Sleep and Cognition in People with Autism Spectrum Condition: A Systematic Literature Review

Aaron Shaw, Truc Nguyen Thanh Do, Lesley Harrison, Magda Marczak, Dagmara Dimitriou, Anna Joyce

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
125 Downloads (Pure)


Sleep disturbances have been found to increase severity of core autism spectrum disorder (ASD) symptoms such as social and communication difficulties and repetitive behaviours. However, very little is known about the impact of sleep on cognitive functioning in ASD. A systematic literature search identified fifteen original studies meeting inclusion and quality assessment criteria. Inter-rater reliability was strong (kappa=0.73). Multiple cognitive functions were negatively affected by sleep disturbances in ASD. This had a significant impact on daily functioning, as well as impacting families/carers. Possible sleep interventions include behavioural/cognitive training, pharmacological treatment, and sensory interventions. Combining objective and subjective sleep measures would help in early diagnosis, which may contribute towards developing interventions to help those with ASD as well as carers and families.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)416-426
Number of pages11
JournalReview Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Issue number3
Early online date14 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022

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  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Sleep
  • Cognitive functioning
  • systematic literature review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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