Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Sleep problems in children with autism spectrum disorder

Chen H, Yang T, Chen J, Chen L, Dai Y, Zhang J, Li L, Jia F, Wu L, Hao Y, Ke X, Yi M, Hong Q, Chen J, Fang S, Wang Y, Wang Q, Jin C, Li T. Sleep problems in children with autism spectrum disorder: a multicenter survey. BMC Psychiatry. 2021 Aug 16;21(1):406. doi: 10.1186/s12888-021-03405-w. PMID: 34399715; PMCID: PMC8365936.


Background: High prevalence of sleep problems have been reported in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This study aims to investigate the sleep conditions of ASD children in China, and explore the relationship between the common sleep problems and core symptoms and developmental levels.

Methods: Using a cross-sectional design, we included 2 to 7-year-old children from 13 cities in China: 1310 with ASD and 1158 with typically-developing (TD) children. The neurodevelopmental level was evaluated with the revised Children Neuropsychological and Behavior Scale (CNBS-R2016). ASD were diagnosed with DSM-5 and Child Autism Rating Scale (CARS). the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS), the Autism Behavior Checklist (ABC) and the communication warning behavior sub-scale in CNBS-R2016 valued autism behaviors. The children' s sleep habits questionnaire (CSHQ) assessed sleep conditions.

Results: The prevalence of sleep disorders in ASD children was significantly higher than that in TD (67.4% vs. 51%, p < 0.01), and among them the four dimensions with the highest prevalence of sleep problems were bedtime resistance (25.6%), sleep anxiety (22.7%), sleep onset delay (17.9%) and daytime sleepiness (14.7%). ASD children with sleep onset delay or sleep anxiety had higher ABC, SRS scores and higher scores on communication warning behavior with sleep anxiety, with daytime sleepiness had higher ABC, SRS and CARS scores, and with bedtime resistance had higher SRS total scores. Differences in the neurodevelopmental level were not significant.

Conclusion: Children with ASD have a higher prevalence of sleep problems. Bedtime resistance, anxiety, sleep onset delay and daytime sleepiness may be related to the core symptoms, but not be related to the developmental level in ASD children. In the clinic, sleep assessment should be included in the routine of ASD visits, and during the intervention, sleep hygiene education is as important as the treatment of biological factors.

Courtesy of:  https://www.mdlinx.com/journal-summary/sleep-problems-in-children-with-autism-spectrum-disorder-a-multicenter-survey/zGTIV9u57yW9XVpaUVUPR


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