How to Improve Sleep in Children with Autism

Children are specials. Most especially when they lovable as they are. Children must be treated with equal love, care, support and discipline. The hard thing is, when your child is affected with a disease conditions. One of the conditions that affect children is autism. Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that severely affects children. This is characterized by triad behavioural symptoms. First is impaired social interaction, second is restricted repertoire of activities and interest and lastly is impaired communication. It also includes signs and symptoms like tactile hypersensitivity, tantrums, destructive behaviours, sleep problems and cognitive impairment.

Improve sleep in autistic children

Sleep problems are not usually common in normal children. But with an autistic child, this is common. The common sleep problems they encounter are poor sleep quality, unstable sleep routines, restlessness, snoring, waking during midnight and difficulty sleeping.

Establishing Strategies in Sleeping for children

Establishing good strategies in sleeping for children helps you determined patterns to make your children have a good sleep. These strategies can be the best for you. Try it and you will see.

  • Discuss with your children’s paediatrician some ways and prescribe medicines that can help them have a good night sleep. State all your concerns and collaborate with the paediatrician for establishing the strategies.
  • Avoid your children in any activities before going to bed. In this way, your children can relax and stay calm before sleeping.
  • Have a routine for your child before sleeping at night like taking a bath, having a massage and listening to calm and soothing music.
  • Remove any distractions form your child’s bedroom to avoid any stimulants. Noise and sensory distractions must be controlled. Inform other members of the family about this so that they can also adjust.
  • Take note of the sleep patterns that your child obtain and record it. Show it to your child’s paediatrician for evaluation.
  • If your child did not response to the strategies, obtain immediately a sleep medication like melatonin from your child’s physician as your last option.
  • Encourage optimal activities during the day. In this way your child may feel tired during night time and makes them wanting to sleep more.
  • If making any changes of your child’s routine, kindly introduce it to them slowly so that they will not be overwhelm and stressed out.
  • Introduce simple steps for your child before bedtime so that they would learn. Do not set more than six simple steps for your child.
  • For parents, be consistent about your sleeping time and waking up time.
  • Make sure that your child doesn’t have any snoring problem. Don’t avoid if your child has a snoring problem. But, the question is how to cure snoring? There are so many solutions but some remedies and anti snoring devices will help you stop snoring.
  • Used sleep devices if you need more to help you with your child’s condition.
  • Engage your child in a sense of relaxation so that they would feel stress free and happy thoughts would enter their minds.

I hope these strategies could help you. As parents, you need to have more patience and understanding about your child’s condition. Increasing their integrity of life can make them survive longer. Their survival rates depend on how they were taken care of and expose to activities. Sleep deprivation for autistic children is still unknown but studies now are still continued to be done to discover more treatment modalities for this disorder.


4 Responses to How to Improve Sleep in Children with Autism

  1. autisticook September 29, 2013 at 3:53 pm #

    As an autistic adult with insomnia problems both as a child and as an adult, I can say that most of this advice would not achieve the desired result with me, and probably the opposite.

  2. PK October 8, 2013 at 4:47 pm #

    My son (a sensory seeker, which we didn’t know till kindergarten) didn’t sleep through the night for more than a week or so at a time (if we were lucky) till he was 6 years old. Then my sister made a weighted blanket (they’re very expensive to buy). OH MY GOSH – he has slept more nights through in the last 6 months than probably the first 6 years of his life.

  3. peter October 23, 2013 at 11:55 am #

    My 7 year old son, who is slightly autistic, had a habit of coming to our room around 1am every night and would then sleep on a mattress on the floor. Two months ago I had a brainwave to install a baby light in his room, and told him that when he woke up he would see the light and then go back to sleep. The light is very faint and I cover it partially so that his room stays dark. Since then he’s slept through the night almost every night, so it’s a huge relief. I do recommend this method! Just make sure it’s not obtrusive.

  4. James October 23, 2013 at 5:14 pm #

    My son is now 10 years old and still wakes during the night, although not as much now. We got him to sleep in his own bed by first sleeping on the floor in his room, gradually moving outside the room and then moving away altogether. He used to wake up to 10 times every night, now it is maybe around 2 or 3 depending on his worries or anxiety.

    Keep at it, if you are having a bad time, keep going it will eventually get a little better.

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