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ADHD Children May Have Underlying Sleep Problem

New study shows abnormal REM cycles and sleep deprivation in children with ADHD.

Monday March 2nd - 10:30am

Filed Under: ADHD Sleep Advice
ADHD children often struggle to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Been having bedtime battles with your child? You're not alone--and it may be an intrinsic problem, according to new research. Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may have abnormal REM sleep and be chronically sleep deprived, according to a study in the March 1 issue of the journal SLEEP.

In the study, children in the ADHD group averaged 33 minutes less sleep per night (8 hours and 19 minutes) than the non-ADHD group. The ADHD children also had 16 minutes less REM sleep time (rapid eye movement sleep, or deep, good-quality sleep).

Sleep problems are not the cause of ADHD in children, but they do make the symptoms worse, says principal investigator and lead author Reut Gruber, Ph.D., director of the Attention, Behaviour and Sleep Lab at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute.

According to the authors, ADHD children may suffer from an intrinsic sleep problem that could be related to the underlying pathophysiology of the disorder. If future studies confirm this, then researchers may be able to develop therapeutic approaches to improve sleep for children with ADHD.

Read more about the study.

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