Autism refers to a serious developmental disorder that impacts the ability to interact and communicate with others negatively. This condition is characterized by a plethora of challenges, such as repetitive behaviors, social skills, non-verbal communication, and speech.

In addition to this, it also affects the social, emotional, physical, and emotional health of the affected person. According to researches, almost 40-80% of autistic patients encounter difficulty while sleeping. Here are some of the prominent reasons Why Do Children with Autism Find It So Hard To Sleep:

Communication challenges

Patients who have ASD or autism spectrum disorder encounter challenges to communicate their needs. At times, the child might want something, but they remain awake since they cannot ask for it. Owing to the difficulties in communication, such patients fail to pick up on cues during bedtime.

Circadian Rhythms

The Circadian Rhythms refer to the term which used for describing the natural cycle of the body for waking and sleeping. As the brain of the child is wired differently owing to autism, it follows the circadian rhythm.

The interrupted circadian rhythm of the child may occur owing to the result of hypersensitivity and anxiety for a long period. It may also cause as they fail to understand the social cues such as the time for going to bed.



Hypersensitivity is regarded as one of the well-renowned symptoms found in people suffering from ASD. However, people often overlook the effects of hypersensitivity on the sleep of a person.

People might regard the high sensitivity of an autistic people as a sensory overload, meltdown, or sudden freezing from the sudden barrages of lights, noise, to name a few. Such kind of hypersensitivity might also have an impact on the person during that prolonger night hour.

Even a small change in the atmosphere can result in stimulation activities in the brain of the child, owing to which it becomes really difficult for them to fall asleep.

The tendency to stick to bedtime habits and routine

Children suffering from autism are known to stick to their rituals and routines. Your child will go to sleep in no time if they follow the regular bedtime routine.

Besides this, children suffering from this disease might encounter difficulty in falling asleep in a different place. Hence, they fail to sleep in some other place. It is difficult to break such habits in children, suffering from this condition.


Anxiety is another prominent cause owing to which autistic patients might encounter a challenge to fall asleep. Children suffering from this condition are extremely prone to anxiety, which impairs their ability to fall sleep. There is a wide array of reasons why anxiety might cause difficulty in your autistic children to fall asleep.

For example, suppose your child has to appear for a test the next day, and the fears of failure keep occurring in their mind.

It might also happen if you are going on a big trip and your autistic child is too much excited about it. They keep thinking about what they are going to do during the trip, and this might keep your child awake throughout the night.

It may also be caused due to the hypersensitivity overload, which comes with it. Anxiety and hypersensitivity together can be the cause of difficulty in falling asleep in children.

Physical discomfort

If an autistic child is suffering from constipation, reflux, or any physical discomfort, they might not be able to express their need to the caregiver. Owing to this, they may find it difficult to fall asleep.

Insufficient production of melatonin

If the body of the autistic person fails to create melatonin naturally, the patient might find it difficult to fall asleep. Melatonin is recognized to be a hormone that signals the body to fall asleep.

Also, if the autistic child is suffering from illness such as ear infections and colds, it may be difficult for them to fall asleep. Besides this, chronic illness such as epilepsy and asthma might also impair the ability of autistic children.

Preferred associations

Autistic children may have their favorite pyjamas, and they have to wear them before going to sleep. Your autistic children cannot sleep without such associations.

If your child is autistic and cannot sleep properly at night, it is essential to consult a professional and apply the recommended therapies to get rid of the problem.

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