Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Is It Really ADHD – Or A Sleeping Disorder?

Most parents who have a child with ADHD are familiar with its common symptoms: easy distractibility and an inability to focus, putting things off until the last minute, being forgetful and even losing things. What many do not realise, even in the health care community, is that these same symptoms often accompany some sort of sleeping disorder in children and even in some adults.

According to a recent article in the New York Times, there is both anecdotal evidence as well as solid research that seem to suggest that part of the reason why more children and adults are being diagnosed with ADHD may be that they are being misdiagnosed and actually have a sleeping disorder.  It is also possible that there may be a connection between the two disorders.

Our lives are simply busier than they were just a few decades ago. All of us try to cram more activities into each day, and more is expected of us at work, school and home. Add to that the steady influx of technological advances that make it hard to “unplug” such as video games, smartphones and more and it’s easy to see why most people don’t get the amount of sleep that they wish or need.
All of this constant “busy-ness” can make it hard to turn off our minds and achieve a good night’s sleep. Physical issues such as breathing problems caused by sleep apnea and other conditions can also interfere with achieving the periods of deep, interrupted sleep that all of us need to function in top form. 

While lack of restful sleep often manifests itself with feeling lethargic and sleepy through the day, other individuals, particularly children, may display the same symptoms that are common among those with ADHD.

While more research is needed, information that is currently available suggests that helping children with ADHD to achieve a restful night’s sleep may be a tool that parents can use to help reduce the ADHD symptoms that their child may experience throughout the day. 

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