ADHD and Sleep Disorders Have Similar Symptoms


Because of the increase in awareness of both ADHD and sleep disorders, there has been a significant number of studies conducted on both of these medical concerns. Throughout the studies, very interesting results have occurred. More children are being diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) than ever before but it now hypothesized that some of these diagnoses are incorrect.

Researchers believe that the high incidence of ADHD diagnoses may be because of a crossover in symptoms between it and other medical conditions. It is estimated by researchers that up to 25 percent of children diagnosed with ADHD may actually be showing symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

The American Academy of Pediatrics is sending out an alert to doctors, parents, and teachers concerning ADHD and sleep loss. If a child has a sleep disorder that is not diagnosed, they may find themselves “losing time” in school. One of the more common methods a child may use to stay awake is fidgeting. In addition, a child may experience bed-wetting, sleep walking, hormonal, and metabolic problems.

If a teacher sees a child zone out and then move around, they may believe the child is not paying attention. For years, these habits have been diagnosed as learning disorders instead they may actually have OSA. The medical director of the Children’s Sleep Laboratory, Dr Ajayi, says, “Some children are being held back- some of them never meeting their potential – people assuming they had a problem when in reality all they needed was something to help them stay awake.”

This information benefits parents, children, and doctors. When it comes to the medical field, knowledge is important and asking the right questions can lead your doctor to a correct diagnosis. If your pediatrician is unsure about a diagnosis, they may recommend the help of a sleep professional or another specialist.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends guidelines for doctors and parents. Parents are encouraged to alert their child’s physician if they notice their child snores. If you are concerned about the health of your child and believe they may be suffering from an undiagnosed sleep disorder, schedule an appointment with FusionSleep today.