Sensory Strategies for Sleeping

Written by Sleepdreams. Posted in Sleep Tips

As occupational therapist, we are specialized in sensory processing and we use this expert knowledge as sleep consultants. We view sleep through this lens to better understand how your child self-regulates from a state of ‘awake’ to a state of calm and then to sleep. Here is a little information about the senses and sleep for your baby or child.

Our sensory system allows us to process and understand the environment around us. Sensory processing is described as the organization of sensation in the brain for use related to every day life activities, such as sleeping, playing and eating. Sensory processing continues during sleep. Here are some sensory strategies to consider in order for your infant, toddler or child get a better night’s sleep. 

Our senses include smell (olfactory), taste (gustatory), vision (visual) and proprioception (information from your muscles, tendons and joints) touch (tactile), hearing (auditory) and vestibular (balance).  Here are some tips you can use for some of them: 

Vision: Try to make your child’s room as dark as possible. Consider using blackout curtains, especially during the summer months. No night-lights are needed for children less than 1 year of age. When decorating your child’s room, try to keep the visual stimulations to a minimum and choose calming colours. 

Proprioceptive: Try a quick 5 minutes massage prior to bedtime. If a bath is a part of the bedtime routine, give lots of big hugs and gentle squeezes with the towel to provide more deep pressure, which tends to be quite calming. Some infants and children might prefer tighter fitting clothing for pyjamas or a sleep sack to provide more deep pressure input.

Hearing (auditory): Use the same story or song as a part of your bedtime routine every time you put your child to bed. They will find comfort in the same ritual and will begin to associate that auditory input (i.e. song or story) with sleeping. A white noise or sound machine used at 50 decibels (you can download an app to measure decibel levels on your smartphone) will help drown out any sudden noises that might alert and wake your baby or child. Recent studies suggest locating the sound machine as far as possible from your child and setting the volume to its lowest setting. Never place a sound machine in the crib or crib rail and operate it only for a short duration of time.


Calming Strategies

Written by Jennifer Garden. Posted in Sleep Tips



As sleep consultants, we offer sleep help in the form of calming strategies that work with an individual baby. When transitioning your child from co-sleeping to sleeping in their own crib you can opt for some calming strategies for your child. The crib should be a boring place for your little one at bedtime so you are giving the message that it is time to sleep and not to play. Try using a transitional object such as a small stuffed


Sleepdreams Sleep Talks for January 2012

Written by Sleepdreams. Posted in Blog

Happy New Year!

We’ve redone a few things on our website and blog and are very excited about what 2012 has to bring. Here are some sleep talks that are happening in January in Vancouver and Calgary.

1. Crown Preschool Vancouver January 4th
2. Jewish Community Centre, Vancouver January 11th (
3. Coquitlam Mommies, Port Moody January 18th (
4. Brilliant Beginnings, Calgary January 25th (

Stay tuned as more will be added shortly. If you are interested in any of these please contact us and I will forward the relevant contact person’s information.

Breast Feeding Counsellor

Written by Super User. Posted in Blog

A quick note to recognize that Jennifer has completed the Douglas College Breastfeeding Course for Healthcare Providers. She combines her studies and personal experience breast feeding twins of her own as an additional tool to help you and your child.

Fussy Baby or Sleep Disorder

Written by Jennifer Garden. Posted in Blog

Before hiring a sleep consultant for sleep help or sleep training with your baby or child you should read this article. Call us if you need more info but it may help you decipher if your baby has a sleep ‘disturbance’ (generally behavioural/environmental in nature) versus a ‘disorder’ which is more related to a medical condition.  It is not common for babies to snore (unless of course they have a cold and are congested). If your baby is having trouble sleeping, snores on a regular basis and isn’t sick, give us a call at 604.985.2991 or visit your doctor and get some professional help! Remember our services are covered under many extended health care benefit plans! Here’s some additional great information:

Fussy Baby or Sleep Disorder

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