Send to

Choose Destination
Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2010 Apr;34(5):755-68. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2009.11.017. Epub 2009 Dec 4.

Circadian rhythms and sleep in children with autism.

Author information

Department of Psychology, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive-0109, 92093 La Jolla, CA, United States.


A growing body of research has identified significant sleep problems in children with autism. Disturbed sleep-wake patterns and abnormal hormone profiles in children with autism suggest an underlying impairment of the circadian timing system. Reviewing normal and dysfunctional relationships between sleep and circadian rhythms will enable comparisons to sleep problems in children with autism, prompt a reexamination of existing literature and offer suggestions for future inquiry. In addition, sleep and circadian rhythms continue to change over the course of development even in typical, healthy humans. Therefore, exploring the dynamic relationship between circadian rhythms and sleep throughout development provides valuable insight into those sleep problems associated with autism. Ultimately, a better understanding of sleep and circadian rhythms in children with autism may help guide appropriate treatment strategies and minimize the negative impact of these disturbances on both the children and their families.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center