Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Rev Neurol. 2001 Apr 1-15;32(7):641-4.

[Sleep in infantile autism].

[Article in Spanish]

Author information

  • 1Servicio de Neurofisiología Clínica, Hospital Universitario Miguel Servet, Zaragoza, España.



Analysis of nocturnal sleep in infantile autism has been presented in various studies. However, there has been no systematization including the different structural and paroxystic alterations at the same time as permitting the development of a general theory of the effect of sleep on prognosis and treatment, particularly in a spectrum in which there is currently no definite solution.


A systematic review was made of the literature obtained from publications included in MEDLINE and web pages of the last 25 years using the key words: autism, Asperger's disorder, sleep, childhood and Rett's syndrome. Altogether 21 papers fulfllled criteria for inclusion. Disorders of sleep in infantile autism were classified into three types: immaturity of sleep, showing a destructured polysomnographic recording and negative correlation with the level of development; functional alterations of sleep with early waking and difficulty in going to sleep being the disorders most frequently seen; and paroxystic alterations with epileptiform discharges being the commonest, without necessarily occurring together with seizures. The opinions stated on questionnaires and the data observed on the polysomnography were not in agreement.


Analysis of the literature has permitted us to make an initial classification of sleep disorders in autistic children, and has shown a marked presence of these disorders in the evolution of autistic children. It is necessary that further studies being done, polysomnographic rather than by means of questionnaires, for two reasons: clinical and in order to obtain more precise classification.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk