Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Autism 101 - Your Autistic Child And Sleep

Ask any parent how they slept last night and you're sure to get some who grumble about the kids waking up, or not sleeping, or getting up too early. Ask the parent of an autistic child, and the answer is almost certain that they didn't have a good night sleep. Night terrors, waking to early, being too wound up, and the list goes on. Autistic children, for whatever reason, seem to have great difficulties falling asleep and staying asleep.

There are some ways you can help get yourself and your child a good nights rest.

Avoid stimulating food and drinks 2 hours before bedtime. Sugar can over excite autistic children way more than other children. Avoiding these things can help them get a good night sleep.

Help your child relax before bed. A nice warm bath, or some quiet activities can help. Avoid things like the television and other things that can stimulate them before bed.

To help them maintain their sleep, ensure there is a heavy, room darkening curtain on the window. Place thicker carpets on their bedroom floors to help insulate against noise.

You can also try a bed tent. Having a very dark, quiet comforting place to sleep can help minimize how often they wake up.

Another option is to utilize a weighted blanket. The comfort of the weight on them will prevent or minimize movement while they sleep and allow them to get a better nights rest.

Utilize light therapy. During the early hours of the day, get them as much light and sunlight as possible. This will help their own bodies realize and distinguish night and day, which can make sleeping at night better.

Turn on the white noise. If they are waking startled to household noises turn on some white noise for them. Once they become accustomed to the white noise it will play it's part in keeping them asleep and not waking up to other noises.

And lastly, you can try melatonin. This is what your body naturally makes to tell itself when to be awake and when to be asleep. Speak to your health care professionals before using this to ensure your child is receiving the correct dose.

If all else fails, try alternating with your partner or spouse as to who will get up each night with your child. This can help allow each person a night of rest, while the other tends to your child's needs.

Sleep is something we all need and tend to enjoy. Doing what you can to help your autistic child sleep, will help you get your own good nights sleep.

Autism affects the world around us. For more tips on parenting your autistic child, click here!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Sylvia_Rolfe

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