View Full Version : Poor Sleep 'Causes' ADHD


APSJ
04-28-09, 04:52 PM
<!-- heading --> Poor sleep 'causes ADHD'

“Too little sleep 'can make children hyperactive'” according to The Daily Telegraph. The newspaper says that a new study suggests that a lack of sleep makes it more likely that children will “develop behavioural problems and become hyperactive”.
<!-- end heading -->
http://www.nhs.uk/news/2009/04April/Pages/ADHDandPoorSleepLink.aspx

Note the headline and first paragraph.

Second half of third paragraph:
Another major limitation was that it measured sleep duration and ADHD symptoms during the same time period and therefore could not determine whether shorter sleep times might cause ADHD symptoms or vice versa. This and other limitations mean a causal link between sleep duration and ADHD symptoms has not been proven by this study.

The article referred to is here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/5230382/Too-little-sleep-can-make-children-hyperactive.html

Too little sleep 'can make children hyperactive'

Getting too little sleep can make children more likely to develop behavioural problems and become hyperactive, a new study suggests.


Both the newspaper article and the NHS "behind the headlines" piece strike me as incredibly misleading. I don't know that there have been actual studies showing that sleep problems are common among people with ADHD, but I know that it has been noted by professionals in the field. So it seems that what they did here was take a trait known to be associated with a disorder, and look for a correlation between it and the symptoms of the disorder, which they found. How does this 'suggest' causation either way? If I did a study comparing headaches to other symptoms of the common cold would it suggest that headaches cause colds?

Kunga Dorji
04-28-09, 05:48 PM
http://www.nhs.uk/news/2009/04April/Pages/ADHDandPoorSleepLink.aspx

Note the headline and first paragraph.

Second half of third paragraph:


The article referred to is here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/5230382/Too-little-sleep-can-make-children-hyperactive.html

Both the newspaper article and the NHS "behind the headlines" piece strike me as incredibly misleading. I don't know that there have been actual studies showing that sleep problems are common among people with ADHD, but I know that it has been noted by professionals in the field. So it seems that what they did here was take a trait known to be associated with a disorder, and look for a correlation between it and the symptoms of the disorder, which they found. How does this 'suggest' causation either way? If I did a study comparing headaches to other symptoms of the common cold would it suggest that headaches cause colds?


They are close- but no banana.
In my opinion sleep disruption is one of the feedback loops that caused my inattentive ADHD to escalate. Although my symptoms are predominantly inattentive I do find that unresolved issues ( caused by my inattentiveness) contribute to a low persisting level of internal anxiety ( causing fidgetyness and hyperactivity)- which wrecks my sleep- which makes me more fuzzy headed. Don't get me wrong - I have always been inattentive- but I do understand that sleeplessness has made me much worse.

Dont expect a journalist or a neurotypical to grasp a complex issue though. An ADDer will do a better job any day. We are the only people who can keep a broad scatter of facts in our head long enough to get the whole picture.

In broader terms this is an example of the classic scientific fallacy of mistaking an association for cause and effect.

Dizfriz
04-28-09, 07:47 PM
APSJ

Generally, it has been hypothesized for quite a while that sleep issues such as apnea could cause symptoms that mimic ADHD. There have been some pretty good studies that have backed this up at least to a point. I don't believe the subject has been settled yet but it makes sense to me in that a kid fighting being tired could become more hyper in compensation.

As far as causation of ADHD goes, ADHD is mostly considered to be a genetic disorder with some exceptions due to brain injury or exposure to substances such as lead. The amount or quality of sleep would not have any impact on this and as such could not "cause" the disorder.

Be aware that a number of issues can mimic ADHD symptoms. This is what a good assessment if for.

Interesting question. I have been monitoring this on and off for a number of years.

Dizfriz

Old School MBD
04-28-09, 07:48 PM
No.....No......No.........

I slept just fine as a kid, and yet was diagnosed at age 4

APSJ
04-28-09, 11:01 PM
APSJ
Generally, it has been hypothesized for quite a while that sleep issues such as apnea could cause symptoms that mimic ADHD. There have been some pretty good studies that have backed this up at least to a point. I don't believe the subject has been settled yet but it makes sense to me in that a kid fighting being tired could become more hyper in compensation.



