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5 Interoceptive Sensory Strategies to Induce Sleep

5 Interoceptive Sensory Strategies to Induce Sleep

The interoceptive sense perceives the physiological condition of the internal body.  It includes pain, temperature, itch, affectionate touch, sensations from our organs and muscles, hunger, thirst, and air hunger.   It also includes “gut” feelings such as calmness, comfort, contentment, happiness, safety, security and warmth.  The exteroceptive sense perceives external stimulus outside of the body such as position in space, sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell.  All these affect our ability to sleep.

Here are 5 interoceptive sensory strategies to induce sleep from the Autism Sleeps™ book
by Ileana S. McCaigue OTR/L:

  1. Diurnal (day/night) patterning is important to regulate circadian (sleep/wake) rhythms for all ages.
  2. The sleep system used is the most important component or strategy/item to provide the
    comfort and relaxation needed to make bedtime a pleasurable time to anticipate.
  3. Facilitate positive self-esteem is critical to the ability of the person to feel secure enough
    to enable a positive sleep experience.
  4. Give affection with appropriate touch to further calm and support emotionally.
  5. Induce a sense of security to help reduce anxiety, particularly for a child, would include
    dispelling fears of the dark, ghosts, bugs, “monsters”, etc.

Get more sensory strategies to help restless minds sleep in Autism Sleeps™.   This is a thorough resource of sleep sensory strategies and suggestions for preparing the “sleep environment”. Sample bedtime and wake-up routines are provided as templates, especially to guide parents of children with sleep difficulties.  Also includes checklists to identify which of the six sensory area(s) are impacted by poor sleep.  A menu of sensory strategies in each of those affected areas is available for use in preparing a person to sleep, stay asleep and transition to wake up. Additionally, a diary and graph are available for logging the impact of the strategies implemented to determine those that are most effective in helping restless minds sleep.  FIND OUT MORE.

Reference:  McCaigue, I. OTR. Autism Sleeps™. Suwanee, GA. Handy O. T. Treatment Tools, LLC. 2013.