How Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) Affect Sleep


Here in the U.S., April marks more than the return of spring flowers and showers — it’s also National Autism Awareness Month. Autism is a growing concern not just in the U.S., but around the world: it’s estimated that 1 in 110 children has ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). That means that even if you haven’t been personally impacted by autism, you likely know someone who has.

A diagnosis of ASD presents numerous challenges to families — challenges related to learning, to physical and social development, and (the number one thing we tend to concern ourselves with around this site) sleep. It’s estimated that anywhere from 40% – 80% of ASD children have significant sleeping issues related to their diagnosis.

Why do Autism Spectrum Disorders Affect Sleep?

Unfortunately, there’s no specific, easily-identified reason why children with ASD are more likely to have difficulty sleeping than those without. This is probably because ASD is a variable disorder itself. The way it manifests, and the problems it causes, vary from child to child.

There are, however, some general theories as to why ASD may causes sleep disorders:

  • Social Cues: Children with ASD typically have a harder time reading social cues than other children do. This can make socializing hard for ASD children; it can also make bedtime hard! ASD children are less likely to register the social cues that it’s time to go to sleep (seeing their siblings putting on pajamas, listening to mom reading a bedtime story, etc.) They have difficulty seeing these as pre-bedtime rituals the way other children likely would.
  • Increased sensitivity to light, sound, and/or touch: Some children with ASD under-respond to stimuli like light and noise; others over-respond. This is commonly referred to as Sensory Processing Disorder, or SPD. It should be noted that while a large percentage (70% – 80%) of autistic children also have SPD, autism and SPD are separate diagnoses. So it’s possible for a child to have one without having the other. Children who are hypersensitive to stimuli may have difficulty sleeping For example, a child who’s extremely sensitive to light may find even a dim nightlight distracting. Or a child who’s hypersensitive to sound may be awoken by even the faintest noises. And a child who is extremely sensitive to touch may find the feel of sheets next to his skin unbearable.
  • Low levels of melatonin: The hormone melatonin helps regulate the human body’s circadian rhythms (or daytime/nighttime cycles.) For most of us, our melatonin levels rise when it gets dark outside, making us sleepy; then, they drop off when the sun comes up, helping us feel awake and alert. Children with ASD, however, have lower-than-normal levels of melatonin, which may explain why they sometimes have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep at night.
  • Anxiety: Feeling anxious can make any child sleepless. Children with ASD, however, are especially prone to feelings of anxiety; a large percentage of children with ASD even suffer from anxiety disorders.

Effects of Sleep Disorders on Autistic Children and Their Families

Poor and interrupted sleep obviously affects an ASD child’s nights, but this kind of chronic sleep deprivation may also affect his daytime behaviors. Sleep deprivation has been shown to have the same negative affects on children with ASD as on non-autistic children: increased irritability and aggression, depression, increased hyperactivity and emotional problems, and behavior problems.

And of course, the ASD child isn’t the only one affected — parents and siblings feel the effects, too. Siblings, as well as parents, may suffer sleepness right alongside the ASD child, and that kind of endless sleep deprivation can take a serious toll (maybe even put your marriage or relationship at risk.)

Helping Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder Get a Good Night’s Sleep

The first step in helping your child with ASD get the rest she needs is to make sure that her sleep disorder isn’t related to something else. Make sure that her sleeplessness doesn’t stem from sleep apnea, teeth grinding, Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), or another physical cause. Once you’ve ruled these out, you can begin implementing meaningful solutions.

Consider the following ways to help your child with autism get the sleep he needs:

