One of the most common problems that affect autistic children is sleep. Because their brains are wired differently than other kids, autistic children often have different sleep needs. Indeed, with autistic kids, bedtime can become an excruciating experience for both parents and kids. This is because autistic children often cannot fall asleep on their own. The inability to sleep can be very frustrating for parents, who may resort to increasingly desperate measures to get some rest.
Guide to Make Autistic Children Sleep Peacefully
Making a child with ASD sleep peacefully can be a difficult task. But there are many things you can do to make it easier for your child.
Look at their Sleeping Pattern
The first thing you should do is look at how your child sleeps. Do they have trouble falling asleep? Do they stay in bed all night but never fall asleep? Or do they wake up every hour? If so, then this might be an indication that something is wrong with the way they are sleeping. If they wake up every hour and cannot fall back asleep, this could indicate that their room is too hot or cold for them. If they stay in bed all night but do not fall asleep, this could signify they are anxious about something. You should ask them what makes them so worried and try to help them feel better about it.
Make a Routine
Autism treatment program states that having a routine for them makes them calm. Having a routine helps kids feel more comfortable and secure knowing what's happening around them and what's coming next in the day/night cycle. It also helps them know when it's time for bed because if everything else on their schedule stays consistent, like eating dinner at 6:00 pm every night, it will be easy for them to predict when they will sleep.
Don't Force their Sleep
If your child does not seem tired, do not force them into going to bed early to get some rest. This will only make them more agitated in the long run and lead to problems with sleeping later on down the road when they are older. Instead, try taking them out somewhere fun to burn off some energy before going home, where they will likely crash out quickly due to exhaustion. This will make it easier for both parties involved.
Make them Feel Safe
It is important to make your child feel safe before they go to sleep. This can be done by giving them a regular bedtime routine that involves going through a particular set of steps to help them wind down and relax. For example, you could start by reading a bedtime story and then turn off the lights after it is over. You should also be sure to avoid any stressful situations as this can cause a child with Autism Spectrum disorder to have trouble falling asleep.
Comfortable Bedding and Pillow
The bed should be made of soft materials and provide enough space for the child to sleep comfortably. A pillow that can mould itself around the head of the child is also recommended because it helps reduce pressure on the neck and improves sleep quality. If the child has a habit of sleeping with stuffed animals, they should be placed on top of the pillow instead of under it.
Calming activities are great for helping an autistic child sleep. They can include listening to music, reading a book, or playing games such as cards or Uno. Whatever works for your child, ensure it doesn't involve bright lights or loud noises. You can also try having your child take a bath before bedtime. This is an excellent way for your child to relax and calm down so they will be ready for bedtime.
Noise Proof the Room to Ease their Anxiety
If your child is autistic, they are likely to be very sensitive to noise. This can make sleeping very difficult for them, as they may find it hard to get comfortable if there is too much sound or light in the room. To help ensure that your child has a peaceful night's sleep, you should try to reduce any noises as much as possible. You can do this by using thick curtains and blinds on windows and keeping doors closed so that traffic noise does not disturb them.
Kids with autism are found to have sleeping problems and disturbed sleep patterns, which is not something they can tolerate. Thus, this disturbed sleeping pattern leads to behavioural and cognitive issues. Managing the sleeping patterns of kids with autism is very important, which can be achieved with the help of proper guidance and management. So, follow the guide to help autistic kids to get better sleep and address other issues.