Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 38, Issue 10, pp 1888–1897 | Cite as

An Investigation of Sleep Characteristics, EEG Abnormalities and Epilepsy in Developmentally Regressed and Non-regressed Children with Autism

  • Flavia Giannotti
  • Flavia Cortesi
  • Antonella Cerquiglini
  • Daniela Miraglia
  • Cristina Vagnoni
  • Teresa Sebastiani
  • Paola Bernabei
Original Paper


This study investigated sleep of children with autism and developmental regression and the possible relationship with epilepsy and epileptiform abnormalities. Participants were 104 children with autism (70 non-regressed, 34 regressed) and 162 typically developing children (TD). Results suggested that the regressed group had higher incidence of circadian rhythm disorders than non-regressed children. The regressed group showed higher Children’s Sleep Habits Questionnaire Bedtime Resistance, Sleep Onset Delay, Sleep Duration and Night-Wakings scores. Epilepsy and frequent epileptiform EEG abnormalities were more frequent in regressed children. Past sleep disorders and a history of developmental regression were significantly associated with sleep disorders. This study is an initial step in better understanding sleep problems in regressed children with autism, further studies are necessary to better investigate these aspects.


Sleep Child Autism Developmental regression Epilepsy EEG abnormalities 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Flavia Giannotti
    • 1
  • Flavia Cortesi
    • 1
  • Antonella Cerquiglini
    • 2
  • Daniela Miraglia
    • 2
  • Cristina Vagnoni
    • 2
  • Teresa Sebastiani
    • 2
  • Paola Bernabei
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Developmental Neurology & Psychiatry, Center of Pediatric Sleep DisordersUniversity of Rome “La Sapienza”RomeItaly
  2. 2.Department of Developmental Neurology & Psychiatry, Autism-PDD ClinicUniversity of Rome “La Sapienza”RomeItaly

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