  • Keep a sleep diary: Keeping a sleep diary can help you identify any patterns in your child’s sleep disturbances and then work on solutions that match the problem patterns. And if your child is older, it can be a way for him to take ownership of his sleep disorder and become a partner (instead of merely a by-stander) in the problem-solving process.
  • Develop a bedtime routine: Children with autism spectrum disorder must have predictable daily routines to help them feel safe and make sense of the world around them. Therefore, a bedtime routine (which is helpful for all kids) is especially crucial for ASD children. As you build a bedtime routine, try to build it with intention: don’t include any patterns or routines that you know you’ll have to break later (even if they’ll make your life easier in the short term!) Also keep in mind that children with autism don’t respond well to abrupt and unexpected changes. So it’s probably best to ease into the new routine.
  • Evaluate the sleeping environment: If hypersensitivity is an issue for your child, evaluate their bedroom to see if anything there may be causing problems. Then, work to create a sleep environment that’ll be restful and soothing for your child. That could mean installing thick carpet to muffle noise (if your child is sensitive to sound) or hanging room-darkening curtains (if your child is sensitive to light). For children who are sensitive to touch, these weighted blankets have been shown to help. And you may even need to consider a custom-made bed designed specifically for autistic children (like this one) if your child is getting out of the bed and wandering the house at night, and you have concerns about her safety.
  • Consider medication (but only as a last resort!) Vitamins and other supplements, like melatonin or iron, may help improve an ASD child’s sleep and are considered good options, as long as they’re administered under a healthcare provider’s supervision. We advise that you always speak to your doctor before giving your child any supplement. Sleep medications should be a last-resort option, and they should only be used once a family has considered any sleep associations or schedule problems and even then, we recommend they only be used in conjunction with some of the strategies listed above. Otherwise, once the child stops taking the medication, the sleeping issues will likely return full-force.

If you feel that your baby or toddler may be showing signs of ASD behavior, we recommend you consult your child’s healthcare provider for further information and testing.

Today, we live in a day and age in which families affected by ASD have abundant resource for help and education available to them (although there’s certainly room for more research into causes and treatments). And we here at the Baby Sleep Site count ourselves among those resources! We’re dedicated to helping every child, including those with special needs like Autism Spectrum Disorder. Autism Spectrum Disorder can present many challenges for families, to be sure, but it doesn’t have to mean years of sleep deprivation.

Have you been personally impacted by an Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis? Share your story!

Please be sure to pick up your FREE copy of 5 (tear-free) Ways to Help Your Child Sleep Through the Night, our e-Book with tear-free tips to help your baby sleep better. For those persistent nighttime struggles, check out The 3-Step System to Help Your Baby Sleep (babies) or The 5-Step System to Better Toddler Sleep (toddlers). Using a unique approach and practical tools for success, our e-books help you and your baby sleep through the night and nap better. For those looking for a more customized solution for your unique situation with support along the way, please consider one-on-one baby and toddler sleep consultations, where you will receive a Personalized Sleep Plan™ you can feel good about! Sometimes it’s not that you can’t make a plan. Sometimes you’re just too tired to.

Article Sources:

Autism Society
http://www.autism-society.org/about-us/national-autism-awareness-month/

National Institutes of Health
http://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/asd.cfm

Web MD
http://www.webmd.com/brain/autism/helping-your-child-with-autism-get-a-good-nights-sleep

Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation
http://www.sinetwork.org/about-sensory-processing-disorder.html

Autism Speaks
http://www.autismspeaks.org/science/science-news/melatonin-shows-promise-improving-sleep-problems-children-autism

SensoryProcessingDisorder.com
http://www.sensory-processing-disorder.com/autism-anxiety-overload.html

Science Daily
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100502080232.htm

Autism Day-by-Day Blog
http://autismdaybyday.blogspot.com/2012/03/sleep-deprivation-and-our-mental-health.html

The National Autistic Society (based in the UK)
http://www.autism.org.uk/living-with-autism/understanding-behaviour/sleep-and-autism-helping-your-child.aspx

Autism Support Network
http://www.autismsupportnetwork.com/news/establishing-positive-sleep-patterns-young-children-autism-spectrum-disorder-2271623

National Autism Resources Blog
http://www.nationalautismresourcesblog.com/2012/03/05/creating-a-good-sleep-environment-for-the-child-with-autism-asperger’s-or-special-needs/

SensaCalm
http://www.sensacalm.com/

Noah’s World LLC
http://noahsworldllc.com/

Is Co-Sleeping Dangerous?

 
Is Co-Sleeping Dangerous

A recent article published in USA Today has added fuel to an already-raging fire — the debate over co-sleeping. The article references a new study, which found that while the number of SIDS-related deaths has dropped by over 50% in the past two decades (since the introduction of the “Back to Sleep” campaign in 1994 began discouraging tummy sleeping), the drop has plateaued recently. What’s more, the number of SIDS-related deaths as a result of co-sleeping is actually on the rise.

There’s no doubt that co-sleeping is a controversial topic, with parents offering strong and emotional opinions on both sides. Reports like the one in USA Today seem to indicate that co-sleeping is dangerous, but co-sleeping advocates point to research showing that it’s safe. So what do we make of this? Is co-sleeping actually dangerous? Should you and your baby co-sleep?

