Sleep plays a very important role in maintaining a good health for any person. Sleep is the only time when our brain takes rest and considering the kind of endeavor it goes through it is important that we give some rest to our brain and mind. Sleep helps in energizing the system and maintaining the natural glow of the face, it is also medically advised that 7 hours of sleep is a must for keeping good health and to stay fit. Now let us focus on certain health disorders because of which the sleep patterns of an person gets deeply disturbed, topping this list is autism which has shown us that the sleep patterns of the kids get affected and continues like this till the kid steps in to their teens.
This statement gets its validation with the help of a research conducted in Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) where an experiment was held to track the sleep patterns of about 14,000 children born within 1991-92 in South West England. This experiment was basically a general question and answer round for the parents, probing them to keep a check on their kid's sleeping pattern, how often they wake up in the middle of the night, how light was their sleep, the time span of their sleeping hours and so on and so forth. The answer to all these questions for such a vast number of children spread over a time span of a year has helped in reaching the conclusion about how the sleep patterns get affected during autism.
Difference in the sleeping habits between children with autism and the ones without and the tips for preventing it
The sleeping pattern as we have already seen from the above experiment and research is strikingly different for those kids who suffer from this ill-fated neurological disorder and those who do not. Let us check out the basic symptoms of a disturbed sleep that many kids experience all thanks to autism:
- The lack of feeling sleepy through the night is one of the first symptoms of having a sleep disorder.
- The habit of often getting up in the middle of the night and staying wide awake and feeling like if you were not even sleeping.
- The feeling of restlessness even while sleeping is one of the major signs that shows that the sleep is not at all peaceful and the mind is still alert.
However, all these signs are bad news for any child especially in their growing up years. Keeping all this in mind it is important that parents try to bring in as much order and discipline as possible. So here are a few quick tips that parents can apply that assures good results:
- Choose a fixed bed time that is a standardized normal time for kids to hit the bed. Make sure that the time does not get adjusted at any cost and your kid is in the couch everyday by that time irrespective of whether they fall sleep then or not. Perhaps the first few days or weeks will be difficult but the practice is a must because that will help in regulating the sleep.
- Autistic children need regularity and a formal structure in their daily routine because that is how they need to get trained to lead a normal lifestyle. Keeping this formal structure in mind, they need preparation well in advance about what is the next course of action that they must do. This preparation gradually becomes a daily routine for them so it is easier for them to at least try to channeling their sleep.
- It is best to keep the bedtime activities pleasant and soothing for the child to relax their mind, be at peace and stay calm. The pleasant bedtime activities include the likes of reading stories that are nice and happy, listen to soothing music and for some kids it could also be taking a nice and cool bath, whatever helps your child to stay at ease needs a regular practice.
All these tips and symptoms have proven helpful for parents to know well in advance about what they should do when dealing with an autistic kid and why they should not push them or expect them to live a normal lifestyle like any other kid.