View Full Version : Sleeping problems with ASD kids
Anyone else? My son has nights where he just can't sleep. Even if he does sleep he throws himself around the bed and fidgets and talks and groans.....it is awful. We are TIRED!!!
I have been trying epsom salt baths with some degree of success. Has anyone else tried it? Any other tips?
Not sure if any of this would help but you could give it a go:
a) quiet time 1/2 hr to 1 hr before bed ie. read books, colour in, listen to relaxing music.
b) burn some lavender and/or chamomile essential oil in an oil burner or in a warm bath (1-2 drops in some milk to disperse in water).
c) warm milk.
d) lots of activity during the day - get rid of all that energy!
I think sleeping issues are really common with kids with ASD?????
Does he actually need to sleep?? Ir does he cope without sleep. I know several children who only need 1-2 hours per night.
It's probably more about making him understand somehow even though he doesn't sleep u still need to and explaining he needs to stay in bed and maybe read or something??!!!
Am sure I remember something on TV about this??? Am trying to remember.
It's a frustrating one. All the normal things to help him sleep though, regular routine at bedtime, bath, quiet story, being persistant about him staying in bed.
I don't know if I am helping???
I have almost the same routine as Gremily suggests: My son often has trouble getting to sleep. I started doing the warm bath too, followed by a little lavender oil dabbed on the neck of his pyjamas (where he can't get it in his mouth or eyes), then I pop a gentle CD on when I put him in bed. Usually he falls asleep pretty quickly, sometimes I can hear him playing throughout the whole CD, but it is gentle play, and he seems content to be there on his own until he drifts off. When I don't do this routine, and he isn't in the mood for sleeping he will shout and be much more vocal.
A big play time in the afternoon before winding down is the key though. A good play and he almost crawls into bed himself ready for sleep - no need for oils and music etc..etc...
We used Endep successfully when my son was 7 for 7 months, he would take a tablet at 6.30 and be asleep by 8.30pm and sleep all night. He still has that sleep pattern at almost 11, before we used medication he would still be awake at 10.30pm and wake at around 2am, he was a smart kid and at only two he would get up at 2am, go downstairs and watch Toy Story and we would be woken up by the sound of the tv.
Endep is commonly prescribed for ASD kids (normally in early primary) to help put them into good sleep patterns. It is an antidepressant but it has the strong side effect or regulating sleep patterns. It's not used long-term, just 6 months or so to set proper sleep routines. Even now my son puts himself to bed at 8.30pm and goes straight to sleep and he hasn't used it in over 3 years.
Melatonin can be quite effective, especially in young children. It is available from your health food store, a couple of tablets chewed up about 30 mins before bed can be helpful although I found it only worked for about a month with my son.
Yeah....we have a strict bedtime routine (he is asd...we have a strict EVERYTHING routine ;)). He has his bath, pj's, milo milkshake (sneak his supplements in there), brush teeth, into bed, story, cd on, lights out, kiss and cuddle then off he goes.
Sleeping problems seem to go with ASD, I was just throwing it out there in case anyone had any good ideas. He does need to sleep - his behaviour is totally uncontrollable when he is tired. On a good night he can sleep for about 11 hours. On a bad one he will sleep, just very restlessly and wakes a lot. He usually just comes into our bed and tosses and turns in there, which I encourage, because at least I know what he's doing then. But it means we all suffer. I guess we just keep doing what we're doing until he gets a bit older or whatever. Thanks everyone.
Oooohhhh...might have a looky at the melatonin. Thanks. Sorry we were posting at the same time.
I'm not sure how I feel about using Endep, but would consider it if things were getting desperate. I can totally imagine my little guy getting up and 2 and putting a dvd on too. Clever little people.
My dad has Aspergers syndrome, He always has problems sleeping.He takes about 8 zanax nightly.And they dont work anyway he stays awake for days on end, and when he does sleep he will be awake 2-4 hours later.Then he goes days without sleep again It drives him insane because he's so trired.
I don't have a child with ASD so sorry if I am way off track. I was having issues with my DS (2 1/2 years) sleeping, he would not fall asleep until 10.30 and then wake at 2 - 3 am and not go back to sleep. he would try so hard to sleep but he couldn't. After this went on for a while i put him on the "fail safe " diet which eliminates basicly all addertives from his diet (not that he eat a lot of addertives before) after 4 days he started sleeping better then he has ever slept. We were totaly convinced when after 2 weeks of great sleep the grandparents took him to McDonalds (we didn't know about it :mad: )and that night he woke at 12.30am and did not go back to sleep.
Just thought i would mention this as it may be of some help. Otherwise you could check out the health food shop for a natural sleep alternative for kids.
Good luck I hope things improve soon
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