ADHD and Sleep

Children with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are more likely to have sleep difficulties.

Children who are anxious or depressed, are sensitive to sugar, or are sleep-deprived also may display attention problems, poor impulse control and hyperactivity. In the July/August 2003 issue of Psychology Today, a Brown University study suggests “sleep deprivation in normal children can lead to symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).”

Sleep problems associated with ADHD include:
Difficulty relaxing and falling asleep
Restless legs syndrome
Sensory processing deficits (may be overly sensitive to stimulation, sounds, light, clothing, blankets)
Motor restlessness
Night awakenings
Bed wetting
Sleep apnea

Click here to see entire article.


  1. One of my charges is having behavior problems in school, although very bright. The child definitely doesn't get enough sleep and isn't diagnosed with ADHD. Interesting…

  2. I've been saying this for years. 🙂 It isn't just the number of hours spent asleep, but the quality of the sleep during those hours. Kids with ADHD don't actually have an abundance of energy, even though they appear to. Their brains LACK the necessary energy to function properly, that is why the more common medications for it are amphetamine (upper) based. Likewise, the symptoms of overtiredness in children are also frequently mistaken as signs of too much energy (impulsivity, constant motion, night waking, etc).

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