Sensory Exercises For Sleeping

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Most children with sensory processing dysfunction have difficulties getting sleep and there are understandable reasons for this. We already know the causes which I have been describing in my previous blogs.

This time I will share some physical exercises that help my child sleep through the night.  Sometimes, when my son has had an overstimulating day, he ends up lying awake in bed, tossing and turning for hours, unable to wind down even though he is in a dark and quiet room. At that moment, we practice some exercises to help him lower his level of alertness. For example, we start with the breathing exercise that involves squeezing and then releasing tense parts of our bodies.  Our session lasts 30 minutes and it goes as follows:

  1. Focus your attention on your breath and exhale completely through your mouth by making a whooshing sound.
  2. Give yourself bear hugs and squeeze a soft ball in your hands.
  3. Pretend you are a furry, lazy cat that is stretching. Stretch your arms in front of you and over your head.
  4. Walk through a big, squishy mud puddle. Squish your toes down into the mud and use your legs to help you push down to the bottom.
  5. Lay on the ground and make your stomach hard and soft. Suck in your stomach and hold your breath slower and deeper, and let your breath out with a whooshing sound.
  6. Pretend you are a turtle and pull your head in tight by pushing your shoulders up to your ears. Hide your head!meditation-1000062__340-1
  7. Exercise your jaw by biting down
  8. Repeat the exercises until you see your child relax.

I learned some of these exercises from my yoga class where the instructor always recommends breathing because it works in the same way as meditation. I believe the breathing exercise works because it really helps to relax my son’s neuro system and help him fall asleep.

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3 thoughts on “Sensory Exercises For Sleeping

  1. What an informative and wonderful blog post. I really enjoy reading your blogs because they are always so detailed and useful. Did you learn these techniques on your own or did you learn them for your child? How long does it take for these techniques to help a child sleep? You a really are a beacon of hope and your posts are always so inspiring.
    CS5711

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  2. that is a very helpful tip for me because my oldest child don’t go to bed early and I don’t know what to do so he can tired so he can go to bed early, but I would try this excercise so my children can go to bed early. thank you for sharing this important information.

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  3. Great blog! This is helpful for adults too! I would totally use a squishy ball and give myself a hug.I worked in daycare for a while and nap time was always the dreaded time. These techniques would have saved my life! The turtle exercise is so cute. This is great information. Thanks for sharing !# cs5711

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