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Common ADHD Sleep Issues

Children with ADHD are More Prone to a Range of Sleep Problems

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a behavioral condition that commonly arises during childhood. Children with ADHD often struggle to sit still, pay attention and share with their peers. They may also experience trouble getting to sleep and staying asleep. This can lead to chronic sleep deprivation that can then worsen existing symptoms of ADHD.

ADHD and Sleep Disorders

Although sleep problems can affect children of any age, they are more common in children with ADHD. Research reveals that kids with ADHD are more prone to a range of sleep problems, including:

  • Insomnia and ADHD: Children with ADHD often experience racing thoughts, which may prevent them from falling asleep. When they do eventually fall asleep, they might not be able to stay asleep for as long as they would like. Other sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, a pattern of repeated breathing pauses during sleep characterized by symptoms such as snorting, snoring and gasping for breath, may contribute to their inability to sleep soundly. In turn, these issues may cause daytime sleepiness, which can worsen behavioral issues.
  • Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome: Children with ADHD are more likely to suffer from delayed sleep phase syndrome (DSPS), a disorder in which the timing of the body’s internal sleep cycle is misaligned relative to the environment and does not match the typical sleep window of most children. DSPS causes children to be unable to fall asleep until late at night or early in the morning. This inevitably causes difficulty waking; children may sleep through several alarms, as well as resist human interventions to get them out of bed. When they do wake, they may be irritable, even aggressive, and may not show signs of full alertness until midday.
  • Restless Leg Syndrome: Studies show a link between restless legs syndrome (RLS) and ADHD. Restless legs syndrome is a condition that causes involuntary jerking movements in the limbs. RLS can cause sleep disruption and lead to daytime sleepiness.

Dealing with Sleep Disorders in Children with ADHD

Research suggests that up to 70% of kids with ADHD suffer from sleep problems, so it is important to be attentive to the symptoms of poor sleep and raise any concerns with your child’s health care provider as soon as possible. If your child suffers from sleep problems, he or she may require prompt and continual care from a health care provider. Treatment will allow your child to get more rest and may even reduce some of his or her behavioral symptoms.

If your child with a learning or behavioral disorder struggles to fall and stay asleep, we invite you to consider The Brain Balance Program.  Once we determine which of your child’s brain processes are under-developed through our comprehensive assessment process, we create a customized plan to improve neural connections and lay the foundation for proper brain development. Contact us today to learn more!

Enjoy These Related Articles:
Listen as Dr. Melillo Discusses ADHD and Sleep Problems
8 Sleep Tips for Kids with ADHD
Teen Sleep Deprivation

Disclaimer: The information presented on this web site is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. All information is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment of specific medical conditions. Discuss this information with your healthcare provider to determine what is right for you and your family.

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