Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 46, Issue 6, pp 1906–1915

Sleep and Behavioral Problems in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder


    • Department of Health Psychology, Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental DisordersUniversity of Missouri
  • Kristin Sohl
    • Department of Child Health, Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental DisordersUniversity of Missouri
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10803-016-2723-7

Cite this article as:
Mazurek, M.O. & Sohl, K. J Autism Dev Disord (2016) 46: 1906. doi:10.1007/s10803-016-2723-7


Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are at high risk for sleep disturbance and behavioral dysregulation. However, the relationships between these difficulties are not fully understood. The current study examined the relationships between specific types of sleep and behavioral problems among 81 children with ASD. Sleep problems were significantly associated with physical aggression, irritability, inattention, and hyperactivity. In multivariate analyses, distinct sets of sleep problems accounted for between 22 and 32 % of the variance in behavior problems across models. These results indicate that sleep disturbance is associated with behavioral dysregulation among children with ASD. Of note, night awakenings had the most consistently strong association with daytime behavior problems, even after controlling for the effects of age and sex.


AutismAutism spectrum disorderSleepAggressionHyperactivityInattentionBehavior problems

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016