Although adult patients with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often have sleep problems, few studies have verified the effect of a psychological approach specific to sleep–wake rhythms on these sleep disturbances. Therefore, the aim of this pilot study was to develop a trans-diagnostic approach with sleep scheduling and regularity of sleep duration as core modules, and to examine the effect of the intervention in adult ADHD and/or ASD subjects with sleep disturbances. This was a within-group pilot study. Ten patients with adult ADHD and/or ASD with sleep disturbances (10 males, age: 27.4 ± 5.6 years) took part in a 90-min weekly group intervention for 5 weeks. All participants were assessed on scales for sleep complaints, anxiety, depression, and symptoms of ADHD and ASD before and after the intervention, and at 3-month follow-up. The results showed that the intervention significantly improved sleep disturbances at post-intervention (p = 0.003, d = 1.30, 95% CI 0.31–2.28) and at the 3-month follow-up (p = 0.035, d = 0.41, 95% CI − 0.48 to 1.30). In addition, attention switching for ASD symptoms was significantly reduced post-intervention (p = 0.031, d = 1.16, 95% CI 0.19–2.13). This is the first pilot study of a trans-diagnostic group approach for adult ADHD and/or ASD with sleep disturbances. The intervention primarily led to an improvement of sleep disturbances, followed by improvement of disease-specific symptoms in adult subjects with ADHD and ASD.
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