News: Specialized Press

Attention Deficit With Hyperactivity Disorder In Adolescents Is Associated With Sleep Problems

Source: Sleep. 2009 MAY 32 (5): 671-679 / Date: June 2009 / Category: Specialized Press


The symptoms of attention deficit with hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are the inability to sustain attention or focus, distraction, impulsivity and inappropriate behavior for an age. These children also suffer a lot of functional changes in school, at home and with peers. Also symptoms and consequences of ADHD and sleep problems tend to overlap.

"Some primary sleep disorders are associated with inattention and hyperactivity, which often are confused with symptoms of ADHD and also cause behavior problems and impaired academic performance," said the team of doctors Susan Shur-Fen Gau and Huey-Ling Chiang of National Taiwan University in Taipei.

The researchers examined the routines, problems and sleep disorders in 281 adolescents between 10 and 17 years of age, who had also been diagnosed with ADHD at approximately 6.7 years of age and another group of 185 adolescents without problems (control group). In the group of adolescents with ADHD, 145 had persistent ADHD and 136 had ADHD sub-threshold at that time.

According to the DSM-IV, the current and future problems and sleep disorders, such as insomnia, night terrors, nightmares, snoring and bruxism tended to be more frequent in the two groups with ADHD than in the control. Treatment with methylphenidate, did not increase more problems or sleep disorders, except for bruxism.

"The results indicate that mental health professionals should regularly monitor sleep disorders and psychiatric co-morbidities in all adolescents with a childhood diagnosis of ADHD," said Gau.

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