Embracing Comfort: The Connection Between Autism and Sleeping with a Blanket Over the Head


Sleeping habits vary widely among individuals, and for some autistic people, the choice to sleep with a blanket over the head is more than just a preference—it’s a source of comfort, security, and relaxation. In this blog post, we delve into the reasons behind this common habit, exploring its potential benefits and shedding light on why some children and adults diagnosed with autism find solace in the simplicity of a draped blanket.

Understanding the Blanket Over the Head Phenomenon:

Many parents, caregivers, and individuals within the autism community may have observed the tendency for some autistic children and adults to sleep with a blanket covering their heads. This behavior is not uncommon and is often rooted in a desire for sensory comfort. For many on the autism spectrum, the gentle pressure and cocoon-like feeling created by the blanket provide a sense of security, helping them navigate the challenges of falling and staying asleep.

The Importance of Sensory Comfort:

Individuals with autism often experience heightened sensitivities to sensory stimuli. The feeling of a blanket draped over the head can offer a form of deep pressure, creating a calming effect that assists in relaxation. This is akin to the benefits observed with weighted blankets, which are increasingly recognized for their positive impact on sleep quality among people with autism.

Weighted Blankets and Deep Pressure:

The use of weighted blankets has gained popularity in the autism community due to their ability to provide deep pressure, a sensory input that many individuals find soothing. While not everyone may opt for a weighted blanket, the act of covering the head with any blanket can mimic this calming effect, helping those with autism achieve a more restful night’s sleep.

Comfort as a Coping Mechanism:

Sleeping with a blanket over the head can also serve as a coping mechanism for individuals with autism, especially in environments that may be overstimulating or anxiety-inducing. The blanket creates a personal space, acting as a shield against external stimuli and contributing to a feeling of safety, which is crucial for those on the autism spectrum.

Navigating Challenges:

Parents and caregivers may encounter challenges when addressing this sleeping habit, especially if concerns arise about breathability or safety. It’s essential to strike a balance between respecting an individual’s need for comfort and ensuring their well-being. Consulting with healthcare professionals and specialists in autism can provide valuable insights and personalized strategies.


In the world of autism, where sensory experiences play a significant role, the act of sleeping with a blanket over the head is a tangible expression of seeking comfort and security. Understanding and respecting this behavior can contribute to creating supportive environments that foster better sleep for individuals on the autism spectrum. Whether it’s the gentle pressure, the feeling of a personal cocoon, or the soothing embrace of a weighted blanket, the simple act of covering the head with a blanket holds profound significance for many, offering a pathway to more restful and comforting nights.

By recognizing and embracing the unique sleep preferences of those with autism, we take a step towards promoting inclusivity and understanding within the broader community. After all, a good night’s sleep is a universal aspiration, and accommodating individual needs is a shared responsibility.

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