Sleep is so important for everyone especially those with a brain injury. Isabella had always been a horrible sleeper. Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment greatly improved her sleep. Prior to HBOT, Isabella was up every 10-15 minutes all night long. The nights seemed never-ending and then the days were extremely hard because we were both exhausted. In addition to HBOT, we have found some other things that help Isabella sleep. Below are some of those things:
- Noise reduction earmuffs and a white noise sound machine. Isabella sleeps with both of these every night because she says it helps her “sounds” (hallucinations). Isabella also has what I call “bionic ears”. Isabella can hear everything and the slightest noise is so loud to her. Both of these items help drown things out so that Isabella can fall asleep. The noise reduction earmuffs we purchased at a hardware store. The white noise sound machine can be found at any retail store.
- Weighted blanket. The deep pressure from the blanket helps Isabella’s body stay calm so she can fall asleep. We were originally introduced to weighted blankets at Occupational Therapy. Several times Isabella wanted nothing to do with it. Every once and a while we would try again. One day Isabella loved it and she began to seek it out. Upon researching I found out that there are many benefits to sleeping with one. A friend had one custom made specifically for Isabella. You can find them on many specialty websites.
- Bed side rail. Isabella had a bedside rail prior to her brain injury. She has never been able to sleep without one. Isabella recently outgrew the one that she had so I did some research to figure out what to buy. I purchased a bed side rail from an online medical supply company. This one has an adjustable frame to fit any mattress size. It also has a weight limit that far exceeds what she would need.
When you have a child with a brain injury simple things like going to bed at night require more than the typical items. Having the right sleep aides in place can make all the difference.
“Let her sleep for when she wakes, she will move mountains” Napoléon Bonaparte
Guest Blogger, Kristin Olliney-Apruzzese, is the mother of 9-year-old Isabella, who suffered sudden acute encephalitis when she was just 4. Kristin’s bi-monthly blog, Mommy of a Miracle, talks about the trials and joys of raising a brain injury survivor.
Legal Statement: The information contained in this blog does not reflect the specific views of BIA-MA. This blog is published for informational purposes only. BIA-MA is not providing medical, legal or other professional advice with its publication. Copyright 2015 BIA-MA.