Over 50 to 80 per cent of children with autism spectrum disorder have either difficulty in falling asleep and/or staying asleep through the night. They may take hours to go to sleep, or get up in the middle of the night and start crying or playing. Inadequate sleep at night can cause behavioural challenges, irritability, hyperactivity, and it can interfere with learning and decrease the overall quality of life.
Sleep disorder happens more often in children having restricted and repetitive behaviours (rocking, hand-flapping etc), with anxiety, or sensory problems. These problems should be addressed by an expert.