Helping an Autistic Child Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Help Your Child Relax

As part of your child’s routine, there are a few different things you can do to help your child relax at the end of the day. One example is to massage your child’s back or shoulders as they fall asleep. You could also read them a story to help them fall asleep.

On the other hand, though, you don’t want your child to depend on you to fall asleep either. Even if they are very young and you are there every night when they fall asleep, you are setting a precedent for later in life. In addition, if your child depends on you to fall asleep, they will also have trouble falling back asleep if they wake up in the middle of the night.

One way that you can help your child relax without being directly involved is with music. For this purpose, you will want music that is relaxing, predictable, and without lyrics or syncopation. Many people find that calming, classical music is the best choice.

Exercise During the Day

For many autistic children, moving around and expressing physical energy is a part of their everyday routine. However, as we stated earlier, every autistic child is different. So, if your child is more prone to sitting around, you might want to prompt them to exercise a bit more.

The main idea behind this is that activity during the day makes a child naturally sleepier when it comes to the day’s end. By doing this, you are reaffirming the wake/sleep cycle that makes us all active during the day and sleepy at night.


Finally, you could always talk to your child’s therapist or pediatrician about an appropriate dose of melatonin before bed.

Melatonin is actually a hormone that already exists in the brain. It has a couple different functions but it mainly works to regulate circadian rhythms – this means regulating your internal clock. When melatonin is released in the body at night, you naturally get tired. A melatonin supplement can be used to help regulate the sleep cycle.

This is particularly useful to autistic children because autism can cause them to have irregular melatonin pathways. So, a supplement can be implemented to help make up for the lack of melatonin in their system regulating their circadian rhythm.

Annabelle Carter Short is a freelance writer and a seamstress of more than 5 years. She is a craft lover and would like to start online Arts & Crafts business one day. Annabelle is a mother and she loves making crafts with her two children, Leo (age 9) and Michelle (age 11). When not working, she’s spending time with her family or putting pen to paper for her own personal pursuits. Annabelle writes for several online publications and magazines. You can read more of Annabelle’s writing over at Wunderlabel blog

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