The evidence supporting that children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and their caregivers suffer from increased risk of sleep disturbances is growing. Nonetheless, results are not consistent with regard to prevalence rates and types of sleep disturbances. In particular, the evidence exploring this topic among Arab communities is almost lacking.
Objectives: To describe sleep patterns ASD children and their caregivers compared to non-ASD children.
A case control study has been conducted on 40 ASD children and 40 non-ASD children and their caregivers. Sleep pattern, quality, and disruptions among ASD children have been assessed using a validated and standardized Arabic version of Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), and Children's Sleep Habit Questionnaire (CSHQ).
Overall, the mean PSQI for ASD children was higher compared to non-ASD children (5.0 vs. 4.0; P-value 0.05). Compared to controls, ASD children had lesser duration of sleep (6 vs. 7 hours), and higher incidences of sleep disturbances per month (9 vs. 2). The need to take medication for sleep was 7% among ASD children compared to none among controls. Occurrences of bed-time resistance, sleep-onset delay, parasomnia, and day-time sleepiness were more reported among ASD children. The mean scores for CSHQ were higher among parents of ASD children compared to controls (5.3 vs. 44.5, P-value 0.01).
The study provides suggestive evidence of reduced sleep duration and quality among children with ASD and their caregivers.
See more of: Epidemiology
See more of: Prevalence, Risk factors & Intervention