If you are a member of the network, please log in to access Network content and tools. If you do not have a username, contact your site principal investigator or site coordinator and request that they complete a membership request for you. If you have forgotten your password, you may CLICK HERE.


You are here

Sleep in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders: How Are Measures of Parent Report and Actigraphy Related and Affected by Sleep Education?

TitleSleep in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders: How Are Measures of Parent Report and Actigraphy Related and Affected by Sleep Education?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsVeatch, OJ, Reynolds, AM, Katz, TF, Weiss, SK, Loh, A, Wang, L, Malow, BA
JournalBehavioral Sleep Medicine
Date Published2015 Nov 30

Sleep disturbance is common in children with autism, resulting in a great need for effective treatments. To evaluate treatments for sleep disturbance in this population, it is critical to understand the relationship between measures of sleep captured by parent report and objective measures. The Children's Sleep Habits Questionnaire (CSHQ) and actigraphy-measured data from 80 children with autism and sleep-onset delay were evaluated. Reported problems with sleep-onset delay were concurrent with sleep duration problems in 66% of children, night wakings in 72% of children, and bedtime resistance in 66% of children; 38% of children were reported to have problems with all CSHQ insomnia domains. Actigraphy-measured sleep duration was correlated with estimates using CSHQ-reported bed and wake times.


Lead Authors
Olivia J. Veatch and Beth A. Malow

Study Aims/Objectives
To determine how measurements of sleep problems (both objective and parent reported) in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are related and change with sleep education interventions.

Methods - Sample, Procedure, Study Measures, Analysis
This study included 80 individuals ages 2-10 years who have both an ASD diagnosis and trouble falling asleep. Parents of these children completed surveys on their child’s sleep habits, and their answers were compared prior to and after sleep education. Additionally, these responses were compared to data from activity monitors worn by the children as they slept.

Results – Main Finding(s)
Troubles falling asleep was the most reported sleep problem. 74% of reported problems with falling asleep were reduced with sleep education. Calculated sleep length during the night slightly increased with sleep education (average of 584 mins before and 589 after education). Parent-reported and monitor-measured bedtimes and waketimes became more aligned after sleep education.

Conclusion – Summary Statement
Both parent report and measurements from activity monitors were shown to provide useful information in assessing problems related to falling asleep in children with ASD. In instances where objective measurements of sleep duration are not possible, parental reports may be used. Sleep education helped to better align objective measures and those from parent reports.

Alternate JournalBehav Sleep Med
PubMed ID26619899
Grant ListUL1 TR000445 / TR / NCATS NIH HHS / United States