Autism sleeping tricks

My stepson is about to be 5 and is autistic. Usually he sleeps good but lately he has been getting up super early and is wide awake. He was up before daylight today and we got woken up by him running around the house. I've tried laying him back down but he doesn't ever go back to sleep. He already gets melatonin at night. What tricks have you guys found that help autistic kids sleep better? His OT therapist recommended compression pjs or a weighted blanket. Any thoughts on these, brands or other ideas?

  • E
    May 23

    A light that signals when it is ok to get up. There are a bunch of different ones on amazon. Give him instructions to stay in bed till the light turns such color.

  • Scarlett
    May 23

    I dont think he would understand. He was completely non verbal until about a year ago and even now his vocabulary is very limited. He works with an OT and speech therapist but it's slow.

  • Vicki
    May 23

    Have any before bed habits changed? Or to diet or bedtime? Could it be he has to go to the bathroom or is thirsty or hungry? It could just be a phase but it’s worth looking at anything different since he’s been sleeping in until now.

  • Scarlett
    May 23

    No he always wakes up dry and he eats a ton. I think it may just be the time change messing him up but who knows

  • Jenn
    May 24

    Could he stay up a little later since it is light out longer? I know that doesn't always work, but maybe since he takes melatonin. I'm an SLP and I also agree with the light that changes color. While it may take a bit, if he can follow simple directions, it will be something he can learn. You can have his SLP or OT work on it with him and maybe pretend to sleep when it is 1 color and then wake up when it changes. Even if he doesn't sleep later with that, he will hopefully stay in his bed.

  • Scarlett
    May 24

    We kept him up till 9 last night which is an hour and a half longer than usually and he was still up wide awake at 7

  • anonymous mom
    May 24

    Is it possibly less to do w/ autism and more to do with longer daylight hours in the summer?? Have you tried 100% blackout shades and curtains?

  • anonymous mom
    May 24

    PS, 9-7 is pretty good!! My toddler sleeps 8:30-5:30, sometimes 6.

  • Anonymous
    May 24

    You might need to readjust your expectations. 9-7 is more than enough sleep...and 7 is a normal hour for kids to wake up

  • Jennifer
    May 26

    I’m a Special Ed teacher. Many of my students use weighted blankets and blackout shades. One of the girls is non verbal and her mom recently started a simple stretching/yoga routine before bed. So far, it seems to be working well.

  • Angie
    May 26

    Definitely weighted blanket and melatonin. No tv an hour before bed. Potty before bed. He def needs a certain bedtime routine with books and quiet talk and touch if he will allow think soothing....Sound machine or soothing noise that he likes.....

  • Angie
    May 26

    Wide awake by 7 is great! Thats 10 solid hours for a five year old with autism. Many parents would love that much sleep for their kid even if typical. 👍

  • Amanda
    Oct 09

    My sons weighted blanket did not increase the time he slept but it calmed his sleep. Less tossing and turning he got a more restful sleep. On Etsy there is a young man with Autism who makes weighted blankets at an affordable price.