Sleep Disturbance in Autism.

Children With Autism Sleep Problems and Symptom Severity

Relationships between the specific sleep problems and specific behavioral problems of children with autism were evaluated. Mothers’ reports of sleep habits and autism symptoms were collected for 109 children with autism.

Unlike previous research in this area, only children diagnosed with autism without any commonly comorbid diagnoses (e.g., intellectual disability, epilepsy) were included in the analysis.

Consistent with prior work, a positive correlation between the severity of sleep problems and the severity of autism symptoms was obtained.

Sleep onset delay and sleep duration were positively correlated with autism symptoms and autism severity.

Sleep onset delay was the strongest predictor of communication deficit, stereotyped behavior, and autism severity.

These results provide support for specific sleep problem and symptom relationships that are unique to autism and suggest the importance of including the treatment of sleep problems as part of a comprehensive behavioral intervention for children with autism.


Interesting Readings

Associations of cytokines, sleep patterns, and neurocognitive function in youth with HIV infection.

Youth infected with HIV at birth often have sleep disturbances, neurocognitive deficits, and abnormal psychosocial function which are associated with and possibly resulted from elevated blood cytokine levels that may lead to a decreased quality of life.

To identify molecular pathways that might be associated with these disorders, we evaluated 38 HIV-infected and 35 uninfected subjects over 18-months for intracellular cytokine levels, sleep patterns and duration of sleep, and neurodevelopmental abilities. HIV infection was significantly associated with

alterations of intracellular pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IFN-γ, IL-12),

sleep factors (total time asleep and daytime sleep patterns), and

neurocognitive factors (parent and patient reported problems with socio-emotional, behavioral, and executive functions; working memory-mental fatigue; verbal memory; and sustained concentration and vigilance.

By better defining the relationships between HIV infection, sleep disturbances, and poor psychosocial behavior and neurocognition, it may be possible to provide targeted pharmacologic and procedural interventions to improve these debilitating conditions.


Sleep and Inflammatory Pathways


Regulatory Effect of Melatonin on Cytokine Disturbances in the Pristane-Induced Lupus Mice

The relationship between sleep problems and daytime behavior in children of different ages with autism spectrum disorders.

Sleep in children with autism spectrum disorder.

Potential opposite roles of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) pathway in autism spectrum and bipolar disorders.

Melatonin for sleep in children with autism: a controlled trial examining dose, tolerability, and outcomes.

Supplemental melatonin improved sleep latency, as measured by actigraphy, in most children at 1 or 3 mg dosages. It was effective in week 1 of treatment, maintained effects over several months, was well tolerated and safe, and showed improvement in sleep, behavior, and parenting stress. Our findings contribute to the growing literature on supplemental melatonin for insomnia in ASD and inform planning for a large randomized trial in this population.

This entry was posted in Autism, co-morbid, Environment, Immune System, Neurology, Physiology, Treatment and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Sleep Disturbance in Autism.

  1. Pingback: What do Epilepsy, Autism, Hormones, Sleep, Music, Meditation, Exercise have in common? The Hippocampus and Neurogenesis. | epilepsy me and neurology

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