Examining the behavioural sleep-wake rhythm in adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder and no comorbid intellectual disability Academic Article uri icon


  • This study aimed to examine the behavioural sleep-wake rhythm in 36 adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and to determine the prevalence of circadian sleep-wake rhythm disorders compared to age- and sex-matched controls. Participants completed an online questionnaire battery, a 14-day sleep-wake diary and 14-day actigraphy assessment. The results indicated that a higher proportion of adults with ASD met criteria for a circadian rhythm sleep-wake disorder compared to control adults. In particular, delayed sleep-wake phase disorder was particularly common in adults with ASD. Overall the findings suggest that individuals with ASD have sleep patterns that may be associated with circadian rhythm disturbance; however factors such as employment status and co-morbid anxiety and depression appear to influence their sleep patterns.

publication date

  • 2017