Ritalin may Help Sleep Trouble in ADHD Adults

Adults with ADHD who take methylphenidate may find increased sleep efficiency and may feel more restored after sleep, a new German study suggests.

Monday March 3rd - 10:40am

A study by Esther Sobanski, MD, of the Central Institute of Mental Health in Germany, has found that both objective and subjective sleep problems in adults with ADHD are the same as those in children with ADHD. It also reported that methylphenidate (MPH), commonly known as Ritalin, can have the same beneficial effects on adults' sleep as research has shown it has in children.

The current study looked at 34 unmedicated patients with ADHD and 34 control subjects. All of the ADHD participants displayed decreased sleep efficiency, as compared to the control group, and their problems included longer sleep onset latency, more nocturnal activity, more nocturnal awakenings, and slightly less REM activity during sleep.

When treated with Ritalin, the patients reported that their mood improved, they experienced fewer physical problems while falling asleep, and that they felt more restored after sleeping. During a night of observed sleep in a laboratory, the patients showed fewer nighttime wakenings, and fell asleep faster than they had previously.

The study was published in the March 1 issue of the journal Sleep.

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