ADHD and Sleep Disorders
Updated: Aug 18
Are we mistakenly diagnosing ADHD in our kids?
In the past years, there have been several studies demonstrating that ADHD symptoms are often linked with sleeping issues - and this connection is especially apparent in children when sleep disorders can be misdiagnosed. And this is happening during the crucial years for brain development.
When a child has a poor quality of sleep for years, the result is an unrested brain and a child who has trouble learning, keeping still, behaving and cooperating.
Sleep-disordered breathing refers to a spectrum of conditions, including snoring, where normal breathing is compromised during sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is one of the most serious forms of sleep-disordered breathing.
The symptoms of snoring and particularly of OSA can be very similar to the symptoms of ADHD: distractedness and difficulty focusing, emotional reactivity and moodiness, hyperactivity, impulsivity, restlessness, and daytime tiredness.
What is the most common treatment? You give the child drugs.
If you or a family member have been suspected of ADHD, investigate your/their sleep, including a functional dental examination that assesses mouth breathing and OSA.
Good sleep needs a well-functioning airway.
Dr. Ben Miraglia is a dentist from New York, and a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine and the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Cosmetic Orthodontics.