Monday, May 18, 2009

Study Links ADHD to Sleep Problems in Older Children & Teens

A study in the journal Sleep examines sleep problems in older children and teens with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

Results show that older children and teens are more likely to have a variety of sleep problems if they were diagnosed with ADHD when they were younger. These problems include
insomnia, sleep terrors, nightmares, bruxism and snoring.

Study author Dr. Susan Shur-Fen Gau told the AASM that in children some symptoms of ADHD and sleep problems often overlap. These symptoms include inattention, hyperactivity, behavioral problems and impaired academic performance.

“In some patients with ADHD, symptoms are caused or exaggerated by primary sleep disorders,” Shur-Fen Gau said. “Therefore treatment of the sleep disorder will improve ADHD symptoms.”

The study involved 281 children with ADHD. They were between 10 and 17 years of age; they had been diagnosed with ADHD at an average age of 6.7 years. They were compared with 185 children who did not have ADHD.

Nightmares and lifetime nightmare disorder were more common in girls. Snoring was more common in boys.

Learn more about sleep problems and ADHD.

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