Defining Our Terms: Co-Sleeping vs. Room Sharing vs. Bed-Sharing

First, let’s get our terms straight. Co-sleeping simply means that a child shares a sleeping space with a parent. With that in mind, co-sleeping can mean a baby sleeping in the same bed as his parents; however, it can also mean a baby in a bassinet next to the bed. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) calls that kind of sleeping arrangement “room-sharing”. Room-sharing is considered completely safe, as long as baby’s sleeping area follows safety guidelines (no loose bedding, firm mattress that’s flush with the sides of the bassinet, tight-fitting bottom sheet, etc.) Bed-sharing refers to the practice of parents and children sharing the same bed. Bed-sharing (specifically when infants are involved) carries far more risks than other forms of co-sleeping.

Can Co-Sleeping Be Dangerous?

Room-sharing is safe; bed-sharing, however, is inherently risky, specifically when it involves young infants. As rates of bed-sharing continue to rise in the United States, so do the rates of infant deaths related to bed-sharing. The most obvious danger related to bed-sharing is suffocation. An adult (or an older child) can roll on top of a baby, or the baby can be smothered by the large pillows and heavy blankets that most adults use in bed. Some less obvious dangers include a baby falling from the mattress to the floor, or a baby becoming wedged between the mattress and the headboard/footboard or wall. The mattress itself can also be a threat; if it’s overly soft, a baby can sink too low and suffocate.

As a growing number of babies die due to bed-sharing, health organizations are stepping up their efforts to warn parents. The AAP, along with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), has issued precautions against bed-sharing, warning parents that it puts babies at a much higher risk of suffocation. And warnings like these aren’t just happening on a national scale; they’re happening at the local level, too. Bed-sharing was blamed for causing increasing rates of infant death in Milwaukee, WI, so the city’s health department responded by releasing a highly controversial ad depicting a baby curled up (in an adult bed) next to a large butcher knife. When critics attacked the ad as extreme (and it is), Milwaukee’s Commissioner of Health replied, “…what is even more shocking and provocative is that 30 developed and underdeveloped countries have better [infant death] rates than Milwaukee.”

Can Co-Sleeping Be Safe?

Again, room-sharing arrangements are considered very safe. In fact, the AAP recommends room-sharing as the best sleeping arrangement for infants, since it’s been shown to produce lower rates of SIDS than a solitary sleeping arrangement (which places baby in a room by herself.) And while bed-sharing is statistically less safe, advocates of bed-sharing point out that research studies (like the one cited in the USA Today article) fail to account for a variety of factors and ultimately make bed-sharing seem more dangerous than it actually is.

For example, researchers refer to bed-sharing as a baby and an adult sharing an “adult bed.” But an adult bed doesn’t necessarily mean an actual bed — in these studies, it can also mean a couch, or a recliner, or a waterbed (all surfaces that bed-sharing advocates would never recommend using). Research studies also fail to account for safety factors like smoking, or drug and alcohol abuse (parents who smoke or use drugs or alcohol should never bed-share.) Even factors like obesity, which advocates say should be considered (since obese parents are advised not to bed-share), aren’t considered in research studies.

Supporters of bed-sharing claim that when these factors are considered, research shows that safe bed-sharing practices make putting a baby to sleep in an adult bed just as harmless as putting a baby to sleep in a crib. In fact, a 2006 study indicates that when researchers controlled for these kinds of safety factors, rates of infant death related to safe bed-sharing proved to be very low.

UPDATE MAY 2013: A study published on May 20th, 2013 reveals that any kind of bed-sharing, even safe bed-sharing, increases an infant’s risk of SIDS five-fold. The study’s researchers found that even in the safest of settings, bed-sharing presents a dramatic increase in the risk of SIDS. This stands in direct opposition to the 2006 study which found that safe bed-sharing produces low rates of infant death.

Supporters also point to the fact that co-sleeping in all its forms (including bed-sharing) has been the norm for human infants since the dawn of time, while putting babies in cribs, in their own rooms, alone, is a practice that’s less than 200 years old. Anthropologist Dr. James McKenna, an outspoken advocate of co-sleeping, points to these facts as proof that mothers and babies are biologically designed to sleep together, and he asserts that co-sleeping is the best sleeping arrangement for families.

