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Sleep, Interrupted: The ADHD-Insomnia Link in Children

Does your child always seem tired? Restless at night? If so, then you might be noticing the link between ADHD and sleep issues. Find out how anxiety and lack of structure prevent kids from catching the Zs they need to stay healthy.

1 Comment: Sleep, Interrupted: The ADHD-Insomnia Link in Children

  1. My husband and daughter – both with ADHD – were recently diagnosed with tongue tie and restricted airways that result from the tongue tie condition. There is a significant amount of recent research that shows many ADHD diagnoses arise from the restricted breathing that leads to children who never reach deep, restorative sleep (R.E.M. sleep). Learn more about the research by Dr. Soroush Zaghi here:
    Never reaching the deep stages of sleep leads to all kinds of ADHD symptoms during the day: difficulty waking in the morning, disorganized thinking, difficulty concentrating, forgetfulness, anxiety etc. IT makes total sense that people of all ages not getting restful, restorative sleep for *years* on end are going to have great difficulty managing day to day tasks and regulating emotions, among other things. In my husband this condition had progressed to sleep apnea with age and the need to use a CPAP to allow for restful sleep and reduce the associated high blood pressure that often results from sleep apnea (with no air inflow, the heart has to work harder to circulate oxygen until you turn over to gasp for air). My daughter was a teeth grinder when a young child. Now we know that was her brain signaling her body to move the jaw so she could get air through her restricted airway. This also explains the significant genetic component of ADHD, because the tongue tie and restricted airways are physical traits that are passed down from parent to child as well. Treatment for these conditions ranges from minor outpatient surgical procedures (my husband’s treatment) to free the tongue, with follow up physical therapy to re-train muscles in the mouth after the surgery, to a simple mouthguard (my teen daughter’s suggested treatment) that increases the space between the upper and lower jaw at night to increase the space for airflow in a restricted airway. I would love to see ADDitude do a full article interviewing Dr. Zaghi on this topic because diagnosing this physical condition can lead families to explore additional new methods of treating ADHD that may increase quality of life for the whole family. If adults and children with ADHD are able to consistently get good quality sleep every night, imagine what that can do for their symptoms!

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