Insomnia and Autism Fuel a Vicious Cycle

July 13, 2015

Insomnia is the predominant sleep disorder seen in autism spectrum disorder. The deficits of each condition compound those of the other.

Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder seen in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Because the behavioral aspects of ASD are so disruptive, focus on them may lead parents and professionals to overlook sleep disturbances, which may actually make the behaviors worse. Get an update on up-to-date thinking about causes, screening tools, and management in the short slide show above.   

References:

1. Veatch OJ, Goldman SE, Adkins KW, et al. Melatonin in children with autism spectrum disorders: how does the evidence fit together? J Nat Sci. 2015;1(7):e125.

2. Jeste SS. The neurology of autism spectrum disorders. Curr Opin Neurol. 2011;24:132-9. doi: 10.1097/WCO.0b013e3283446450.

3. Malow BA, Byars K, Johnson K, et al. A practice pathway for the identification, evaluation, and management of insomnia in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders. Pediatrics. 2012;130(Suppl 2):S106-24. doi: 10.1542/peds.2012-0900I.

4. Wright B, Sims D, Smart S, et al. Melatonin versus placebo in children with autism spectrum conditions and severe sleep problems not amenable to behaviour management strategies: a randomised controlled crossover trial. J Autism Dev Disord. 2011 Feb;41(2):175-84. doi: 10.1007/s10803-010-1036-5.