Sleep's role in memory consolidation: What can we learn from atypical development?

A. Luongo, A. Lukowski, T. Protho, H. Van Vorce, L. Pisani, J. Edgin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


Research conducted over the last century has suggested a role for sleep in the processes guiding healthy cognition and development, including memory consolidation. Children with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs) tend to have higher rates of sleep disturbances, which could relate to behavior issues, developmental delays, and learning difficulties. While several studies examine whether sleep exacerbates daytime difficulties and attention deficits in children with IDDs, this chapter focuses on the current state of knowledge regarding sleep and memory consolidation in typically developing (TD) groups and those at risk for learning difficulties. In particular, this chapter summarizes the current literature on sleep-dependent learning across developmental disabilities, including Down syndrome, Williams syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Learning Disabilities (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Dyslexia). We also highlight the gaps in the current literature and identify challenges in studying sleep-dependent memory in children with different IDDs. This burgeoning new field highlights the importance of considering the role of sleep in memory retention across long delays when evaluating children's memory processes. Further, an understanding of typical and atypical development can mutually inform recent theories of sleep's role in memory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInterdisciplinary Perspectives on the Relation between Sleep and Learning in Early Development
EditorsSarah E. Berger, Regina T. Harbourne, Anat Scher
PublisherAcademic Press Inc.
Number of pages32
ISBN (Print)9780323851138
StatePublished - Jan 2021

Publication series

NameAdvances in Child Development and Behavior
ISSN (Print)0065-2407


  • ADHD
  • Autism
  • Children
  • Down syndrome
  • Dyslexia
  • Learning
  • Memory
  • Sleep
  • Williams syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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