Just based on personal experience, it seems quite plausible. This particular study strikes me as odd, though, because my personal experience, and from what I've read that of many with ADHD, is that the disorder itself either interferes with sleep or is accompanied by sleep problems. That being the case, to study the correlation between ADHD symptoms and poor sleep without looking at whether or not the individuals involved were diagnosed with ADHD seems like it doesn't reveal a whole lot. Maybe none of the individuals involved had ADHD, and the attention issues were entirely caused by sleep issues, but maybe they all had ADHD and the study just showed that kids with ADHD often have sleep problems, which we already knew. The usefulness of this study thus seems quite limited to me, and not really suggestive of any sort of causation. Am I missing something?

FinallyAnswered
04-28-09, 11:33 PM
Also bear in mind that most studies have funding behind them. Where there is funding, there is pressure for results. When the preliminary results return nothing of note, the pressure for "discovering" something new increases.

I was a statistical analyst in my previous life and trust me, I was never at a loss when it came to spinning those numbers in whichever direction it best benefited my argument. ;)

Dizfriz
04-29-09, 10:28 AM
Just based on personal experience, it seems quite plausible. This particular study strikes me as odd, though, because my personal experience, and from what I've read that of many with ADHD, is that the disorder itself either interferes with sleep or is accompanied by sleep problems. That being the case, to study the correlation between ADHD symptoms and poor sleep without looking at whether or not the individuals involved were diagnosed with ADHD seems like it doesn't reveal a whole lot. Maybe none of the individuals involved had ADHD, and the attention issues were entirely caused by sleep issues, but maybe they all had ADHD and the study just showed that kids with ADHD often have sleep problems, which we already knew. The usefulness of this study thus seems quite limited to me, and not really suggestive of any sort of causation. Am I missing something?

Good points. I unfortunately do not have the time right now to go back and look at the studies. One way of handling this might be to look with kids with the sleep issues. Once the sleep problems are resolved, do the ADHD symptoms persist?

I skim the resources on this every so often to try to keep up. Maybe it can be resolved in the fairly near future.

Dizfriz

Dizfriz
04-29-09, 10:47 AM
Also bear in mind that most studies have funding behind them. Where there is funding, there is pressure for results. When the preliminary results return nothing of note, the pressure for "discovering" something new increases.

I was a statistical analyst in my previous life and trust me, I was never at a loss when it came to spinning those numbers in whichever direction it best benefited my argument. ;)

Good post, good point. There is no doubt that sometimes the stats are "cooked". Hopefully the peer review process can catch most of this. Fortunately researchers dearly love to find an error in another's work, especially with a rival. "Their knives are long and sharp" was one description of this process that I fell in love with. If anything keeps science honest, this is it.

Dizfriz

*KJ*
04-29-09, 11:06 AM
It's a pretty well accepted fact that kids get 'punchy' when they get tired.

It irritates me to some degree that they actually do studies to prove that "mom is right." It's a HUGE waste of money. Here's another: "sugar gives kids a rush" But studies actually debate this...anyone that spends enough time with kids knows as fact that if you load them up with sugar they will be pretty wired...halloween night is never a good sleep night for any kid! Can't they spend research dollars in a smarter way?

Having said that, and ignoring the obvious logical blunders in these articles...I have to wonder "what came first..."

Start with, what the heck IS ADHD? No one REALLY knows...but perhaps baring in mind that lack of sleep disrupts any persons ability to focus & concentrate...and further has been witnessed to cause hyperactivity... perhaps doing sleep study type research might reveal that part of the 'symptoms' are directly related to poor sleep.

Is it possible that ADHD = poor sleep...I dunno, but likely it atleast exasporates it...if not causing a definative subset of the symptoms. Particularly if it's a persistant problem. Poor sleep has been proven to affect physical well being, so it stands to reason that mental health would suffer long-term as well...particularly during developmental stages, right?

My son definately has poor sleep. It used to be MUCH worse, but that was when he carried the PDD-NOS diag. Now I feel like he wakes too often, doesn't get enough hours in total, and is VERY restless when he does sleep. This is a HUGE improvement...but certainly not ideal. I have to wonder how much better his focus/attention/hyperactivity would be if he did sleep well...or better.

