Sleep disturbances associated with behavior problems in children with autism

May 02, 2010

Reports have suggested that sleep problems in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are associated with challenging daytime behaviors.

A new study on a large group of youths with ASD confirms these reports and will support the development of treatments for as a way to improve behavior, according to researchers from Autism Speaks' Autism Treatment Network (ATN).

Results of the study, and three others conducted by the ATN, will be presented Sunday, May 2 at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

An estimated one in 110 U.S. children has autism, a group of complex developmental brain disorders that affect behavior, social skills and communication.

The ATN, which includes 14 treatment and research centers in the United States and Canada, enrolls patients ages 2-18 years with a diagnosis of , Asperger's syndrome or pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS).

Parents of children participating in the ATN completed the Children's Sleep Habits Questionnaire and the Child Behavior Checklist. An analysis of 1,056 children found an association between sleep problems and problematic daytime behaviors, especially and anxiety. Children who got less sleep had more emotional problems, and children who had parasomnias, including nightmares, night terrors and sleepwalking, had more overall.

"This study contributes to our understanding of sleep issues and helps us to plan future work addressing more specific symptoms and treatments," said Daniel Coury, MD, medical director of the ATN and professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at The Ohio State University. "A better understanding of the relationship between sleep problems and daytime behavior could lead to more effective treatments for both."

Explore further: Poll: Many doubt hospitals can handle Ebola

Provided by American Academy of Pediatrics

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Prenatal drug exposure linked to sleep problems in children

Jun 10, 2008

In the first study across time into late childhood of the effects of prenatal drug exposure on sleep, prenatal drug exposure is associated with greater sleep problems in children. In addition, nicotine has a unique effect, ...

A good night's sleep even more elusive for anxious children

Apr 22, 2009

Managing routine sleep problems in children can be a testing time for parents as well as being highly stressful for the child. Add a child with anxiety to the mix and a good night’s sleep for everyone can be elusive if ...

Study links ADHD with sleep problems in adolescents

May 01, 2009

A study in the May 1 issue of the journal SLEEP shows that adolescents with a childhood diagnosis of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are more likely to have current and lifetime sleep problems and disorders, regard ...

Recommended for you

Poll: Many doubt hospitals can handle Ebola

1 hour ago

A new poll finds most Americans have some confidence that the U.S. health care system will prevent Ebola from spreading in this country, but they're not so sure their local hospital can safely handle a patient.

Number of Ebola cases nears 10,000

1 hour ago

The number of people with Ebola is set to hit 10,000 in West Africa, the World Health Organization said, as the scramble to find a cure gathered pace.

'Breath test' shows promise for diagnosing fungal pneumonia

2 hours ago

Many different microbes can cause pneumonia, and treatment may be delayed or off target if doctors cannot tell which bug is the culprit. A novel approach—analyzing a patient's breath for key chemical compounds made by the ...

Where Ebola battles are won

11 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Four hospitals that are home to advanced biocontainment facilities have become America's ground zero in the treatment of Ebola patients.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

landa
not rated yet May 08, 2010
One much-complained-of source of bad sleeping experiences is electro-magnetic fields. Gangs in the streets are using EMF weapons to harass selected citizens and their families, something else much-complained-about (e.g. http://www.raven1.net). Maybe this new data will support my view that (re vaccines and autism) there is a synergistic relationship between exposure to electro-magnetic fields and receiving TCV vaccines.
TCV were given out on a name-recorded basis, each baby's name being sent off with the vaccine order. This means the vaccine distributor had access to the name of recipient. This not only enables deliberate targeting by malicious people using the process, it also means any research on adverse vaccine results could easily be skewed by the vaccine sellers, simply by controlling choice of subjects.
Strangely, one such vaccine maker got a special mention in the voluminous (and rushed) post-9/11 legislation in the USA, giving them protection from law proceedings.