How to make your child with autism fall asleep – Taking care of your children is a default obligation for you as a parent. Not just because you love them, they are you in another individual body. I must confess, it ain’t easy to be a parent – you are two times conscious of whatever happens to your children, you protect them from even the slightest perch of a fly.
How meticulous parents can be when it comes to being responsible to their children.
Searching for the most sincere love and defense? Look out for the one between a parent and his/her child. Now watch out for moments when the child is ill and sick. You will meet the most emotional form of expressive love and care.
A parent will go any length just to make his/her child enjoy the best of life and live the greatest dreams. Today. I will be sharing with you how parents with children suffering from autism go to sleep without hassle.
1. Regulate your child’s circadian rhythm.
In one of the articles I shared, I showed you how important it is to sleep with your lights off at night. You can check it here. Lights on and sleep can be mutually exclusive. It is always advisable to put them off. Darker rooms, rooms with side lamps, or low light will aid a faster process of sleep.
The stages of any sleeping process are what is known as the circadian rhythm. The rhythm for all humans. There are some with a faster rhythm and some have slower rates.
For children with autism, the rhythm will be slightly different due to changes in sensory responses. It means even in times when you switch the lights off, they would not fall asleep.
You need to understand this very well so you know ways in which you can make your child sleep comfortably. Knowing fully well that you can make them sleep on command. It requires patience and persuasion.
This sleep is sometimes called the internal clock. It is biologically designed to function as a reflex that makes you fall asleep and wake up.
So to regulate your autistic child’s sleep pattern every morning expose them to bright light – it could be an early morning walk or jog. Exposing them to bright light in the mornings has a way of affecting their sleep rate at night.
It increases the chances of your child falling asleep. The body works with time, therefore in the evenings or as the day ends, their energy will gradually respond to that making them weak and doze off.
2. Take Naps at Noon
Sleeping in the afternoon is being swept off because its importance is not well known. Generally, when you take a nap at noon, you launch into a refreshing mode of your body system. Your brain and muscles get re-energized and ready to face the remaining hours of the day.
Encourage your child to take naps at noon to boost their immune system, thoughts, and memories. Whenever they nap at noon, you are grooming them into being able-bodied and sound-minded. But do not force them.
3. Record Your Child’s Sleep Pattern
One preliminary step you should take as a parent working towards the goal of getting his/her autistic child to sleep is to monitor and keep records of all sleep patterns. You are aware you must not leave your child alone to avoid self-inflicted injuries. Be right there with them always.
Your constant presence is to look out for them and take note of changes. One thing to always take note of is their sleep pattern. Have a consistent record of this, to allow you to know the recommended steps to take if needed. Or rather keep a sleep diary for your child.
When you do this for a week, by noting the time of sleep, time of wake, sleep method, and be sure to check the breathing ways. These will help know when your child sleeps well or not. It will also help you check your child’s response after a good or bad sleep. If you have been doing this before, make sure you keep track of accurately not missing out on any information.
4. Control the Room Temperature
You must know your child’s most loved weather condition- it could be cool or just moderately cool. Whichever one make sure you study them well. It can help you decide how to replicate such through the installation of Air conditions or a fan.
However, no matter the level of weather condition loved by the child, their room must never be stuffy. Airflow is vital for them because when a room is not well ventilated it can stimulate itchy skin and allergies for them.
You must understand children with autism react to every slightest thing that makes them uncomfortable. Therefore try to avoid anything that can create restlessness from your child. Make their sleep peaceful and sound by giving them the best control of room temperature.
5. Mattress Type
Choosing a mattress type for your child with autism requires a guide which I once shared here. Check it out.
Ensure that the beddings in your child’s room do not make him/her uneasy. The softness or hardness of a mattress is key in determining how fast your child gets a night of proper sleep. If you have been monitoring his/her sleep, it will help you here to know the type of sleeper your child is.
The very moment your child begins to become uncomfortable while sleeping, do check the mattress and mattress topping. It might need a change to a suitable one with a balanced texture to make your child fall asleep.
6. Engage Them in Quiet Activities
The type and time of activities your children partake in play a role in determining how well they sleep. Once the sun begins to set, engage your children in less muscular activities such as drawing, playing with puzzles, watch a movie and it could be a conversational storytime for them too.
It will help in the gradual preparation for sleep. Do not allow them to get carried away practice or engage in bedtime rough plays – a sweaty body can affect sleep rate.
7. Limit Their Electronics
One of your responsibilities as a parent to your child living with autism is to limit their usage of electronics at night. It is not best for your child to keep his/her eyes glued to a screen for a few hours before bedtime.
Using mobile technologies are ways to keep your child calm but when he/she approaches bedtime stop them from using it no matter how addicted they are to it. For your child who loves movies, you could play the movie some hours before sleep.
Your children love mutual connection with their parent always. One way to care for and develop connections mutually with your child is to regularly massage your child’s body. It is a sensory action that helps to calm children with autism. Try it every two days before he/she goes to bed, be rest assured for the best night of sleep.
9. Night Shower
A night shower goes a long way to channel your child into a night of better sleep. Children are known to have high prediclection for night showers because it gives them a soothing relief. For your child with autism you should make sure they take a shower always before bed.
Frequently Asked Questions
What other ways can I control the lighting of my child’s room?
- Invest in the right curtains: a curtain that supports shade is the best bet for your child’s room. You can get a blackout curtain which helps to create a sleep environment.
- Use blocking glasses: If your child is addicted to bedtime use of phones or tabs, you can get blocking glasses to prevent the light ray effect such light has on sleep.
- The doorway light of your child’s room should be removed also if you are trying to control all kinds of light affecting your child’s sleeping clock.
How can I give my autistic child music therapy?
Music therapy is needed by all and sundry – it is a default path to clear rough thoughts in the head. How your child with autism will interpret a song will be different that is why jazz might not be recommended but slow rhythms like R&Bs will be appreciated. Music and dance help them stimulate their sensory system and motor skills.
If you are finding it difficult to give your child music therapy, you can call for the help of your medical guide.
Children with autism should be shown love and care – one of the ways to do this is to look after the way they sleep and ensure they do it well. All children with autism require more sleep than the quiet child, so you must practice this guide I shared to give them nights of sound sleep and rest always.