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By Robert Preidt
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, January 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) – A recent study suggests that shallower brain waves than normal may play a role in serious sleep problems in children with autism.

Previous research has shown that between 40% and 80% of children with autism have trouble sleeping, such as problems falling asleep or waking up frequently during the night and getting up early. These problems can be important challenges for children and their families.

Identifying the causes of these sleep disorders is an important step in finding ways to relieve them, according to researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel.

For the study, the researchers recorded the brain activity of 29 children with autism and 23 children without autism during a full night's sleep.

"For the first time, we found that children with more severe sleep problems showed brain activity that indicated a more superficial and superficial sleep," said study leader Ilan Dinstein, head of the National Autism Research Center in Israel.

Normal sleep begins with periods of deep sleep marked by slow brain waves of great amplitude, the study authors explained in a university press release.

But this study found that the brain waves of children with autism are, on average, 25% weaker (less deep) than those of children without autism.

That indicates that children with autism have trouble sleeping deeply, the most crucial aspect of achieving rest and rejuvenation, according to the report recently published in the magazine. Sleep.

The next step is to determine ways to promote deeper sleep and larger brain waves in children with autism, the researchers said.

This could include increased physical activity, behavioral therapy and drug treatment, such as medical cannabis, the team suggested.

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SOURCE: Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, press release, January 7, 2020

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