Blog on Special Educational Needs - Asian College of Teachers

8 Effective Ways To Create A Pleasant Sleeping Environment For Your Autistic Child

21st November 2022

Parenting a special child is challenging. If you’re raising an autistic child who is also dealing with sleeping difficulties, then your child is not alone. According to the CDC (Centers For Disease Control & Prevention), around 1% of the world’s population suffers from Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) over 75,000,000 people.

There are many solutions to manage the sleeping difficulties of your child with autism. However, parents also need to understand one thing in this journey of helping their child with autism, they are the ones who need to learn more information about how their autistic child can get a good night's sleep. As a parent, you need to expand your knowledge of managing these situations effectively. We recommend SEN courses for parents. Gaining a substantial amount of knowledge and skills will help you to efficiently look after the special child with additional support.

Possible Strategies For Managing Sleep Difficulties & Autism

While you can learn & get much more help from our courses about how to manage autism but with that let’s also get to know some effective ways which will create a better sleeping environment for your child with autism:

  1. Keep your child away from blue light exposure at night

    In this technologically advanced era, children from a very young age are drawn towards Mobile phones, TV, Tablets & Computers. Nowadays, they are using various gadgets day and night, which emit blue light and directly impact your child’s circadian rhythm. This means your child can’t figure out the difference between when it’s time to sleep & when to wake up.

    Thus, it’s best to keep the exposure to blue light-emitting products as minimal as possible for your child. From the early days, there should be a limit to putting exposure to electronic gadgets near your child especially if they are going through ASD. However, parents too have their other work to fulfill and can’t be around their child 24x7. Still, they need to try to support their autistic child as much as possible. Lastly, keep their bedroom dim as much as possible so they can sleep easily.

  2. Create a peaceful environment in your home

    In general, most children in the developing phase can block most of the noise naturally when they are sleepy. But in the case of children who are suffering from Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), it’s a bit challenging because they are already overwhelmed with many sensory sensations.

    Therefore, you need to make sure that no noises coming from any household like the TV, loud music, dishwasher, washing machine, etc. in your house which could be a big factor in whether your child will get good & uninterrupted sleep or not.

  3. Create a consistent sleeping & bedtime routine for your child in sensory cue form

    Children who are already going through autism have so much going through in their minds. So, we should strive to make things simpler for them by creating a sensory cue to-do list before going to sleep & consistently going to bed & wake time.

    Try to create a visual & animated chart of sleeping & bedtime routine in their room rather than filled with dull text only. Try to put that chart where your child can see it clearly & easily without much effort so that they can follow them. Additionally, form a daily habit of it and this method will be a boon for non-verbal children also. Try to keep them away from any stimulating activities at least an hour before their bedtime.

  4. Check the materials quality of sleeping clothes & beds

    Certain kinds of fabrics and materials are not comfortable for even adults, so pay attention to your child if they are comfortable with the fabrics of their sleeping clothes & their bed or not. Replace that if they’re not comfortable with that fabric.

    Likewise, keep in mind that it’s been found that if the blanket is weighted then children who are suffering from ASD sleep better. In case your child is non-verbal, you need to do a trial & error to see what’s comfortable for them or what's not.

  5. Develop a habit in your child that they go to the bathroom before their sleep

    As simple as it may sound, developing this habit in your child will help them to have a good night's sleep & prevent night-time awakening for them. It has been found that those children who have autism suffer from gastrointestinal & constipation. So, it’s best that your child forms a daily habit of going to the bathroom, before going to sleep.
  6. Relaxation technique for better sleep

    Generally, most of the kids who have autism suffer from anxiety & which interrupts their sleeping cycle. There are multiple ways to relax your child’s mind before going to sleep. Try these methods –

    > Breathing Exercise
    > Mind Techniques (Think about the pleasant image before sleep)
    > Meditation
    > Play White noise music
    > Warm bath
    > Stories or Audiobook

  7. Try adding Melatonin rich foods to your child's diet

    Melatonin is a hormone that is produced via the brain in response to darkness at night. It improves circadian rhythm & sleep quality. According to expert research food like- milk, beans, grapes, cherries, oats, rice, walnuts, and legumes, help to produce more melatonin in our body. Try to add this to your child’s diet to see if it improves their sleep quality or not.
  8. Inculcate a habit of sleeping alone in your child

    While every parent for the comfort of their child sleeps with them, they're not realizing that it will become a habit in their child to have their parents beside them, otherwise, they will not be able to sleep. Parents should develop a habit in their child to sleeping alone & apply all techniques which have been described here.

To End With

In general, getting any child to sleep at night is a challenging task to achieve. And if your child is going through autism, it becomes a little bit more difficult to make them sleep. Though it’s difficult but not impossible for an autistic child to get a good night's sleep, just try the above-mentioned ways & you will see positive results in your child’s life.

And lastly, if you seek more help then we have our “Autism courses online”. Or, if you want to learn more about autism & want yourself to be more capable of handling your child who’s suffering from autism then you can pursue our “SEN courses for parents”.

Want to earn a special education training certificate? Or want to pursue your other higher ambitions regarding autism online courses from our prestigious institute? Give us a call at 1- 213 – 233 9490 or dial +6621055721.


Written By : Ruchi Mehta

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