I doubt it would solve the probelm, likely just improve it...but what's causing the poor sleep? ADHD? What is that? So do we just accept that he is a poor sleeper or do we figure out what the glitch is.

Does that make sense?

This gets to my frustration with Drs ...if I really pushed my sleep concerns (which would be an over-statement anyhow) but if I did...I bet the first thing they would do is prescribe meds...which everyone knows doesn't really ACHIEVE good sleep...just a sleep state.

So why not actually figure out why he doesn't sleep well. Similarly with the question: why doesn't he have an appetite. It's so NOT normal to not eat well during growing years (especially if the child is active)...but so many of these kids don't...WHY?!

Oh that's right, because they are ADHDers. What does that mean again?

GRRRRR!

It's ridiculous that they talk about "ADHD" like it IS something...it's not...it's a description. And they keep trying to figure out what IT is...

If they'd look at one of the clues and follow the lead, perhaps they could find the source...is it me?

Dizfriz
04-29-09, 02:00 PM
KJ

Fair questions. If you want to know what ADHD is you might consider reading this transcript of a workshop by Russell Barkley. Some, including myself, consider it to be the best write up on ADHD available on the internet. It is dated 2000 but most of the data is still basically pretty good. I do warn however that this is forty pages long and Barkley is information dense. It can be a bit of a struggle to work though and you probably will have to read through it several times but it is, in my opinion and that of many others, very much worth the effort. I am going to suggest you start with this overview and then download or read the article from there.

http://www.greatschools.net/cgi-bin/showarticle/2054

Also if there are any questions about ADHD being real one might consider the International Consensus Statement on ADHD.

http://www.russellbarkley.org/images/Consensus%202002.pdf

When working with ADHD, accurate knowledge of the disorder is the most important tool you can have.

It is the same for autistic spectrum and any other disability. I am focusing on ADHD here though.

Your feelings and questions are real and relevant. I hope this may be of some help.

Dizfriz

*KJ*
04-29-09, 05:22 PM
Oh, I'm sorry, did I imply that I don't understand ADHD or that I don't by into it...not the case!

What I meant is that at best, people, like Barkley, observe and calculate as to what is causing this that or the next thing (based on education and science and other reliable information, of course). But that there is nothing that says, ADHD is "haphazard or slow synap firing", or something ... So that from that one could then make some sort of conclusion about why hyperactivity exists, or why sleep is poor or why appetite stinks, etc.

I am clearly having a hard time expressing my idea here...see if this example helps:

I recently had a hypothyroid condition develop. It was discovered because I dragged my pitiful but to the doctor.

I was tired, very tired, I couldn't keep track of anything I was doing, kept forgetting important things, didn't have the energy to complete basic household stuff, was EXTREMELY short fused and discouraged, couldn't sleep, short of breath, and I won't even get into the hormonal disruption and the effects of that.

When I developed a headache, and then an arm ache that persisted for 4 straight days, while I tried to continue to ignored those heart palpatations, I finally got scared enough to drag myself in...

Now, I sat there thinking I was having heart issues or something. Got tested from soup to nuts and found that my thyroid was pretty much not working...

I'm still working through the med levels...but as I saw all those things fade away, I sat there looking at DS and wondering...has anyone ever checked these kids for thyroid issues.

And it probably wouldn't matter anyway..."normal range" is just a guide according to my DH's doctor who watched him develop numerous unexplainable symptoms (consistent with hypothyroidism) while his bloodwork continued to read "normal." Finally his Dr offered the 'trial' of thyroid meds to "see" if it would help...guess what? It did.

So I sat there wondering...could it be something that simple?

I bet it is (but it doesn't matter what I think)...point is, sure we know what it looks like when someone has this ADHD thing, same way my Dr knew what it looked like for a 40+ woman to be having hypothyroid symptoms...but what exactly IS it...it's the thyroid gland unable to produce enough hormone, etc etc. This happens as a normal aging process and earlier in woman who have given birth...(not that I'm trying to tell you about it, just making a point that they know exactly what is not working, how that affects the body, what it looks like, and how to treat it)...

Now if I showed up at a psych office telling them how I felt (prior to the heart part), what do you suppose would have happened?

And I don't mean any disrespect...what I mean is, they REALLY don't know what ADHD IS beyond a collection of symtoms...what causes those...noone knows...so it's up to interpretation of behaviors...and interpretation is of course based on a persons knowledge base and perspective.

