Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a term used to describe hyperactivity, inattentiveness, and/or impulsivity. It is a common condition that begins in childhood and may persist into adulthood. ADHD is linked with a variety of sleep problems, including:
- Daytime sleepiness
- Sleep disordered breathing
- Restless leg syndrome
- Periodic leg movement syndrome
Children who are most affected by ADHD have behavior problems and emotions that can spill over into their everyday lives. When they fidget in school, or quit paying attention due to distractions, or simply get bored, these are indicative of ADHD.
The Symptoms of ADHD
These can appear in children as young as two years old. With proper behavioral management however, the symptoms do subside over time. Here’s what to watch for as a parent of a young child who may be suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder:
- Trouble staying on task or focusing
- Appearing not to listen
- Losing or forgetting things easily
- Excessive talking
- Being impatient and easily irritated
- Difficulty following directions
- Daydreaming often
- Problems organizing activities and responsibilities
Most of the above symptoms can be linked to lack of proper sleep. A child needs a full night’s rest to regenerate brain cells and recover from the previous day of learning and activity. If their sleep is compromised at a young age, ADHD is a possible consequence.
The Link Between Lack of Sleep and ADHD
Studies show that children or adults suffering from ADHD have challenges when it’s time for sleep. The symptoms of ADHD get exacerbated with poor sleep quality. Because sleep disorders are thought to be the most common among adults and children with ADHD, the connection between the two becomes more prevalent with less and less sleep.
Adults and children respond differently though, and this is why sleep apnea is often difficult to diagnose. When children don’t get enough sleep, they typically become more hyperactive. When adults don’t sleep, they usually feel more fatigued and lack energy.
Sleep apnea is a serious disorder. Getting a diagnosis of the three different types of sleep apnea: Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), Central Sleep Apnea (CSA), or Complex Sleep Apnea syndrome will help to further understand the link to ADHD. These disorders may sometimes mask ADHD however, especially in adults, so receiving extra care from your sleep specialist during screening for sleeping problems is recommended.
You Can Improve Your Symptoms
Dr. Huff at Precision Dentistry & Implants is a master at diagnosing sleep apnea. Throughout his years of training and education, he’s been able to determine how to help the ADHD patient through various sleep apnea treatments. Having a sleep disorder in addition to ADHD isn’t easy. With the right lifestyle modifications and treatment, our Kerrville, TX dentist can set you on a path to reducing your symptoms and achieving your most restful night ever.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does sleep apnea cause ADHD?
Studies have found that sleep-disordered breathing is generally the most common symptom of ADHD. OSA, or obstructive sleep apnea, is found to affect ADHD patients more and can cause attention deficit and hyperactivity in ADHD children.
These common symptoms, however, may not always indicate that a person with sleep apnea has ADHD or vice versa. It’s best to get a proper diagnosis to truly understand your condition and receive effective treatment.
Can Adderall help sleep apnea?
Adderall is an amphetamine, which typically makes people more awake and energized, but it’s actually used to help calm those with ADHD.
This relaxing effect can make some people sleepy, but it won’t necessarily help alleviate your sleep apnea symptoms.