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Open AccessArticle

The Relationship between Sleep and Cognitive Performance in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): A Pilot Study

Department of Pediatric, King Saud University Medical City, Faculty of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh P.O. 11461, Saudi Arabia
Neuroscience Center, King Fahad Specialist Hospital Dammam, Dammam P.O. 15215, Saudi Arabia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Children 2018, 5(11), 153;
Received: 9 October 2018 / Revised: 11 November 2018 / Accepted: 13 November 2018 / Published: 16 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Global and Public Health)
Background: Sleep concerns are common in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The impact of poor sleep on cognitive performance in ASD children is not well-established. We investigated the possible correlation between sleep quality in ASD children and cognitive performance. The Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB) was administered to examine specific components of non-verbal cognition. Methods: The Children’s Sleep Habits Questionnaire (CSHQ) and actigraphy-measured data from 18 children with diagnosis of ASD were evaluated. Motor planning task (MOT), simple reaction time task (SRT) and the intradimensional/extradimensional shift (IED) of CANTAB were administered. Results: ASD good sleeper (ASD-GS) showed significant better response time for SRT task as compared to ASD poor sleeper (ASD-PS) based on CSHQ score. Parameters of bedtime resistance (r = 0.531, p = 0.023), sleep anxiety (r = 0.474, p = 0.047) from CSHQ and actigrapgy dependent (wake after sleep onset (WASO) (r = 0.430, p = 0.024) were significantly correlate with response time of SRT task. Conclusion: We conclude that some signs reflecting the presence of poor sleep in ASD correlate with various aspects of motor output on non-verbal performance tasks. The question is raised whether poor sleep in non-complaining persons with autism should be treated. View Full-Text
Keywords: cognitive function; sleep; autism; attention cognitive function; sleep; autism; attention
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Al Backer, N.B.; Alzawad, M.; Habibullah, H.; Bashir, S. The Relationship between Sleep and Cognitive Performance in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): A Pilot Study. Children 2018, 5, 153.

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