Sleep Problems In Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder (asd)

Sleep Disorders in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Although research suggests that children with ASD have a high rate of sleep problems, even when adjusted for other mental health problems, the lack of longitudinal data and population based studies has limited our ability to understand the complex relationship between co-occurring emotional and behavioral problems and sleep difficulties in this group of children. In order to examine the need for increased sleep health care in children with ASD, sleep problems should be longitudinally studied in a total population setting. This approach allows researchers to examine potential risk factors and assess the development of sleep problems over time, as well as plan for early prevention and identification. A recent longitudinally-based study published in the journal Autism examined the prevalence and chronicity of sleep problems in children with problems believed to be typical of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This large Norwegian study followed 3700 children from ages 7-9 to 11-13. The children were assessed for autistic symptoms, sleep problems, and emotional and behavioral problems.
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The data was drawn from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), an annual survey conducted by the CDC. 7 tips for the best sleep ever Six percent of men and 3% of women had received a sleep apnea diagnosis, the survey found, while 7% of men and 4% of women reported breathing problems on at least five nights per week. Depression was assessed using a standard questionnaire that asked how often during the past two weeks the participants had “little interest or pleasure in doing things” or felt “down, depressed or hopeless,” for instance. Five percent of men and 8% of women had scores indicating “probable” depression, according to the researchers. A complicating factor is that the effects of depression and sleep apnea can be difficult to distinguish, says psychiatrist Michael Weissberg, M.D., co-director of the insomnia and sleep disorders clinic at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, in Denver. “There probably is an important connection between depression and sleep apnea, but it’s hard to sort out who has what,” Weissberg says.
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Sleep disorder multiplies depression risk

A 1/3 misdiagnosis rate is enough of a reason to look more closely for sleep disorders. In those who didn’t have primary sleep disorders, just under 90% met the criteria for at least one measurable sleep problem. Researchers identified four different groups based on sleep abnormalities. They were: Group 1: Slower to get to sleep, delayed Rapid Eye Movement (REM), lower percentages of stage 2 and REM sleep; Group 2: More frequent awakenings; Group 3: Longer total sleep time, less delayed REM sleep, higher percentage of REM sleep, lower percentage of wake time; Group 4: Shortest total sleep time, highest percentage of wake time after sleep onset.
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