My idea for today's topic is to write about the effects of sleep deprivation. There begins the investigation and found this study were the sample was of 2.463 kids between ages 6 -15 and the result suggests that kids with sleep related problems show inadvertent napping, inattention, hyperactivity/impulsivity.
Then this other study concludes that kids with current Sleep Disordered Breathing (SDB) “exhibited hyperactivity, attention problems, aggressivity, lower social competency, poorer communication, and/or diminished adaptive skills”.
As you can see there are plenty of symptoms that fit in both conditions, Could the sleep disorder be mistaken for ADHD or could the ADHD be causing the sleep disorder?
Nowadays diagnoses of children -and adults- with Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are on the rising. It seems to be the answer to many stressed families that struggle to keep their kids calm and to adults who have problem getting up in the morning and keeping their life organised. Truth is that we are all more distracted than ever before with the technology present in every step of our lives. It makes it difficult to stay focused and unplug when we need to.
But ADHD symptoms can be shown when other conditions are present such as “undiagnosed vision and hearing problems, substance abuse (marijuana and alcohol in particular), iron deficiency, allergies (especially airborne and gluten intolerance), bipolar and major depressive disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and even learning disabilities like dyslexia, to name a few” says behavioural neurologist, Dr. Richard Saul in this article.
So, yes I would say that the similarities in the symptoms could lead to misdiagnoses; especially when most health providers are not educated in sleep healthy habits (same way they are not experts on breastfeeding for example) plus it is a cultural believe that it is normal that kids don’t sleep. Sadly the situation make families even feel guilty for wanting to have a decent night sleep ending in sleep related problems sink for years and medical conditions are not taken in notice.
Sleep Disordered Breathing (SBD) conditions for instant can cause long term effects. A longitudinal study done in more than 11.000 children from age 6 months old to 7 years concludes that “early-life SDB symptoms had strong, persistent statistical effects on subsequent behaviour in childhood. Findings suggest that SDB symptoms may require attention as early as the first year of life.”
The Sleep Lady in this article suggests what I paraphrase in here:
To rule out any SDB condition, look at your child, observe them in their awake and sleep. You need to look for snoring, loud breathing or apparently stop breathing. You can ask your health provider to check your child's tonsils and adenoids to verify that their size is not causing any disturbance in their sleep. Follow your instincts and get the appropriate help you and your family needs.
Daniela S. Mendez
I've been blessed with two girls that have been my best school and inspiration. I know what it feels to have your whole life affected for lack of sleep, to be too tired to function! Now as a Certified Gentle Sleep Coach® my goal is to help your family to have the sleep you deserve.
Contact me to grab your proven and excellent quality sleep advise!