Finally, bed-sharing advocates emphasize that while co-sleeping is no longer standard practice in most Western cultures, it remains the norm in many, many countries around the world. These advocates are quick to point out that if it works for families around the globe, it can work for families in the West.

An important note, though, about comparing bed-sharing in Western countries to bed-sharing around the world: the comparison isn’t always a fair one. Western-style beds (with their soft, elevated mattresses as shown above, and their abundance of pillows and blankets) make bed-sharing more dangerous than do other types of beds found around the world. What’s more, health-habits vary worldwide, making the bed-sharing comparison a tricky one. Western mothers are more likely to smoke than are Japanese mothers, for example; this may partly explain why Japan has an extremely low rate of deaths related to bed-sharing. It’s best to take cultural differences like this into account when looking at bed-sharing from an international perspective.

Should You Co-Sleep Or Not?

Putting a baby to bed is a bit like stepping into a car. There are risks associated with driving, and traveling in a car can certainly kill you. But there are many steps you can take to make driving safe, like wearing a seat belt, obeying traffic signs, and taking proper care of your vehicle. Baby sleep can work the same way. There are risks associated with any sleeping arrangement, but parents can take steps to make their baby’s sleep environment as safe as possible. Parents who educate themselves and practice safe co-sleeping shouldn’t be made to feel guilty about their decision. And of course, neither should parents who choose not to co-sleep; after all, it won’t work for everyone! That was certainly the case with Nicole — during the short time she co-slept, she found herself so worried about harming her son that she hardly slept at all.

A final word: while many forms of co-sleeping are safe, bed-sharing is inherently risk. There are ways to bed-share safely, but the list of precautions is long, and some of the precautions themselves border on extreme. For example, it’s recommended that you remove pillows and blankets from the bed, and even that you put your mattress directly on the floor. It’s also safest if the only people in bed are mom and baby, meaning that if dad is around, he needs to find somewhere else to sleep! What’s more, safety guidelines specify that some people shouldn’t bed-share, including those who smoke and use drugs/alcohol, those who are obese, and those who are “overly exhausted.” That last one is bound to exclude many readers of this blog! If you’re considering bed-sharing, remember to review the list of precautions carefully, and then commit to following them. Otherwise, we recommend that you consider a different method of co-sleeping.

What do you think? Room-sharing? Bed-sharing? No-sharing? Tell us your thoughts on co-sleeping!

At The Baby Sleep Site, we’re committed to remaining judgment-free when it comes to parenting styles. We’ve worked with all kinds of parents (including those who are committed co-sleepers), and we’ve manage to help their babies sleep while respecting them as parents. So whether you room-share or bed-share (or neither!), The Baby Sleep Site has sleep products and services that’ll work for you!

Please be sure to pick up your FREE copy of 5 (tear-free) Ways to Help Your Child Sleep Through the Night, our e-Book with tear-free tips to help your baby sleep better. For those persistent nighttime struggles, check out The 3-Step System to Help Your Baby Sleep (babies) or The 5-Step System to Better Toddler Sleep (toddlers). Using a unique approach and practical tools for success, our e-books help you and your baby sleep through the night and nap better. For those looking for a more customized solution for your unique situation with support along the way, please consider one-on-one baby and toddler sleep consultations, where you will receive a Personalized Sleep Plan™ you can feel good about! Sometimes it’s not that you can’t make a plan. Sometimes you’re just too tired to.

The Sleep Training Selfishishness Checklist

Is Sleep Training SelfishSometimes I will get a critical e-mail (occasionally hate mail) in my Inbox saying that sleep training is selfish. This tends to get me riled up a bit. While I’m sure there are cases of some parents sleep training out of pure selfishness, the majority of families we speak with EVERY DAY only want the very best for their baby and families. Sleep deprivation is not a form of torture for nothing. It is effective in making even the most put-together human being unravel at the mere thought of being woken up just one. more. time. This checklist is for you to determine whether you are selfish in sleep training.

Instructions: Mark “yes” or “no” next to each item.

