Sleeping Tips & Ideas For Children with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) & Autism 

1. Make sure bedroom is cool, dark and quiet

2. Exercise during the day

3. Avoid big meals before bedtime

4. Have a healthy bedtime routine

5. Same time for bed time each night

6. Listening to slow relaxing music or nature

7.White noise machine

8. Warm epsom salt bath

9. Don't drink soda or caffeine in the afternoon or before bed

10. Be consistant and don't give up!

11. No TV or screen time after dinner

12. As much sunlight during the day as possible

13. Dimmed lights after dinner and try a sleep mask at bedtime

14. Calming activities after dinner

15. Diffuse essential oils

16. Set a wake up time

17. One stuffie or favorite toy before bed, too many is too over stimulating

18. Soft bed sheets

19. Comfortable pajamas

20. Room darkening shades

21. A lot of reassurance they are safe and you are close by

22. Don't dismiss bed time fears, always address them

23. Your kiddos focus should be relaxing not going to sleep

24. Avoid all stimulating activities at least 6 hours before bed time

25. Always prepare your kiddo it's soon bed time, have a countdown

26. Use visual schedules

27. Bed time routines should be 20-30 minutes

28. Avoid singing or rocking your child to sleep, because if she wakes in the middle of the night she may need you to sing or rock her back to sleep (they need to learn to self sooth)

30. When your child yells out for you always wait a few moments before answering and try to engage as less as possible

31. Every time your child comes out of the bedroom, gently put them back into bed and remind them it is bedtime

32. Tools to overcome fears (flashlight, spray bottle of "monster spray" or a stuffie to "protect" them)

33. Reward system sticker chart and praise all good bedtime behaviors

34. Explain to your kiddo why a good sleep pattern is healthy and important

35. Egg timers to help your kiddo visually see time, it also helps with routine

36. Weighted blanket

37. Turn on a fan

38. Brushing and deep pressure massage before bedtime

39. Cloud B Tranquil Turtle

40. Wrap your kiddo in a burrito

41. Avoid day time naps for older kiddos

42. Food that contains natural melatonin before bedtime

How Many Hours of Sleep Do Kids Need?

All children are different and require a different amount of sleep but these are general guidelines from the National Sleep Foundation

1 to 2 months old: 10 1/2 to 18 hours per day
3 to 11 months old: 9 to 12 hours per day
1 to 3 years old: 12 to 14 hours per day
3 to 5 years old: 11 to 13 hours per day
5 to 12 years old: 10 to 11 hours per day
12 to 18 years old: at least 8 1/2 hours per day

****It is very common for sensory kiddos to have sleeping difficulties. If you have tried all of these ideas with your sensory kiddo and they are still having difficulties sleeping then I would suggest making a doctors appointment for a referral to have a sleep study done to receive the answers  as to why they are not sleeping properly because sleeping difficulties can be caused by so many different conditions.