Objective To investigate the sleep-related problems of autistic children. Methods Thirty two autistic patients who received medical treatment in the Department of Pediatrics of Xinqiao Hospital and 37 matched healthy children who attend in kindergarten of Xin-qiao hospital were investigated by the Children' s Sleep Habits Questionaire (CSHQ), all of whose age ranged from 2.5 to 5 years old. Results The amount of sleep of autistic children was less than that of normal children (P < 0.05). In the CSHQ, there was no signifi-cant difference of the total score between autistic children and normal children (P > 0.05). There were signifi-cant differences of the subscale scores, such as sleep duration, night waking and daytime sleepiness between autistic children and normal children aged from 2.5 to 3 (P < 0.05). Significant differences were found in the subscale scores of sleep latency, sleep duration, night waking and daytime sleepiness of autistic children aged from 3 to 5 compared with normal children at the same age (P < 0.05). Conclusion Compared with normal children at the same age, autistic children aged from 2.5 to 5 have less amount of sleep and more serious prob-lems in sleep duration, night waking and daytime sleepiness.