Different drs will see different things.

So it's hard to say one way or another...is something affecting sleep, then that is affecting concentration, that affects self-esteem, that affects social interactions, on & on...or does it happen some other way?

Like does one little thing (as an example only) like a deficiency throw everything, including sleep off...

Is ADHD (and all that it means) the symptom of something else, or are all these things a symptom of something called ADHD (that is yet to be fully understood) or something that is as elusive as treating the common cold.

Does that make any more sense?

Hopefully

...so is poor sleep causing ADHD or is ADHD causing poor sleep?...in order to answer that question you need to know what ADHD IS...you could also do some neurological testing to see if there is a (known) basis for the poor sleep and attempt to get to the root of that...rather than prescribe meds so that the symptom can be ignored. Ya know?

Dizfriz
04-29-09, 07:09 PM
KJ

I understand you are speaking out in frustration. I raised an ADHD child and understand this. Many on this forum have gone through what you are going through. Keep working at it, you will get there.

A question, did you read the Barkley transcript? I think it will answer many of your questions. Many here have found a lot of benefit from reading it. I suspect it will well worth your while. Understanding the disorder is a good step on learning to handle it.

We are getting a pretty good handle on what ADHD is and what causes it. It strongly appears to be mostly heritable deficits in the executive functions. We know several of the genes involved and have identified several parts of the brain that are relevant. There is a lot to learn yet and we do not know all. We do know quite a bit however.

Your questions are good but the subject is not simple nor are the answers. To point you to the relevant literature is really about the best I can do in the forum format. The Barkley transcript is about the simplest source that really accurately describes what is going on with ADHD. Again, it may prove to well worth your while to read.

Yours,
Dizfriz

Kunga Dorji
04-30-09, 06:54 AM
It is all wheels within wheels. Your attention issues make you anxious. That in turn messes up your sleep.That makes your attention worse. You fail a bit more then you get depressed.

Then your concentration gets worse. As you fail some more the anxiety gets worse and alcohol provides a simple solution. That makes your sleep and attention worse.
You put on some weight as a result of self medicating with food and alcohol- and before long you can add sleep apnoea to the equation.

In the end you come to the attention of some halfwit neurotypical psychiatrist who has never experienced a days real suffering in his life. He seizes on your depression without bothering to take a proper history and then wonders why you don't get better.

It is pathetic really.

*KJ*
04-30-09, 09:22 AM
DizFriz, I'm sorry...but somehow I'm communicating frustration or anger or confusion about ADHD. I'm none of those.

I do though, get annoyed about how research money gets spent sometimes...particularly when there are much more important things to look at. And I do get frustrated with Drs at times...and yes I'm intentionally communicating that. It really does bother me that often their prescriptin pad is used to alter the 'clues' that the body sends out as a message that should be listened to, not ignored.

And yes I have read Barkley's books and the links you posted.

I am in no way denying the existance of the problem, nor am I doubting the observational information that has been documented. In fact I find much of that VERY interesting.

Here, I am only saying that they do not know why or what or how.

In explaining this I'm getting the impression that just knowing that the brain isn't functioning is a complete (or almost complete) answer for you...and that for me it is not...and that's really where the 'confusion' is.

And it may turn out that at the end of the day, there is nothing much that can be done but to accept a 'non-typically' functioning brain or whatever.

But I see it more like a heart-defect...for whatever reason doesn't matter...function can be repaired.

I don't at all mean to ignore the fact that the brain is where the "who" is, but skipping that for a moment...and thinking about how amazing the brain is, that it can compensate for itself, that it can somehow function perfectly with giant chunks missing or even major insult...that with loads of work...it can find a way. No I don't at all think just knowing that the brain isn't functioning 'typically' and how that occurs is the whole answer.

Why it isn't functioning...and it doesn't matter that a person may have been born with it...that still isn't the whole story...because people can be born with holes in their heart and that is fixable. So, what exactly is causing the 'non-typical' brain functioning. WHY is it happening?

Epilepsy is mis-firing, and too much firing, how is ADHD much different from that? It seems to be the same animal, but at the opposite end of the spectrum.

