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Dealing with CP & Sleep Problems

A good night’s sleep is something we often take for granted, but for children with cerebral palsy it can prove to be a huge source of difficulty and frustration.

Because cerebral palsy can affect so many different parts of a child’s life from their behaviour to their physical ability, it can have a huge effect on how well they are able to relax and fall asleep.

How does CP affect sleep?

While sleep problems are common in children with cerebral palsy, they can affect different children in different ways.

Common problems with sleep include difficulty:

  • Falling asleep
  • Staying asleep
  • Separating from parents
  • Pain at bedtime
  • Seizures
  • Respiratory problems
  • Central sleep apnoea
  • Sleep obstructive apnoea 

Why does CP affect sleep?

There are a number of reasons why cerebral palsy can affect a child’s sleeping pattern. These range from physical issues such as incontinence or respiratory difficulties to behavioural problems, which can cause destructive bedtime routines.

There are a number of ways you can help your child to overcome problems with sleep. Some things you want to think about include:

Bedroom environment

The bedroom environment can be one of the biggest factors in getting a good night’s sleep. Ideally, your child’s bedroom should be calm, comfortable and free of anything ‘overly stimulating’. Excess light and noise are all incredibly disruptive to sleep, so think about how much time is spent watching TV or playing video games before bed.


Establishing a structured nightly routine can really make a difference to bedtime. A routine could consist of a few activities such as having a warm bath, or listening to a story, a song or calming music. This should last for about half an hour before bedtime to encourage a healthy amount of sleep.

If you believe that your child has cerebral palsy as a result of medical negligence it is important that you seek legal advice as soon as possible. You can contact Express Solicitors on 0161 904 4660 to obtain advice from a specialist solicitor who will discuss the case with you and provide you with confidential advice on the options available to you.

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