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Neuropsychobiology. 2004;49(2):64-70.

Asperger syndrome, alexithymia and perception of sleep.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.


Two research traditions, the one on Asperger syndrome (AS) and the other on alexithymia, have produced similar findings independently of each other indicating a possible association between these two phenomena. Both conditions are also associated with impaired initiation and continuity of sleep. Twenty AS adults were compared with 10 healthy controls using the Toronto Alexithymia Scale and the Basic Nordic Sleep Questionnaire. AS subjects were significantly more alexithymic and reported lower sleep quality as compared with controls. AS and alexithymia are associated although the mediating factors are unknown. It is possible that alexithymic traits predispose to anxiety, which in turn lowers the sleep quality in AS adults. Alternatively, low sleep quality might be due to AS itself.

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