(Scroll down to see the full list of articles in this special report.)
Many people are aware of autism’s core features — the unusual social interactions, the repetitive behaviors and restricted interests. Less appreciated are the problems people on the spectrum have getting a good night’s sleep. Many of them have trouble falling asleep, or wake up too early or for extended periods during the night. For the people on the spectrum who confront these problems, sleep doesn’t seem like a sidelight.
That’s why we’ve put the issue front and center in this special report on autism and sleep.
In various op-eds, scientists describe the behavioral consequences of lack of sleep, the role that electronic devices might play in disrupting sleep, and why it’s so difficult to study sleep in people with autism. Our news reports discuss the connection between autism and the body’s biological clock, and the importance of accounting for sleep in autism research.
The report also features tales of sleep deprivation from people on the spectrum and their families. And it spells out solutions. “How to get children with autism to sleep” details simple behavioral strategies that can help children with autism get the rest they need.
Our Spectrum Stories podcast features the voices of sleep researchers as well as those who are sleepless on the spectrum. And in a video newscast, the “Inside Scoop From the Autism Anchors: Sleep on the spectrum,” two scientists showcase the latest research on sleep and autism. We wish you, our readers, a good night’s sleep.