Sleep: Do you know where to start, in establishing a bedtime routine with your Autistic child?

Sleep can impact children in so many different ways. Within this blog we share more about sleep, where and how to start helping Autistic children.

When we as adults achieve a "good nights" sleep, tackling every day challenges, life can throw at us, is a lot more manageable. With sleep:

  • Everything feels a little bit easier
  • We can keep calm and regulated as an adult with our children
  • We can tackle wetting or soiling accidents
  • We can think about our well being as a parent
  • We can even look to the future, and think about what to have for tea! 

However, when our children don't get enough sleep, their symptoms can be exasperated. Especially when our children are waiting for a diagnosis, or have received a diagnosis of Autism. 

Why can sleep difficulties occur with Autistic children? 

"World Sleep Day" its a great time to learn a little more about sleep, because when we know "how" sleep occurs, we then know "how" sleep can affect our Autistic children and what we can do to help them progress.

Sleep starts with the circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm is all about eating drinking, toileting, exercising and sleeping at regular times each day. Natural melatonin works with our bodies temperature, blood pressure and hormone levels. Melatonin levels rise in our bodies, when it is dark outside, signally to our bodies that sleep needs to take place.  

Many Autistic children prefer repetition, sameness and routines of implementing activities, hobbies, mealtimes and bedtimes as a way of regulating, understanding feelings, emotions and providing comfort in everyday life. 

When Sensory overwhelm occurs either internally within the body or externally outside of the body, with changes in routines, many Autistic children can struggle to communicate or even understand the difficulties they are experiencing, meaning they resort to the daily routine of repetition and sameness to regulate their feelings and emotions each day. 

Autistic children are able to settle to sleep and sleep through the night, however many children experience difficulties "winding down" and "preparing" for sleep. Preparing for sleep, is all about regulating our childrens natural melatonin. 

Sleep difficulties can occur with our Autistic children when eating, drinking, toileting and exercising is either not able to or not being implemented at set times of the day. 

Do you know where to start in establishing a bedtime routine with your Autistic child?

Family life is often busy, with multiple daily routines with different family members, clubs, events, nursery, school, college, and work. Establishing a bedtime routine is not always easy, especially when waking occurs each evening and you as a parent have had limited sleep yourself. That's why here at Clear Steps Consultancy we have put together a range of useful resources, to help you as a family, and together we can help your child progress with their sleep. Where to start? 

  1. Identify your child's sleep routine with a FREE download: Where to start with sleep?
  2. Rule out any underlying physical health care or medical needs that may be affecting your child's sleep. Do you know your child's poo type? or poo pattern? Poo can impact upon our childrens sleep routine. Read more about poo and how to help your child within our latest blog post: Do you know your child poo type? or visit our website: (Blog) 
  3. Look at your child's day time activities. 

    How can Clear Steps Consultancy help with Sleep?

    Charmaine, at Clear Steps Consultancy supports children with and without a diagnosis, additional needs, their families, schools, organisations, charities and professionals in progressing and being successful with Toileting, Sleeping and Understanding Behaviour.  Support available to help with Sleep, is as individual as the children, families and schools themselves, from online support to one to one Parenting Support Packages to Comprehensive assessments.

    Charmaine, helps children progress with sleep, through the LIVE Family Support & Information SessionsParenting Support Packages, and Comprehensive Sleep Assessment Packages 

    Help and support is available!

    Start helping your Autistic child, establish a bedtime routine today!

    Scan this QR code to start your child's Sleep Journey.

      What next:
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