ATN/AIR-P Strategies to Improve Sleep in Children with Autism

Many children with autism have difficulty with sleep. This can be stressful for children and their families.

This resource provides parents with strategies to improve sleep in their autistic child

This informational booklet is designed to provide parents with strategies to improve sleep in their child affected by autism. The suggestions in this tool kit are based on both research and clinical experience of sleep experts.

Sections include:

  • Things to keep in mind
  • Provide a comfortable sleep setting
  • Establish regular bedtime habits
  • Simple tips to a better bedtime routine
  • Teach your child to fall asleep alone
  • Encourage behaviors that promote sleep

Sleep Tool Kit Quick Tips

Here are some other ideas that might help improve a child’s sleep. We call them “quick tips” and they may be used in addition to the Sleep Tool Kit. Start by reading the Sleep Tool Kit, then look at these additional ideas for help with:

  • Using a Visual Schedule to Teach Bedtime Routines
  • Images for a Visual Schedule
  • Using a bedtime pass
  • Sleep Tips for Children with Autism who have Limited Verbal Skills

Sleep videos

Bedtime routine


Daytime habits


Related resources

"These materials are the product of on-going activities of the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network, a funded program of Autism Speaks. It is supported by cooperative agreement UA3 MC 11054 through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Research Program to the Massachusetts General Hospital. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the MCHB, HRSA, HHS, or Autism Speaks."

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Our Autism Response Team (ART) is specially trained to connect people with autism, their families, and caretakers to information, tools, and resources.

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