Behavioural sleep problems in children and adults with intellectual disabilities: An integrative literature review

Lynette Harper*, Su McAnelly, Ian Walshe, Ann Ooms, Irene M. Tuffrey-Wijne

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
17 Downloads (Pure)


People with intellectual disabilities are more likely to experience sleep problems, which can affect quality of life, physical health, mental health and well-being.

An integrative literature review was conducted to investigate what is known about behavioural sleep disturbances in people with an intellectual disability. The search used the following databases: Scopus, PsycInfo and Cinahl, to find papers published since 2015.

Within intellectual disability research, sleep appears as a common issue due to its high prevalence, negative relationships with an individual's physical and mental health, their quality of life, and impact of sleep problems on family or carers. The growing evidence base appears to support the use of behavioural, lifestyle and pharmacological interventions to improve sleep in people with an intellectual disability.

A wide array of literature provides evidence that people with intellectual disabilities are affected by and need support with their sleep.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities
Early online date12 May 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 May 2023

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