Sleep Disturbances and Associated Factors in Chinese Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Retrospective and Cross-Sectional Study.


Sleep disturbances in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) exist worldwide, but little is known about this issue in non-Western cultures. This study aimed to characterize sleep disturbances in Chinese children with ASD and to examine associated sociodemographic factors and emotional/behavioral problems. Parents of 60 Chinese children with ASD (aged 6-17 years) from Shenzhen, China completed the Children’s Sleep Habits Questionnaire (CSHQ), and the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). Sleep disturbances were severe and common, with rates of 70.0 % for overall disturbances and 15.0 % (daytime sleepiness) to 40.0 % (sleep duration) for specific domains. The severity and rate of sleep disturbances were higher compared to previous studies in typically developing children from the same region of China and American children with ASD, respectively. Further, there were significant correlations between most CSHQ and SDQ domains. Female gender, older parental age, higher hyperactivity, and poorer prosocial behavior were associated with increased overall sleep disturbances.