The association among demographic factors, health behaviors and sleep quality in youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Background A majority of youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have disrupted sleep patterns, but there has been limited research examining factors associated with sleep in this population. Objective: The objective of this study was to compare demographic and lifestyle behaviors with sleep quality in youth with ASD. Methods: A total of 49 children (12.44 years; 78% male) with ASD wore the Actigraph GT9X accelerometer over seven days and nights to assess moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA), sedentary behavior (SB), total sleep duration, and sleep efficiency. Parents reported their child’s weekly amount of screen time and demographic information. Participants were classified according to whether they met sleep criteria for duration and efficiency (8–9 h of sleep duration and ≥85% sleep efficiency). T-tests and ANOVA were used to compare demographic and lifestyle factors between the groups. Results: Participants who meet both sleep duration and efficiency criteria had greater minutes of MVPA per day (113.65 min/day) than participants who only met sleep efficiency criteria (40.27 min/day) and participants who did not meet either sleep criteria (67.5 min/day; p < 0.0001). Additionally, participants who met both sleep criteria had fewer minutes of SB compared to those who only met sleep efficiency criteria (384.79 vs 526.05 min/day; p = 0.02). Conclusions: Youth who had indicators of good sleep quality had greater amounts of MVPA and lower amounts of SB. Studies should further examine the relationship between sleep and health behaviors in youth with ASD to determine causal mechanisms, leading to more effective sleep interventions.
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES::Social sciences::Social work::Disability research
Garcia, J. M., Leahy, N., Rivera, P., Brazendale, K., & Rice, D. J. (2020). The association among demographic factors, health behaviors and sleep quality in youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Disability and Health Journal, 13(3). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dhjo.2019.100885