1. My baby is happier when he’s had enough sleep.
2. My baby is more alert and engaging, eager to learn, when she’s had enough sleep.
3. My toddler is better behaved when he’s had enough sleep.
4. My toddler is less clumsy after a good night’s rest.
5. My baby or toddler and I have a lot more fun and can go out to activities when she’s had a good nap.
6. The evening or dinnertime is so much more pleasant when my child has napped well that day.
7. I am a better mom (or dad) when I haven’t been woken up numerous times at night.
8. All I feel like doing is falling asleep on the floor with my baby during the day, when I’ve been woken up all night.
9. I have more energy to take my baby out to activities when I’ve gotten enough sleep.
10. I laugh with my baby more when I’ve gotten enough some sleep.
11. All the little jobs taking care of a baby feel so much more mundane and/or tedious when my baby wakes up all night.
12. Sometimes I feel like I resent my baby.
13. I am starting to feel depressed about my baby’s sleep problems or my abilities as a mother/father.
14. I want to scream right along with my baby when he doesn’t sleep.
15. I have raised my voice at my baby, because he won’t sleep.
16. I feel like I’m going to lose it if I’m woken up again tonight.
17. I worry about my baby’s growth and development without adequate sleep.
18. I worry my baby will have sleep problems in adulthood, if I can’t do a good job right now.
19. I feel like I would love having a baby even more if we were both sleeping.

and…

20. I love my baby beyond words and would never do anything to intentionally hurt him or her. I know what’s best for my baby and this is not it. I love my baby and care for my baby to the best of my abilities all day and every day.

If you said “Yes!” or agreed to more than 5 items, you are most likely NOT selfish in sleep training your baby.

Note: This is meant to be a light-hearted look at this topic and in no way has been sanctioned by a licensed psychologist. :D Only you know if you’re being selfish or not in sleep training your baby. Only you know your most inner thoughts and feelings on the matter. And, sometimes, you may only think you’re being selfish, because being a mom is a guilt-provoking job. That’s what we do: worry and doubt. :D

A part of my personal story is this: My son was MISERABLE without sleep and still is to this day. He’s now 6 years old. His mood and behavior are worse without adequate sleep, too, including in school. I could not sit back and see the misery on my baby’s face every day when he was a baby. I did not feel like that was being a good mom. I had to do something about it. Add to that, I was miserable too. I was depressed not being able to see my husband, going to bed at 7pm every night to “help” my son sleep, yet still being woken up ALL. NIGHT. LONG. I was not able to be the best mom I could be. Actually, I was not able to be the mom I wanted to be. I would fall asleep on the floor in the toy room for goodness sakes! I don’t care if people think I was selfish to teach him how to sleep better. I know better. It was not for the cushy lifestyle, so I could party at night or anything of that nature. It was not only the most important thing I had to do for our family’s well being, but our happiness, too. It could not be better to grow up in an unhappy home absent of sleep training merely to avoid it, could it?

Would I do it again, if my son was happy being sleep-deprived? I’m honestly not sure. All I know is what we lived every day and it wasn’t right. I can’t tell you what you live every day and know if it’s right for you. What’s one family’s end of the rope is different from another family’s and I always pray people will seek help before the end of the rope. I am in awe when I work with a family of a 2 year old still getting up numerous times a night. I don’t know how they’ve done it, but they have and I couldn’t. That doesn’t make me less of a person. That just makes me a different person.

So, do you feel selfish in sleep training?

If you’re looking for ways to to get your baby or toddler into a healthy sleeping routine, please be sure to pick up your FREE copy of 5 (tear-free) Ways to Help Your Child Sleep Through the Night, our e-Book with tear-free tips to help your baby sleep better. For those persistent nighttime struggles, check out The 3-Step System to Help Your Baby Sleep (babies) or The 5-Step System to Better Toddler Sleep (toddlers). Using a unique approach and practical tools for success, our e-books help you and your baby sleep through the night and nap better. For those looking for a more customized solution for your unique situation with support along the way, please consider one-on-one baby and toddler sleep consultations, where you will receive a Personalized Sleep Plan™ you can feel good about! Sometimes it’s not that you can’t make a plan. Sometimes you’re just too tired to.

How Yoga Can Help Your Baby or Toddler Sleep

Today’s article is a guest article by Laurie Jordan, author of Yawning Yoga: A Goodnight Book for A Good Night’s Sleep and the creator of Little Sprouts Yoga for Kaia Yoga Wellness Centers. See below for full bio.

Sleep problems are very common among children. In fact, MOST children aren’t getting proper sleep at night. And every parent knows that when children are sleep deprived, they are likely to have a hard time controlling their emotions. This can lead to potential problems at home and at school, and can be exhausting for mom and dad.

