Researchers found that children with autism were 30 percent more likely to have trouble settling and falling asleep as well as 43 percent more likely to struggle to stay asleep and in maintaining a healthy rhythm than their neurotypical peers. https://jneurodevdisorders.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s11689-018-9226-0
Some of the most common sleep problems that children with autism experience are sleep apnea, night terrors and nightmares, bedwetting, and chronic sleep deprivation.
According to the Autism Research Institute (ARI), obstructive sleep apnea affects up to 10 percent of children with ASD and “causes symptoms including snoring and gasping during sleep, bedwetting, daytime sleepiness, and behavior problems.” (Murata, 2017) Suggested treatments for autism and sleep apnea include weight loss, nasal steroids, and adenotonsillectomy. These all come with difficulties. Weight loss, and obesity isn’t the most usual cause of mouth breathing in children. It is more likely to be chronic inflammation of tonsils and adenoids. Surgery and steroids both come with risks of injury or side effects.
The fascinating (and hopeful) thing is that your autistic child’s sleep symptoms can give clues to find holistic remedies for your child. For example,
- A child with autism suffering sleep apnea and snoring will often require baryta-carb.
- A child with night terrors may need stramonium.
- A child with frequent waking through-out the night may need sulphur.
- A child who wakes always at a certain time of night like 1am or 3am may need a remedy to support liver detox.
You’ll also be glad to know that homeopathy is holistic so while you are addressing some of your autistic child’s difficult behavioural symptoms you can also address bed wetting, etc.