Picky Eating, Sleep, And Your Child With Special Needs

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Picky eating is a common challenge many parents face, and its effects extend beyond just meal times. Unfortunately, we’ve observed a significant impact on children’s sleep patterns due to picky eating. In this blog, learn why picky eating affects sleep and how we address these challenges to improve sleep for our young clients.

Why Does Picky Eating Affect Sleep?

For children who are picky eaters, they don’t get the essential nutrients they need from a diet consisting of fresh, quality foods. Unfortunately, this lack of nutrition can lead to deficiencies in vitamins and minerals essential for the body’s production of melatonin and serotonin, which are crucial for sleep.

Moreover, picky eating may aggravate a child’s digestive system, further disrupting sleep. Sleep and digestion are very closely connected; if a child has digestive upset, sleep is no question going to suffer.

We know that our parents try their very best, and poor eating can be a stressful topic for our parents. We will never suggest anything too drastic, knowing that overcoming picky eating takes time and patience.

The Link Between Sensory Processing and Picky Eating

Picky eating can also stem from or aggravate sensory processing issues. Many children who are picky eaters experience sensory overwhelm around their mouth and jaw, and engage in sensory seeking behaviors. This can include putting non-food items in their mouth. Unfortunately, this type of behavior not only affects eating habits but disrupts their sleep, too. This is particularly true if a child wakes frequently during the night.

Our Approach to Helping Families

At Melissa Doman Sleep Consulting, we take a comprehensive approach to address both sleep and dietary issues. We work closely with parents to equip them with strategies to improve their child’s sleep hygiene and routines.

In addition, we provide guidance on slowly introducing dietary changes that can improve sleep quality for our picky eaters. This includes incorporating foods that are beneficial for sleep based on the child’s specific nutritional needs. There are many ways to do this, and this blog post is a comprehensive guide on how we navigate picky eating with our kids.

Also, we recommend supplements to ensure that children receive nutrients such as magnesium, calcium, and vitamin B6, which are vital for restful sleep.

Schedule a Discovery Call

If your child has special needs and struggles with sleep issues and picky eating, you don’t have to face these challenges alone. My team and I will provide the support and guidance you need to get your child sleeping (and eating) great.

Schedule a free discovery call with us today to learn how we can help your child achieve a better night’s rest.