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Sleep and AD/HD
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Patricia Quinn, MD posted:
Children with AD/HD have been found to have problems with going to sleep, staying asleep, and waking up in the morning. In addition, they may experience excessive daytime sleepiness. AD/HD has been generally demonstrated to reduce the time in rapid eye movement (REM) or "dream" sleep among children, while also increasing the frequency of periodic leg movements. There are several theories about the causes of sleep disturbances in people with AD/HD. One simple explanation is that the sleep disturbances are direct manifestations of the problems with arousal associated with the AD/HD itself.
In addition to insomnia many adults and children with AD/HD report being restless when they sleep, but for some it may be more serious than just tossing and turning. Restless legs syndrome (RLS) and sleep disordered breathing or obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are among the more commonly observed sleep disorders in people with AD/HD. It seems that people with restless legs syndrome (RSL) are more likely to have attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) than people without RLS. In a recent review of clinical studies reporting cases of RLS and AD/HD, Cortese and colleagues (2005) found that 44% of the subjects with AD/HD in these studies were found to have RLS, and as many as 26% of subjects with RLS also had AD/HD. In another preliminary study (Zak, et al, 2009) found 20% of adults with AD/HD had RSL compared to 7.2% of the controls.
For years, the association of sleep disorders and AD/HD has been overlooked because of the focus on insomnia as a side effect of stimulants medication used to treat AD/HD, rather than a coexisting condition. Stimulants may be associated with a delay of sleep onset and insomnia, in some people, but in a significant number of patients with AD/HD, stimulants may actually improve sleep initiation.

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What problems do you (or your child) have with sleep?
  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Problems staying asleep
  • Waking up early in the morining
  • Restless sleep or sleep apnea
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
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Boyzmomee responded:
My son only had difficulty sleeping when the Adderall was increased, so now he takes Clonidine at night.

When he was able to take a lower dose of Adderall he had no problems sleeping.
 
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legalgeek responded:
This is my son to a T. He has RLS and difficulty falling asleep. He also breaths very shallow and loud when sleeping, so I suspect there is sleep apnea as well. However recently he has been having difficulty waking up at all in the mornings. It can last anywhere from 4 hours to all day/all night and regular waking the following day. His doctor tells me to 'wait and see if he will grow out of this'. It is terrifying
 
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lndxo responded:
I have a 2 year old daighter she hasnt been diagnosed with ADHD because her doctor said she was too young to tell. She was on the good sleeping routine and out of no where she wouldnt go to sleep she wanted to stay up all night, I took her to her doctor to see what to do, he put her on Clonidine and Melatonin; but she still wakes up and she wont sleep in her bed. She has to have someone with her when she falls asleep and if no one is around her when she wakes up she screams. I dont know what else to do.
 
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barclayb responded:
My biggest problem with sleep is going to bed. I like to stay up until about 3 AM, but then I feel awful the next day. But I've never been very alert before noon, and it's easy to slip back into this cycle. Plus I like how quiet things are late at night.
 
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cuddlemom2005 replied to barclayb's response:
my son does the same there are times he never goes to bed no matter what i do we have tried everything.


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