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Autism Channel
Reported October 3, 2013

Autistic Kids Have Poorer Sleep Quality

(Ivanhoe Newswire) –New research shows that total sleep duration is shorter and punctuated by more frequent waking at night in autistic children.  Researchers say that poor quality sleep may affect daytime learning and behavior. 

Study authors base their findings on long term data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, which has been tracking the health and development of more than 14,000 children. All the parents were questioned about their children’s sleeping patterns when their kids were 6, 18, 30, 42, 69, 81, 115, and 140 months old, including when their children routinely went to bed and woke up on week days, and how much time they spent sleeping during the daytime.  The final analysis was based on 39 children with autistic spectrum disorders and 7,043 typical children who completed data across all time points were available.

Researchers found that before the age of 30 months, there was no major difference in sleeping patterns between the two groups of children. However, from 30 months onwards, children with autistic spectrum disorders tended to sleep less in total, with the greatest discrepancy (43 minutes) persisting up to 140 months of age.

For more information, go to: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/news/2013/9804.html

SOURCE: BMJ-British Medical Journal, October 2013

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