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How Sleep & ASD can go hand in hand!


Sleep is essential for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as it plays a critical role in their overall health and development. Unfortunately, children with ASD often struggle with sleep, and this can have a significant impact on their daily life. Research suggests that up to 80% of children with autism have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, compared to 10-30% of typically developing children.


Here are some reasons why children with autism have trouble sleeping and how we can support them to have better sleep:

  • Sensory Processing Issues: Many children with autism experience sensory processing issues that can make it difficult for them to settle down and fall asleep. They may be more sensitive to sounds, lights, textures, and other sensory input, making it harder for them to relax.

  • Routine Disruptions: Children with autism often thrive on routine and predictability. Any changes to their routine, such as a different bedtime or sleep environment, can make it harder for them to fall asleep.

  • Anxiety and Stress: Children with autism may experience anxiety and stress due to difficulties with communication, social interactions, and sensory processing. This can make it challenging for them to relax and fall asleep, even if they're tired.


How to Support Better Sleep:

  • Establish a Consistent Bedtime Routine: Creating a consistent bedtime routine can help children with autism feel more secure and prepare for sleep. This routine should include calming activities such as reading a book, taking a warm bath, or listening to relaxing music.

  • Create a Sleep-Friendly Environment: Creating a sleep-friendly environment can help children with autism feel more comfortable and relaxed. This includes a dark, quiet, and cool bedroom with comfortable bedding.

  • Use Sensory Tools: Sensory tools such as weighted blankets, sensory swings, and white noise machines can help children with autism feel more relaxed and comfortable during sleep.

  • Limit Screen Time: Screen time before bed can disrupt sleep patterns and make it harder for children with autism to fall asleep. Limiting screen time before bed can help them relax and get ready for sleep.


Sleep is essential for children with autism, and they often struggle with sleep due to sensory processing issues, routine disruptions, anxiety, and stress. At Parenting Practice of Colorado, we truly believe that every child deserves a good night's sleep. Our sleep training program is adaptable and individualized to your child's unique needs, and we can provide ongoing support as your child learns to sleep through the night. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your child with special needs get the sleep they need to thrive.


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