Friday, November 8, 2013

Sleep Patterns in Children with Autism

The Archives of Disease in Childhood published research on longitudinal sleep patterns in 73 children with autism.  Parental reports of sleep duration were collected 8 times from 6 months to 11 years old.  The results indicated the following:
  • from 30 months to 11 years old children with autism sleep 17-43 minutes less than their peers
  • no significant difference was found in sleep patterns from 6-30 months of age
  • the reduction in sleep was due to changes at night not changes during daytime sleep patterns
  • night time sleep duration was shorter due to later bedtimes and earlier wake times
  • frequent waking > 3x/night was seen in children with autism older than 30 months of age
  • age-specific decreases of > 1SD within individuals in sleep duration across adjacent time points was a predictor of ASD between 18 months and 30 months of age and from 30 months to 42 months. 
The researchers concluded that sleep duration is decreased in children with autism from 30 months through 11 years old.  You can read the open access full text article at

Reference:   Sleep patterns in children with autistic spectrum disorders: a prospective cohort study Joanna S Humphreys, Paul Gringras, Peter S Blair, Nicola Scott, John Henderson, Peter J Fleming, Alan M Emond Arch Dis Child archdischild-2013-304083Published Online First: 23 September 2013 doi:10.1136/archdischild-2013-304083

Autism Sleeps™ 

By: Ileana S. McCaigue OTR/L, IMC

Pages: 150 pages Wire-O bound with a full cover

Summary: This printed book is an easy-to-read manual to help people with sensory processing difficulties, such as Autism Spectrum Disorders, achieve an overall healthy sleep experience.

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