Researchers suggest poor sleep may lead to functioning deficits in children and their families.
A new study published in the journal Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine suggests that sleep problems are prevalent among children diagnosed with ADHD. Almost three-quarters of 330 children studied had problems sleeping, and approximately 45% of those problems were considered moderate to severe.
Dr. Valerie Sung, from the Centre for Community Child Health at Royal Children's Hospital in Australia, led the study to determine to effects of disordered sleeping on children and their families.
She and her colleagues found that children with moderate or severe sleep problems had trouble with daily functioning, and scored more poorly on measures of psychosocial quality of life than children without difficulty sleeping.
Caregivers of children with ADHD already suffer from more stress, anxiety, and depression than parents of children without such a diagnosis, and the present study showed that caregivers of children with sleep problems also showed poorer mental health than the caregivers of ADHD children without them.
Children with sleep problems were also more likely to be late for school, and missed more school days, and their caregivers were late for work more often than those in the comparison group.
The sleep problems reported in the study included difficulty falling asleep, feeling tired upon waking, nightmares, disordered breathing, and restless leg syndrome.
Almost half of the parents of ADHD children reported that their pediatricians had asked about their children's sleep, and gave advice for treating sleep problems.
To see the free abstract of this study, go to: [http://archpedi.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/162/4/336]