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Sleep problems common in children with AS

Children with Asperger syndrome (AS) are more likely to have sleep disorders than other children, a study shows.

Experts examined the daytime and nighttime sleep patterns of 8 children with AS, 10 with autism and 12 healthy children.

Children were also examined on the Autism Diagnostic Observational Schedule and assessed through a child behaviour checklist.

Results show that half of children with AS were reluctant to go to bed, while 85% had difficulty getting to sleep at night.

Another 50% of children with AS felt unrefreshed in the morning and 87% felt sleepy during the day.

Children with AS had a slower cyclic alternating pattern (CAP) than healthy children.

Experts say that children in preschool should sleep 11-13 hours a night and should encourage parents to set a consistent bedtime and not let their children fall asleep while being rocked, held, fed or nursed.

American Academy of Sleep Medicine