Sleep disturbances in children with neurodevelopmental disabilities are common and have a profound effect on the quality of life of the child, as well as the entire family. Although interventions for sleep problems in these children often involve a combination of behavioral and pharmacologic strategies, the first line of treatment is the promotion of improved sleep habits or “hygiene.” Despite the importance of sleep-hygiene principles, defined as basic optimal environmental, scheduling, sleep-practice, and physiologic sleep-promoting factors, clinicians often lack appropriate knowledge and skills to implement them. In addition, sleep-hygiene practices may need to be modified and adapted for this population of children and are often more challenging to implement compared with their healthy counterparts. This first comprehensive, multidisciplinary review of sleep hygiene for children with disabilities presents the rationale for incorporating these measures in their treatment, outlines both general and specific sleep-promotion practices, and discusses problem-solving strategies for implementing them in a variety of clinical practice settings.

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