ADHD and Sleep Disorders
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.