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How Autism Effects Your Kids Sleep

September 21, 2022 by The Sleep Company

Autism and Sleep

Autism & Sleep: A Complete Guide for Parents

Autism is a complex disorder that affects both behavior and communication. It might encompass a wide range of symptoms. Autism might be a very minor issue or a handicap requiring full-time care in a specialized setting. Sleeping can be particularly challenging for children with autism. Knowing how to assist your autistic child with this problem can be challenging if you’re a parent.

In this article, we examine the causes of autistic children’s trouble falling asleep and offer solutions.

What Is Autism?

Autistic children struggle with communication. They find it difficult to comprehend the thoughts and emotions of others. They are unable to express themselves through gestures, facial expressions, touch, or speech. They could struggle with learning. Their skill growth could be uneven. For instance, someone might struggle with communication but excel at arithmetic, music, and painting. In recent years, more children than ever before have been diagnosed with autism.

Symptoms of Autism

kids with autism

Common symptoms of autism include:

Why Do Autistic Children Struggle to Sleep?

Struggle to Sleep

Some autistic children will struggle with disturbed sleep. Reasons for this could include: 

Guidelines for Parents of Autistic Children

Here are some helpful tactics. You must modify them to fit your child’s requirements and degree of comprehension.

Increase the comfort in the bedroom: Children with autism may have sensory changes that make it more difficult for them to unwind and fall asleep as well as stay asleep. Their surroundings and environment may also be important. 

Establish a bedtime routine: Good sleep habits are encouraged by a consistent bedtime routine that begins at roughly the same time each night. Children with autism may require additional assistance to establish a sleep routine. Here are a few tips:

Once your child establishes a successful bedtime pattern, you may discover that your child can sleepwell.

Set a consistent bedtime: An autistic child can benefit from regular and appropriate bedtimes in getting the rest they require. Determine the ideal time for your youngster to go to bed as a first step. Then, transition your child’s ideal bedtime from their sleepy time. Put your child to bed as soon as they are tired. Try to maintain the same bedtime on weekends and during holidays until your child is adept at falling asleep on their own.

Diet: The foods and times that your child consumes can have an impact on how well they sleep at night. 

Describe the concept of sleep:  Autistic children can have trouble comprehending the value of sleep. Children’s books that describe the biological reasons for sleep or other visual aids could be used to explain sleep. 

Maintain a sleep journal: Sleep diaries can be used to determine any odd sleeping patterns and find potential sleep-related issues for your child. You can monitor the effectiveness of any additional sleep aids you may be utilizing. A sleep diary could be helpful for older kids so they can see what their sleeping habits are. They can then be applied to provide rewards for staying in bed and making an effort to sleep.  

Encourage an active lifestyle: Motivate your child to be more active during the day. Even a short family walk before supper can help. Ample natural light during the day also aids in sleep, so it’s great if your child can be active outside.

Sleeping Tips for Parents of an Autistic Child

Quality sleep is essential for parents to ensure that they take proper care of their autistic child. If your child has a history of getting out of bed in the middle of the night or wandering the house while the rest of the family is sound asleep, co-sleeping can provide you with some peace of mind and security. Your child’s room should be made safe so you can rest easy knowing they cannot hurt themselves while you are sleeping.

Ensure that you get the best possible sleep for yourself by using a comfortable mattress, quality pillows, and preferably an adjustable bed. Several top mattress brands offer quality sleeping solutions at affordable prices. 

Conclusion

Sleep is a challenge that doesn’t have an easy solution, especially when your child suffers from autism. With the help of the above-mentioned pointers, finding the ideal sleep solution is possible for yourself and your child.

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