Incorporating yoga into your child’s bedtime routine, provides the perfect sleep solution for your child by helping shift her minds’ focus from being preoccupied with daily stressors to focusing her attention to yoga postures, relaxation techniques and breath work, with the ultimate goal being a restful sleep.

The benefits of establishing a bedtime yoga routine for your child:

• The combination of breath work, guided imagery, and soothing yoga postures helps release excess energy, tension and stress while calming your child and helping her move towards stillness.
• Helps cultivate a relaxed state of body and mind and provides tools for stress management.
• Develops the ability to center and calm themselves all situations.
• Empowers children to be less reactive and more at peace with themselves.
• Lays the foundation for a lifetime of health and well-being.
• Enables kids to fall asleep faster and achieve a higher quality of sleep.
• Helps reduce irritability, crankiness and hyperactivity.
• Encourages parents to interact and bond with their kids in a positive and healthy way that everyone will enjoy.
• Parents can get their kids to sleep with greater ease.
• Parents are likely to can enjoy a higher quality of sleep if their kids are sleeping soundly.

The following sequence has been carefully designed and will help a children establish a bedtime routine that is proven to work:

TAKE TWO:

Calming breath exercise. Make sure your child doesn’t hold his/her breath.
1) Take deep breaths in through your nose to the count of two; and
2) Breathe out through your nose to the count of two
3) Repeat 3-5 times

BEDTIME BUG:

Also known as happy baby, this pose relieves stress and calms the mind.
1) Lie on your back
2) Grab the outside edges of your feet with your hands
3) Open your knees as wide apart as your torso
4) Draw your knees down toward your armpits
5) Move slowly from side to side to massage your lower back
6) Hold this pose for at least 5 full deep breaths

THE TWISTER:

This is a simple pose that soothes digestion and helps relieve stress in the body.
1) Lay flat on your back
2) Spread your arms out to each side, like a “T”
3) Bring your knees to your chest and slowly drop them over to one side
4) Slowly bring your knees back up to your chest and again gently drop them to the other side
5) Encourage holding for 5 breaths on each side

GOODNIGHT LITTLE BODY:

This meditative exercise helps you move closer towards stillness by saying good night to each body part.
1) Start with your toes and move all the way up to your head
2) Say good night to your toes, then each foot, your shins, knees, thighs, then hips
3) Continue with your pelvis, behind, stomach, ribs, chest, then entire torso
4) Next is your fingers, hands, forearms, elbows, upper arms, your shoulders, neck and your face
5) Then relax your face and say good night to your entire body.

WISHING STAR:

Is a meditation exercise designed to prepare the mind for sleep. It clears away stressful thoughts and shifts your mind’s focus to something calming and positive.
1) Lay flat on your back, arms at your sides
2) Relax your body
3) Close your eyes
4) Imagine a star and it’s starlight shining in you. Make a wish.
5) Allow enough time to explore this image

Kids of all ages will be stretching and twisting and breathing their way into dreamland!

If you are looking for ways beyond yoga to help your baby or toddler sleep, please be sure to pick up your FREE copy of 5 (tear-free) Ways to Help Your Child Sleep Through the Night, our e-Book with tear-free tips to help your baby sleep better. For those persistent nighttime struggles, check out The 3-Step System to Help Your Baby Sleep (babies) or The 5-Step System to Better Toddler Sleep (toddlers). Using a unique approach and practical tools for success, our e-books help you and your baby sleep through the night and nap better. For those looking for a more customized solution for your unique situation with support along the way, please consider one-on-one baby and toddler sleep consultations, where you will receive a Personalized Sleep Plan™ you can feel good about! Sometimes it’s not that you can’t make a plan. Sometimes you’re just too tired to.

Have You Done Yoga With Your Baby or Toddler?

Laurie Jordan is the author of YAWNING YOGA: A GOODNIGHT BOOK FOR A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP and the creator of Little Sprouts Yoga for Kaia Yoga Wellness Centers. She shares her expertise on all things kids yoga as a contributing writer for Elephant Journal. She has a Masters in Social Work from Columbia University School of Social Work and is a certified yoga instructor for children and adults.

Laurie created this bedtime book based on her successful bedtime yoga series, Yawning Yoga. She developed her unique “Yawning Yoga” sequence while working as a school social worker in an effort to help over-stimulated, over-stressed children enjoy a good night’s sleep and ultimately, greater school success. The combination of yoga and social work has given Laurie a unique expertise that provides insight and special solutions to growing children and families.