All children need sleep. But safe sleep is especially important for children with special needs.
Kids with special needs, like those with autism spectrum disorder, are much more prone to “elopement”—slipping out of their bedroom or even the house completely unannounced and unsupervised.
This can be dangerous for both the children and other people. In one horror story we heard, a child drowned after slipping out of the family tent during a camping trip. In another horror story, the parents caught their child microwaving silverware because they were playing “house.” And here’s one more: In one instance, a child slipped out of the house in the middle of the night and was eventually found by a neighbor!
A sleep safe bed can help these children stay put throughout the night.
Similarly, a sleep safe bed truly keeps your child safe. Eloping can be dangerous, yes, but if your child has medical issues, they could be prone to rolling out of bed and injuring themselves even further.
Fortunately, many sleep safe beds have higher walls that prevent accidentally rolling out of bed onto the floor. In fact, many of these beds are fully enclosed, meaning children can’t roll out or climb out!
Bottom line: Sleep safe beds help children with special needs get better sleep—which is incredibly important for their growth, their development, and their families.
Benefits of Healthy Sleep In Special Needs Children
When you unlock better sleep with a sleep safe bed, here are some of the benefits you might see in your child with special needs:
- Improved behavior throughout the day. When your child sleeps better through the night or naps better throughout the day, you may see better behavior as a result.
For example, research shows that children with autism spectrum disorder experience fewer repetitive behaviors and are better able to socialize throughout the day when they’ve experienced better sleep.
Plus, better sleep may translate into better emotional regulation—which could reduce outbursts and meltdowns.
- Better mental performance. Sleep is critical for growth, and that’s especially true for children with special needs, as deep sleep is critical for learning and memory.
Good sleep can influence everything from sensory perception to attention span, and, as we just discussed, has a major influence on emotional balance!
- Better physical control and growth. Children with special needs are often undersized or physically challenged. Sleep is essential for muscle growth, physical development, and hormone levels.
If your child is engaging in any sort of physical therapy, sleep is also critical for repairing those muscles and developing that muscle memory over time.
- Providing a ‘safe place’ for your child. We’ve heard from some families that our safe sleep bed, The Safety Sleeper®, is their “safe place.” Thanks to its fully enclosed design, The Safety Sleeper® assists in reducing noise and light inside the bed. Plus, it’s a literal physical barrier from perceived dangers. For those children, The Safety Sleeper® is a haven away from the scary things in the world.
Similarly, a well designed bedroom and a cozy bed can give your child a safe place away from the stimulation of the day!
- Time to relax for you and your family. Your child’s sleep is important for you and other family members as well! When your child with special needs is safely tucked into their bed throughout the night, you have the freedom and flexibility to enjoy a full night of restful, restorative sleep.
When your child sleeps all night long, that’s a benefit for everyone inside your house, especially if your child needs assistance when they’re awake or if they tend to scream or cry when they’re alone.
Options for Sleep Safe Beds for Special Needs Children
You’ll find numerous options for sleep safe beds on the market! Some of the most common include:
- The Posey Bed - Although the Posey Bed is generally the most expensive option on this list (it often costs more than $10,000), it incorporates a heavy duty design that’s ideal for both children and adults in medical facilities.
- The Pedicraft Canopy Bed - Like the Posey Bed, the Pedicraft Canopy Bed is designed with medical facilities in mind. However, the Pedicraft Canopy Bed is much smaller and narrow, as it’s intended for children in need of medical intervention.
- The Safety Sleeper® - The Safety Sleeper® provides a wonderful blend of affordability, comfort, safety, and transportability (as it is easy to assemble and comes with its own hardshell suitcase). It’s suitable for medical intervention, big enough for children and adults, and it’s designed for children with special needs.