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ASD sleep issues

(2 Posts)
Imaginosity Tue 19-Apr-16 22:37:26

DS has HFA and is 6.

No matter what time I put him to bed he only falls asleep at about 9.45pm or after. Once he falls asleep he stays in a deep sleep until morning.

All his friends in school seem to be asleep an hour or more before him.

He has to be woken at 7.45am for school. so that's 9 hours a night but the recommend amount for his age is 10 or 11 hours.

On school mornings he is usually quite sleepy until he starts eating breakfast. When he eventually fully wakes up he is normally in a good enough mood -but sometimes grumpy.

He does not appear one bit tired in the evenings when I collect him at 5pm - he seems to have just the right about of energy and alertness and stays happy like this all evening. He doesn't complain about being tired.

His teacher says he can be tired at times in school - but I'm unsure if that is due to his poor attention span which can make him zone out a bit and appear tired - or maybe he's actually sleepy.

At weekends if he falls asleep at 9.45pm he wakes himself at about 8.45 or after 9am. This makes me think he might actually need that extra bit of sleep on school nights.

I try to do everything right to help him sleep:
- he gets plenty of exercise in his after-school club - they have a soft play area that he loves.he plays in our garden to for a while in the evenings and is ways jumping on the couches.
- he has a dark quiet room
- screen time is limited to one cartoon of 20 mins at about 5.30pm and then no more screens.
- having a bath before bed makes no difference.
- I've tried various things before bed like being very relaxed, letting him wrestle with his brother to get his energy out, hot water bottle, darkness, nightlight etc etc. nothing works

I was hoping melatonin would be an easy fix but his OT said this would only be used for children with more severe sleep difficulties.

The OT said just let him go to bed later as he gets a solid nights sleep once be does fall asleep - He said some children don't need as much sleep as others.

I just worry a bit because his teacher says he can be tired - I'd love if he'd fall asleep at 8.30pm

PolterGoose Wed 20-Apr-16 08:41:43

It does sound like he just doesn't need as much sleep as some children. I would just make the routine so that he goes up to bed at whatever time you choose but is allowed to read or draw or do quiet play until he's ready to turn his light off, that's what I've been doing with my ds for a few years, and though we have blips when his anxiety is very high, on the whole giving him autonomy has been a real bonus.

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