29 Jul AUTISM AND SLEEP PROBLEM
Do you know children with autism spectrum disorders prone to have sleep difficulties? Commonly they suffer from insomnia where they experience difficulty falling asleep and waking up frequently. The problems may be due to several reasons like sensory issues, anxiety, bedtime and daytime habits, as well as other health conditions that may interrupt sleep.
So what could be done to help them sleep better?
- Establish a bedtime routine
Make the routine similar everyday so that they know it is nearing their bedtime and can prepare themselves to calm down and sleep.
- Avoid stimulating activities an hour before bed
Keep the gadget and toys away. Turn off the computer and television. Stimulating activities are better done during the day.
- Prevent sensory distraction
Make sure to make little to no noise at night. Turn the lights off and ensure the temperature in the bedroom is comfortable. Using a weighted blanket usually helps too.
- Avoid sugar or caffeine at night
Sugar and caffeine are stimulants that may prevent them to feel sleepy
- Give a short gentle massage or listen to calming music
These will help them to relax. The activities can be included as a part of the pre-bedtime routine.
Getting a better sleep may help them to function better, and fortunately the parents can help to improve their sleep quality by following the tips. However if the problem still persists, talking to a professional is highly encouraged.