1 Best in-clinic Sleep Medicine Specialists near San Diego, CA 92101
5050 Murphy Canyon Road, Suite 100, San Diego (7.9 mi)
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Frequently Asked Questions
If you’re struggling to help your autistic child get a good night’s sleep, you’re not alone. Between 44% and 83% of kids on the spectrum have difficulty sleeping that affects their daily functioning. Many autistic people experience sleep disturbances such as early waking, nighttime awakenings, and irregular sleep patterns their whole lives.
We understand how frustrating it can be when your child can’t sleep, so we’ve compiled the top tips from our autism sleep expert, the latest scientific research, and neurodiverse families. You can use these expert tips to help your child get a great night’s sleep – tonight!
Check out 15 expert tips to help your autistic child sleep better for a full list.
The top tips include:
- Slightly adjust your child’s sleeping environment by lowering the temperature a few degrees, using a fan as white noise, or adding a weighted blanket to see if their sleep improves.
- Every child is different, but a good rule of thumb is to limit the activities they find stimulating for at least an hour before bedtime. Start non-stimulating activities before bed like light stretching or reading a book together.
- Many autistic children appreciate a consistent and predictable routine. Use a picture schedule to show children what to expect visually.
If you are looking for a supplement that causes little to no side effects, magnesium has recently become a popular supplement to help improve sleep. Magnesium is an important mineral responsible for over 300 processes in the body (sleep is one of them)! 1 in 2 Americans do not get enough magnesium daily which means many people need a combination of magnesium rich foods (cashews, almonds, peas, and beans) and supplements to get enough magnesium in their diet. Teenagers and people with gastrointestinal disorders are at higher risk for insufficient magnesium levels.
You should check with your child’s doctor before beginning any supplements and for dosing recommendations based on your child’s weight and age. Popular types of magnesium supplements include powder, gummies, and oil. Some parents we interviewed recommend putting magnesium lotion on the belly or feet!