ADHD Kids with Sleep Troubles Perform Better with Stimulant Treatment

A new study shows that children with attention deficit disorder (ADHD ADD) who have sleep problems perform significantly better when treated with methylphenidate.

Tuesday August 14th - 9:57am

A groundbreaking study reveals that children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD ADD) who have sleep problems show significant improvement if they are treated with methylphenidate, a stimulant medication commonly used to treat ADHD symptoms in kids.

The study's lead authors, Dr. Ridha Joober and Reut Gruber, Ph.D., of Douglas Mental Health University Institute and McGill University in Montreal, Canada, looked at 37 children who were between the ages of six and 12 and who were diagnosed with ADHD. The children were given a placebo for one week, and were grouped according to their ability to sleep. Those children with ADHD who displayed a low sleep efficiency later showed improved performance after taking methylphenidate, as measured by the Continuous Performance Test (CPT), a standardized computer-administered task designed to assess sustained attention.

"It increase[d] their arousal level to a moderate level, which is presumed to facilitate vigilance performance," wrote Drs. Joober and Gruber, in the August issue of the journal <I>Sleep</I>, co-published by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society.

Experts generally recommend that children get a minimum of 10 hours of sleep per night. For much more on this topic, and to help your child fall and stay asleep at night, browse ADDitude's extensive archive of sleep strategies now.

To learn more about the study, read the article at American Academy of Sleep Medicine's Web site.

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