Today, with a growing awareness of the symptoms of autism, one out of every 68 children is now diagnosed with autism. While the degree and treatment vary by individual, nearly 50 to 80 percent of all autistic people have sleep problems. They are more likely to experience everything from restless leg syndrome to circadian rhythm disorders that can magnify the symptoms of autism and make them sleepy throughout the day.
But there are steps you can take and behaviors that can be encouraged and developed to help those with autism get better sleep. In support of any medical conditions, developing good sleep hygiene can help those with autism get a better night’s sleep.
Eat for Sleep Success
What and when food is eaten plays a big role in establishing healthy circadian rhythms. Any foods with high levels of sugar or caffeine can keep almost anyone awake past their bedtime, but that is particularly true for those with autism. Close to bedtime foods high in serotonin including nuts, cheese, and red meat should also be avoided as high levels of serotonin promote wakefulness.
Regular Exercise for the Body and Brain
Everyone can benefit from physical and mental exercise. Physical exercise tires the body making it better prepared for rest at the end of the day. Regular stimulation of the brain through school, learning, or work can tire the mind and help it know when it’s time to sleep.
Comfortable Sleep Environment
If at all possible, the bedroom should be solely devoted to sleep. Conditions within the room that can contribute to better rest include:
Selina Hall is an expert on sleep health and wellness for BestMattressReviews.com. She believes that sleep is one of the most important pillars of health. Selina lives in Portland, Oregon. She sleeps best under a handmade quilt passed down from her great-
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