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SPD Sleep Guide: Essential Sleep Checklist for Kids with SPD

SPD Sleep Guide: Essential Sleep Checklist for Kids with SPD

SPD Sleep Guide: Essential Sleep Checklist for Kids with SPD For children with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), winding down and transitioning into sleep can be a significant challenge. The intricacies of SPD mean that usual sleep advice might not always apply, as these children may experience sensory information more intensely...
Advice on Sleep Issues with Sensory Processing Disorder

Advice on Sleep Issues with Sensory Processing Disorder

Advice on Sleep Issues with Sensory Processing Disorder First of all, I want to acknowledge how difficult and exhausting this must be for you as a parent. Sleep issues can be incredibly challenging and it sounds like you have tried many different methods with little success. It's also important to...

Collection: SLEEP

Sleep Tools for Children with Autism: Finding Tranquility in the Night

Sleep disturbances are common among children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It is estimated that up to 80% of children on the spectrum experience difficulty falling or staying asleep. This can be distressing for both the child and their caregivers, as quality sleep is essential for overall health and well-being.

Sensory Tools

Weighted Blankets and Vests

Sensory integration can be critical for children with autism, and weighted blankets or vests can provide comfort and a calming effect. The gentle, deep pressure touch stimulation has been shown to increase serotonin and melatonin levels, both of which are crucial for regulating sleep.

White Noise Machines

White noise machines can mask disruptive sounds that might startle a child with autism and interrupt their sleep. Consistent background noise can create a soothing environment that facilitates sustained slumber.

Routine and Schedule Designs

Visual Schedules

Visual schedules, such as bedtime charts, can help in laying out the routine and managing expectations. Children with autism often respond well to visual cues, which can reduce anxiety around bedtime.

Sleep Training Clocks

Specialized clocks that change color or display images to indicate when it’s time to sleep or wake up can empower kids to adhere to a sleep schedule, establishing a consistent sleep-wake cycle.

Relaxation Aids


Delicate scents like lavender, which has natural relaxing properties, can be used through diffusers or as a part of a child's bedtime routine to signal the brain that it’s time to wind down.

Guided Imagery and Music

Sometimes children may benefit from guided imagery or soothing music as part of their pre-sleep ritual. There are many resources available that cater to children's interests and age groups.

Safety and Comfort Enhancers

Bed Rails and Soft Padding

For children who are prone to wandering or moving restlessly during sleep, bed rails can offer a sense of security, preventing accidental falls. Soft padding can also be used to cushion areas of the bed for additional safety.

Comfortable Sleepwear

Investing in soft, comfortable sleepwear can prevent sensory discomfort. This is especially important for children who may have sensitivities to certain textures or seams.

Professional Interventions

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapists can provide tailored interventions to improve sleep, focusing on sensory strategies and the child's specific needs.

Behavior Therapy

A behavior analyst can work with the child and family to address any behavioral issues that may be contributing to sleep problems, offering strategies to manage these effectively.

In conclusion, sleep tools for children with autism can range from the sensory to the structural, but they all share the goal of promoting a serene and restful night. As always, it's important to consider the child's individual preferences and needs, and consult with healthcare professionals to create a comprehensive sleep management plan. By understanding and addressing the unique challenges that children with autism face, we can help them achieve the good night's sleep they need to thrive.