FROM KATE: Sleep – arrrhhhh what a great word that is, MMMMMM sleep is so rejuvenating, and healthful for our bodies. When we sleep our bodies only concern is to repair and regenerate. When running a Son-Rise Program sleep plays a vital role for you as parents and also for the health and well being of your child.

When we as parents are rested then everything we do during the day will be easier Like most of you I have experienced long stretches of days with “sleep deprivation” and even with a great attitude it can be challenging. For new born babies – this is unavoidable, but once our children no longer need to be fed at night, you can do things that will help your children sleep through the night for 10-12 hours!
Which means in turn that YOU can sleep.

Oftentimes we are taking care of what our children are eating putting them on great diets for Autistic children, giving them healthy vitamins and supplements, carefully measuring out the timing and the amount of food and supplements we give our children, but don’t give the same about of care and structure to the sleeping routine of our children.

Sleep routines are formed by habit, I wake up at 6am each morning even if I do not have to get our of bed at that time, or no matter what time I went to sleep the night before, simply because my body has created this habit. We as the adults can help our children stick to a bedtime routine to help their bodies remember a pattern of sleep that is useful for them.

How to create a sleep routine for our children on the Autism Spectrum, or their typical siblings.

1. Believe that it is possible.
2. Do not start a routine unless you believe that you can follow through with it. Your children will know if you do not intend to keep to the routine.
3. Believe that if you and your child sleeps, then everything else you do for your child during their waking hours will be so much more effective.
4. Pick one and stick to it, do not vary it. This is not about helping your child interact with you, it is about helping your child understand that it is time for bed, that they can put themselves to sleep and sleep through the night.
5. The routine can be anything you want it to be, its up to you, just stick to it.

A sample routine.

1.At 6.30pm the house becomes very calm, the lights are dimmed, click on the link below for the C D “Sleepy Baby” a great CD to play when you want your child to become sleepy. No rough and tumble games are played anymore.
http://www.amazon.com/Music-Babies-Sleepy-Brahms-Mozart/dp/B000068IFD/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1267554900&sr=8-1
2. 6.45-7.15pm – bath time and PJ’s.
3. 7-7.15-7.30 – two stories, one song, and a kiss on the head – then Mom and Dad always leave.

Remember this is just a sample – you can create one with different time lines, and different steps according to what will work for you and your child, the trick is YOU keeping to it.

Blogs to come, “What to do when your child gets up during the night.”
“What to do when your child keeps leaving his room and won’t stay in his bed.”

Here’s to a good night sleep for all.
Love to you and your lovely children
Kate