Many children with autism struggle with sleep. In fact, we’ve heard countless horror stories from parents.
There was the child who used to bite and tear at their mattress every night. Then there was a little boy whose parents found him playing under a tree in the backyard early in the morning—after turning on the burners to the stove. And then there was the toddler who used to slam his head against his bedroom walls so hard, you could hear the noise from outside.
But a safety bed can change all of that.
A safety bed is soft enough for cozy sleeping but strong enough to withstand regular use from children with special needs. A safety bed is secure enough to keep your child in their room all night long. And a safety bed is padded to protect your child during outbursts or even seizures.
To understand why safety beds are so impactful, let’s first explore how autism impacts sleep—and then we’ll explain why a sleep safe bed is so important for children with special needs.
Autism’s Impact on Sleep
You’ll find extensive research on autism and sleep, but here’s what you should know: Autism negatively impacts the sleep patterns of 40-80% of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and some of the biggest reasons include:
- Trouble relaxing or winding down at the end of the day – This is extremely common among children with ASD.
- Irregular melatonin levels – Melatonin is an important sleep hormone, and many children with autism have low melatonin levels
- Anxiety – About half of children and adults with autism suffer from high levels of anxiety, and this can make sleep challenging at the end of the day.
- Epilepsy – Seizures can hamper sleep, which can in turn lead to additional seizures.
- Sensory issues – Children with autism may become overwhelmed by noises, scents, and touch, including the feeling from the fabric of their pajamas or bed sheets.
- Night wandering (elopement) – Nearly half of children with autism regularly climb out of bed in the middle of the night, often leading to wandering around the house or even the outdoors.
Fortunately, a safety bed can lead to incredible results. For evidence, check out this testimonial from a parent whose child uses The Safety Sleeper®, a fully enclosed safety bed:
“My four year old daughter is severely autistic and was engaging in unsafe behaviors during the night. She climbed on furniture and tore down three sets of window treatments. We striped her bedroom of everything but a mattress. Then she climbed the gate we had on her door and she got out of her room in the middle of the night. The Safety Sleeper® has provided us with peace of mind that my daughter will stay safe throughout the night. She is sleeping very soundly in The Safety Sleeper® and we are sleeping sounder too.”
It’s something we hear all the time in testimonials for The Safety Sleeper®: The Safety Sleeper® helps children fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and achieve restorative sleep!
How A Safety Bed Can Help Your Child With Autism Sleep Better
Here are a few of the ways a safety bed can improve the quality of sleep your child gets every night:
1. A safety bed provides a safe, secure location for sleeping.
Most safety beds have four walls, and some are even fully enclosed, meaning they also have a roof. These design features are important for preventing night wandering (which we’ll discuss in greater detail in a moment), but they can also create a greater sense of security for the child.
Plus, the enclosed nature of a safety bed can also dampen ambient noise and light—which is ideal since many children with autism are sensitive to both.
And, as we mentioned earlier, many parents who’ve used The Safety Sleeper® for their children report the fully enclosed bed helps their children fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
2. A safety bed encourages sleep and prevents wandering.
A safety bed prevents your child from crawling out of bed, wandering the house, or even slipping outside—all of which can quickly turn dangerous.
As previously mentioned, we’ve heard endless horror stories of children innocently engaging in dangerous acts unsupervised after slipping out of their bedroom in the middle of the night.
3. A safety bed removes and prevents distractions.
A fully enclosed safety bed keeps your child separated from many of the distractions that could prevent them from sleeping.
For example, if your child has a favorite room in the house they love to go to or a toy they love to jump out of bed to play with, the fully enclosed bed will keep them in bed until it’s time to wake up in the morning.
4. A safety bed can lower anxiety.
For many children with autism spectrum disorder, the enclosed and isolated design of a safety bed can remove annoying distractions and reduce overall anxiety levels.
We know some children who even like to play and relax in their enclosed safety bed throughout the day, as it provides a peaceful refuge. Even better: We’ve even heard some children refer to The Safety Sleeper® as their “safe place” from the rest of the world!
Order Your Safety Bed: The Safety Sleeper®
The Safety Sleeper®, a fully enclosed safety bed, is specifically designed to help children with special needs sleep better.
In fact, our founder started Abram’s Nation after custom building her first enclosed bed for her son, Abram, who has autism spectrum disorder! Learn more about Autism and The Safety Sleeper® for a long list of helpful resources.