The impact of the physical activity intervention on sleep in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Xiao LIANG, Justin A. HAEGELE, Choi Yeung Andy TSE, Minghui LI, Hui ZHANG, Shi ZHAO, Shirley Xin LI

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

Abstract

Pharmacological treatments (i.e., melatonin) and non-pharmacological therapies (e.g., parent-based sleep education programs and behavioural interventions) have been found to result in improved sleep in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, there are several limitations to these treatment approaches, including concerns about the possible side-effects and safety, high-cost and uncertainties of long-term effects. Physical activity (PA) intervention is a promising behavioural intervention that has received increasing attention. However, the effects of PA intervention on sleep are still unclear in this clinical group. This study aimed to synthesize available empirical studies concerning the effects of PA interventions on sleep in children and adolescents with ASD. Following PRISMA guidelines, seven electronic databases: APA PsychInfo, CINAHL Ultimate, ERIC, MEDLINE, PubMed, SPORTDiscus, and Web of Science, were searched from inception to March 2023. Randomized controlled trials/quasi-experimental designs with comparison groups were included. Initially, 444 articles were identified, 13 articles underwent systematic review, and 8 studies with control groups and sufficient statistical data were selected for meta-analysis. Compared to no-treatment control groups, PA interventions had a large positive effect on parent-reported general sleep problems, night awakenings, sleep resistance, sleep duration and actigraphy-assessed sleep efficiency in children and adolescents with ASD. Copyright © 2024 Elsevier Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101913
JournalSleep Medicine Reviews
Volume74
Early online dateFeb 2024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024

Citation

Liang, X., Haegele, J. A., Tse, A. C.-Y., Li, M., Zhang, H., Zhao, S., & Li, S. X. (2024). The impact of the physical activity intervention on sleep in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Sleep Medicine Reviews, 74, Article 101913. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.smrv.2024.101913

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