Friday, October 9, 2015

A potpourri on autism and sleep

Courtesy of:

Herrmann S. Counting Sheep: Sleep Disorders in Children With Autism Spectrum
Disorders. J Pediatr Health Care. 2015 Aug 22. pii: S0891-5245(15)00230-8. doi:
10.1016/j.pedhc.2015.07.003. [Epub ahead of print]



This article will discuss the prevalence and types of sleep disorders experienced by children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), the risk factors for the development of sleep disorders among children with ASDs, the impact of sleep disorders on children with ASDs, and the role of the primary care provider (PCP) in diagnosing and treating sleep disorders among children with ASDs.


Review of published literature on the topic.


Children with ASDs are at risk for the development of chronic sleep disorders, which can have a negative impact on behavior. Both behavioral and pharmacological interventions exist for the treatment of sleep disorders among children with ASDs, with supplemental melatonin being the most widely studied and proven treatment.


PCPs will care for children with ASDs. Therefore, it is vital for PCPs to be knowledgeable about this topic and to promptly assess for and manage sleep disorders among children with ASDs.

Singh K, Zimmerman AW. Sleep in Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention Deficit
Hyperactivity Disorder. Semin Pediatr Neurol. 2015 Jun;22(2):113-25.


Sleep problems are common in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Sleep problems in these disorders may not only worsen daytime behaviors and core symptoms of ASD and ADHD but also contribute to parental stress levels. Therefore, the presence of sleep problems in ASD and ADHD requires prompt attention and management. This article is presented in 2 sections, one each for ASD and ADHD. First, a detailed literature review about the burden and prevalence of different types of sleep disorders is presented, followed by the pathophysiology and etiology of the sleep problems and evaluation and management of sleep disorders in ASD and ADHD.

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