watching TV or using other devises such as cell phones in bed.
  • Exercise regularly: Try to do regular exercise, but not too intense before bedtime.
  • Daylight: Spend time outside in the daytime. Even a short walk during the day can improve sleep.
  • Eat well: Try to eat a balanced, healthy diet. Avoid heavy, fatty, fried or spicy food late in the evening if you get indigestion. Bananas, yogurt or healthy cereal are good bedtime snacks.

Interested in participating in a sleep study? Click here for research opportunities.

Not sure what questions to ask at the doctor’s office? DSC2U creates customized suggestions that are designed to help our loved one get healthcare tailored to their own specific needs.