Sleep and Autism


Challenges with sleep are unfortunately very common for youth with autism, ADHD, and SPD. According to Autism Speaks, "Sleep problems are very common, reportedly as high as 80% in children with ASD. In typically developing children, sleep problems and insufficient sleep can result in daytime sleepiness, learning problems and behavioral issues such as hyperactivity, inattentiveness and aggression."

This study shows ”A relationship between sleep problems and increased aggression and irritability has also been documented.” This same study shows the most commonly reported sleep problem reported by parents of children with autism is falling asleep (53% of parents reported this as the main issue).

How Spectrum Yoga Can Help

This is the only night of the week my kids sleep through the night.
— A mom of two students I see for sleep support in our weekly Sensory Wind Down class.

Therapeutic yoga- paired with other lifestyle changes and mild interventions- is an effective support to help your child fall and stay asleep.

Yoga therapy techniques work directly with the nervous system. Techniques such as calming breath (pranayama), restorative yoga poses (asana), guided meditations (dyana), and yoga nidra have been shown to support sleep in those with sleep problems. These techniques suppress the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) and communicate to the brain and body that they can relax - in turn, activating the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest). Overtime, the parasympathetic tone increases. Think of it like any other strength-based exercise - the more you do it, the more your endurance and muscles build. We can do the same thing with our autonomic nervous system. How cool is that!?

Yoga is not a quick fix. This takes time and is a lifelong practice. Students who attend Spectrum Yoga classes receive many personalized tools overtime and are able to take what they learn in class and apply it at home.

Sometimes, all students need are a few individualized yoga tools. 😴 AND that means you get to sleep too 😌 Sweet dreams, happy days 🌌✌️We hope you can join us.

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