In this study, and others, they look at ADHD as a 'thing'... but it's not...it's a description...because all we have at this point is observational data. Furthermore they make conclusions based on that description. It's a huge logical flaw.

Why aren't ADHDers sleeping well...and what are the effects of that? I would bet that the effects (both short & long-term, particularly during developmental years) is MUCH more significant (because of the observational information about function) for ADHDers than typical.

Which now makes me wonder if poor sleep leads to the 30% rule.

But now we are WAY off topic...

There is a huge difference between recreating a situation that yeilds a similar discription (as in groggy people look like they have ADHD) and figuring out WHY ADHDers brains aren't functioning 'typically.'

In my mind this study is equivalent to doing a study that shows that people hung-over look like people who've had a nocturnal seizure. What the heck does that REALLY tell us? Nothing. Well, it does tell me one thing: the morons doing the study have their collective head up their ****.

Try following the trail of clues that the body is screaming! That's what has me annoyed!

Dizfriz
04-30-09, 09:31 AM
It is all wheels within wheels. Your attention issues make you anxious. That in turn messes up your sleep.That makes your attention worse. You fail a bit more then you get depressed.

Then your concentration gets worse. As you fail some more the anxiety gets worse and alcohol provides a simple solution. That makes your sleep and attention worse.
You put on some weight as a result of self medicating with food and alcohol- and before long you can add sleep apnoea to the equation.

In the end you come to the attention of some halfwit neurotypical psychiatrist who has never experienced a days real suffering in his life. He seizes on your depression without bothering to take a proper history and then wonders why you don't get better.

It is pathetic really.

I have seen this all too often especially in the last few years.

It is not all just bad psychiatrists. The pay system is such that not only psychiatrists but family pracs have to see so many patients that good medicine is shortchanged. Perhaps that is why there is a real shortage in both psychiatrists, especially child psychiatrists in particular and the shortage of family practitioners is growing.

When you find someone who is willing to take the time to listen an help, treasure them.

Dizfriz

Kunga Dorji
04-30-09, 05:37 PM
In this study, and others, they look at ADHD as a 'thing'... but it's not...it's a description...because all we have at this point is observational data.


Furthermore they make conclusions based on that description. It's a huge logical flaw.


Well, it does tell me one thing: the morons doing the study have their collective head up their ****.


If you were a cricketer this would be called a "hat-trick"- taking out 3 batsmen in 3 consecutive balls. Nice.

We are getting much closer to the Daniel Amen model of all mental illnesses being the interaction of different brain areas of varying levels of ideal function with a complex, dietary and social/ family influences.

My own family practitioner is very much convinced of this pattern and explains some of the variations in presentation as being due to the loss of the role of the frontal lobes in wider regulation of other areas of the brain- ie failure modulate an overactive cingulate gyrus manifesting as a tendancy to obsessionality.

Interestingly I have also heard the argument that mental illness can be kindled in much the same way as is proposed for epilepsy- and that prompt action in the early stages of the process can abort a bigger problem. That speaker ( a very wise local psychiatrist) attributed 10% of all chronic schizphrenia to cannabis.

mctavish23
04-30-09, 10:31 PM
All hyperkinetic behavior doesn't = ADHD,anymore than too much sugar & red dye,etc.

ADHD is not caused by sleep deprivation.

tc

mctavish23

(Robert)

Driver
05-01-09, 01:46 AM
For f-cks sake, sh-t like this p-sses me off!

Evidence:
"We were able to show that short sleep duration and sleeping difficulties are related to behavioural symptoms of ADHD, and we also showed that short sleep, per se, increases behavioural symptoms, regardless of the presence of sleeping difficulties", said Dr Juulia Paavonen of the University of Helsinki, who led the study.

Poor Sleep ∝ ADHD

Conclusion:
Dr Paavonen added: "The findings suggest that maintaining adequate sleep schedules among children is likely to be important in preventing behavioural symptoms."

Poor sleep ⇒ ADHD
∴ ¬Poor sleep ⇒ ¬ADHD

Reasonable logical conclusion that eluded them:
Kids with ADHD have difficulties sleeping

ADHD ⇒ Poor Sleep

*KJ*
05-01-09, 09:36 AM
Reasonable logical conclusion that eluded them:
Kids with ADHD have difficulties sleeping


How about...OBVIOUS!

