A Good Night’s Sleep

Ryan had another of those sleep less nights, much to my chagrin.  He woke up at 3, immediately called  to tell me that he had a nightmare. My comment: “It’s 3 o’clock and the middle of the night. Go back to sleep.”

I am not sure if he ever did.  I know that I did not.  But, Ryan’s issues with sleeping prompted me to do some research and I learned some interesting facts.

  • Sleep problems in children with autism is quite common.  In a 2019 study, 89% of preschool children with autism had disrupted sleep. In fact sleep problems are twice as common among children with autism than with typical children or those with developmental disabilities.
  • Sleep in persons with autism may be less restorative as  they often spend only 15% of their sleep time in the rapid eye movement(REM) stage which is critical for learning and retaining memories. Most people spend 23% of their nightly sleep in REM.

So,  what can I do to help Ryan improve his sleep?

I have tried many things: establishing an evening routine or sleep ritual, , decreasing his use of electronics,  limiting TV , melatonin,  exercise, eliminating  soft drinks with caffeine. .  But it seems like sleepless is an ongoing issue that “creeps up” every so  often.   I am going to continue with everything  that I have done in the past. Perhaps, be moer vigilant.

But, that is just part of who Ryan is.

I just need to get better at going back to sleep!

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1 Response to A Good Night’s Sleep

  1. Norah says:

    We all need our sleep – or at least, I do.

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