- Children with autism, who often have difficulty communicating, may misinterpret or fail to understand the bedtime routine cues.
- Melatonin irregularities – some studies have shown children with autism have high levels of melatonin during the daytime and lower levels at night.
- Increased sensitivity to outside stimuli – While most kids can sleep soundly through nighttime sounds, a child with ASD may wake abruptly.
- Anxiety – children with autism tend to have higher levels of anxiety
Color and Sound ProgrammingStart with just two programs – Sleep and Wake. Use one combination of color and sound for each program consistently.
- Sleep Colors: Orange, Red
- Sleep Sounds: Ocean, Trees, Waves, White Noise, etc.
- Awake Colors: Green, Yellow, Blue
- Awake Sounds: Birds, Sounds Off, etc.
Avoid Blue Light, Especially At Night
Even dim light can interfere with a person’s circadian rhythm and melatonin secretion. A mere eight lux—a level of brightness exceeded by most table lamps and about twice that of a night light—has an effect, notes Stephen Lockley, a Harvard sleep researcher. https://www.health.harvard.edu
Take Aim At the Appropriate Amount Of Sleep By AgeEvery child needs a slightly different amount of sleep. In general, these are the amounts of sleep children require, by age:
- Newborns (0-3 months): Sleep range narrowed to 14-17 hours each day
- Infants (4-11 months): Sleep range widened two hours to 12-15 hours
- Toddlers (1-2 years): Sleep range widened by one hour to 11-14 hours
- Preschoolers (3-5): Sleep range widened by one hour to 10-13 hours
- School age children (6-13): Sleep range widened by one hour to 9-11 hours
- Teenagers (14-17): Sleep range widened by one hour to 8-10 hours
- Younger adults (18-25): Sleep range is 7-9 hours
- Adults (26-64): Sleep range did not change and remains 7-9 hours
- Older adults (65+): Sleep range is 7-8 hours