A common issue in many people with autism is an important thing that everyone in the world needs and is not getting enough of- Sleep! If we don’t get enough sleep, we don’t do well in our daily activities at school or work. As a matter of fact, some experts say the minimum amount of sleep you should be getting a night is 8 hours. Over 10 hours may be too much.
I remember my girlfriend asking me a few times “Do you ever sleep?” and I wish I could tell her yes. I’ve had sleep issues since I was a baby. I also remember my mom telling my psychiatrists that sleeping has always been an issue in my life. I wasn’t a morning person, which is why she had to shake me to get out of bed for school at least 5 times before school. I remember one day I had to miss school because I just couldn’t get out of bed!
When I started college I still lived at home. My mom woke me twice, but then stopped. After all, I was officially an adult and it was time for me to be in control of my schedule, including when I got up. My mom has always encouraged my independence which is a good thing- even if I don’t always admit it.
I have never considered myself a morning person as an adult. When that alarm clock goes off every morning to go work, that snooze button must be hit at least 10 times before I finally have the strength to get out of bed. I know once I’m up and have a cup of coffee, I’m wide awake.
As I have gotten older, my sleeping problem has gotten worse. This is because I’m a night owl. I love staying up to do many things like listen to music, watch YouTube videos, and write articles. I have published with The Mighty, Thought Catalog, Unwritten, Project Wednesday, as well as Organization of Autism Research.
I never want to go to bed! Even now as I write this I know I have to be at work at 8 AM. Tomorrow I will be working a job that deals with the general public!
A problem that I have is that I’m in a long distance relationship and there’s a time difference between us. I love talking to my girlfriend because I love her very much. So I would rather stay up late to talk to her than sleep. (I also wrote a book on how I ended up finding the right one called “Love is Too Hard: The Dating (Mis)Adventures of a Man with Autism” if you want to learn more.)
Your child with Autism can develop this problem and it will be ongoing so be prepared. However, I can tell you as a young adult even with sleep problems they can have a happy and full life - just like mine!
Louis Scarantino is a Self Autism Advocate! He grew up in Northeastern Pennsylvania! Diagnosed with Autism at age 2. He went to college at Luzerne County Community College graduating in 2013 cum laude. His Autism Advocating was inspired by country pop singer Shania Twain. After following his dream of meeting her in 2013 by going on stage with her at a show in Las Vegas, he started pursuing a writing career. He’s now a published author, aspiring motivational speaker, and successful Autism Advocate! Learn more about Louis on his website www.louisscarantino.com!