Medical professionals find a link between sleep problems and ADHD
Sleeping well at night is important to our health. Now there is another reason why we should pay more attention to our night's sleep in the future. Researchers found that compromised sleep is associated with an increased likelihood of developing a so-called attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
The researchers at VU University in the Netherlands found that poor nighttime sleep is linked to the development of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The doctors published the results of their study at this year's 30th ECNP Congress in Paris.
75 percent of people with ADHD also suffer from sleep problems
Today more and more people live in an urban environment. The lifestyle of those affected in such an environment can disrupt our sleeping habits. The consequences of this can contribute to the development of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Around 75 percent of children and adults with ADHD also suffer from sleep problems, the experts say.
ADHD appears to be related to many different sleep disorders
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a chronic condition that includes attention problems, hyperactivity and increased impulsivity. According to the current research results, ADHD could be associated with many sleep disorders, such as restless leg syndrome, sleep apnea, circadian rhythm disorders and delayed sleep phase syndrome, the doctors explain.
Disorders of the rhythm of sleep also affect certain processes in the body
There are extensive studies that have already found that people with ADHD are also often prone to sleep problems, explains Professor Sandra Kooij from the VU University Medical Center in the Netherlands. The results indicate that ADHD and circadian problems are related in a majority of patients. Her day-night rhythm is disrupted and as a result, the timing of several processes is impaired. This affects not only sleep, but also, for example, body temperature, the movement pattern and the schedule of meals.
This is how you can reset the circadian rhythm of your sleep
The results of the study indicate that in about 75 percent of ADHD patients the physiological sleep phase, in which changes in the concentration of the sleep hormone melatonin and changes in sleep-related movement occur in humans, was delayed by about 1.5 hours . A bright light source in the morning or taking melatonin in the evening could help many sufferers reset their circadian rhythm, Kooij added.
Can ADHD be treated by non-pharmacological methods?
"We are now working to confirm this physical-mental relationship by determining biomarkers such as vitamin D levels, blood glucose, cortisol levels, 24-hour blood pressure and heart rate variability," reports Professor Sandra Kooij. If such a connection can be identified, the question arises whether ADHD leads to sleep problems or sleep problems trigger ADHD. "If ADHD triggers sleep problems, we may be able to treat ADHD using non-pharmacological methods," said Prof. Kooij.
Disturbed sleep can even lead to depression
We don't say that all cases of ADHD are associated with these circadian patterns. However, it is very likely that this is an important connection, explains the expert. Difficulty falling asleep is often accompanied by fatigue, lack of energy and irritability during the day. The disturbed sleep can also affect the psyche and lead to depression, the authors say. (as)