But they didn't need to do a study to figure that out...they could have just asked...oh wait, I think that requires listening...I think that may be expecting to much.

mctavish23
05-01-09, 02:11 PM
Everyone,especially kids, need adequate sleep.

I will say that every kid (100%) I ever referred to a hospital sleep lab for a Sleep Study

in this area, by way of a Pediatric Neurologist referral, came back with some type of a

Sleep Disorder.

A Sleep Study was/is the only way to medically diagnose Sleep Disorders.

In kids, they're often overlooked or end up being the last thing to look at, after

everything else has been ruled out.

tc

mctavish23

(Robert)

roseblood
05-02-09, 07:55 AM
There was a study that found a lot more ADHD-diagnosed children had sleep apnea than other children. These tended not to have severe cases of ADHD but did meet the criteria. Seems unlikely to me that ADHD would cause that particular sleep disorder; more likely the other way round.

However in my own case I take a long time to fall asleep, can't turn my mind off at night and have been this way for as long as I can remember, though I've never experienced regular tiredness as a result. I think it's more likely ADHD causes my sleep problems or that they're independent, perhaps caused by a common factor. I wonder if for me that common factor may be acetylcholine.

Since I've taken 5mg methylphenidate t.i.d. I've had only one brief episode of sleep paralysis instead of the near nightly episodes I had been having over the prior few weeks, despite now frequently waking up feeling much less rested than usual (conventional wisdom suggests poor sleep worsens recurrent isolated SP). That was an understatement. I've only ever felt this bad in the morning after getting only several hours sleep.

Could be coincidental of course but I hope a study is done on stimulants' effects on RISP and other REM-related disorders soon, because I know I'm not the only one to notice this. Apart from the fact that people without suspected ADHD are already seeking Ritalin to stop their RISP, it could lead to better understanding of both conditions. Acetylcholine may be important in ADHD (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/scienceandtechnology/science/sciencenews/3347417/Scientists-find-why-we-need-to-re-read-a-page.html) as well as SP, so perhaps methylphenidate can correct an imbalance of this as well as its main targets.

Crazybutcute
05-02-09, 08:45 AM
Isn't this like the chicken and egg thing? I mean, I have ADHD and insomnia. When I have insomnia attacks for a few days, my ADHD and anxiety(pre-trazadone) are off the charts, even while taking the adderall. I also just read a book about psychiatric medicine, by an apparently well known psychiatrist, who says that most people with any mental "disorder" (maybe he didnt' call it that, I can't remember exactly and I'm not quoting him) have insomnia. Isnt' that interesting? Ok, I got off my lazy *** and found the book:
The Essential Guide to Psychiatric Drugs by Jack M. Gorman, M.D.
Fourth Edition
On a side note, I FINALLY got ALMOST 8 hours last night!!!!!!!!!!!

Side note about adderall and lack of sleep: it does still work, but what I mean is that it doesn't seem to work as WELL when I am working on 48/72 hours with basically no sleep.

mctavish23
05-02-09, 02:48 PM
Crazybutcute,

First of all, Welcome to the FORUM.

I'm on what must be my 8th medication.

I've taken (brand name) Wellbutrin the longest and it's been great.

I was taking 100 mg total of Adderall ( 30mg XR bid & 20mg (Reg) Adderall bid).

Up until 6 mos ago, it had worked for about 2 yrs.

When it began to stopped working,I started to feel like I had been taking finals all day.

At the end of the day I was mentally exhausted.

I've always struggled with paperwork at work, but it started to get worse.

As of about 6-8 weeks ago, I was anywhere from 101-103 charts behind.

I started Vyvanse 70mg on 2/17/09 and it's working very well.

As of yesterday, I was down to 28. It had gotten as low as 19,but it's impossible

to keep up.

For sleep I take an old school Tricyclic antidepressant ( Nortriptyline aka Pamelor).

It reportedly has a synergistic effect with the ADHD meds.

I've had no sleep problems with Vyvanse, so I'm fortunate to be in this position.

The FORUM has been an excellent place to learn for me and I hope it does the same for

you.


tc

mctavish23

(Robert)

scarygreengiant
05-02-09, 02:59 PM
Poor sleep can cause symptoms that mimic ADHD but real ADHD is not caused by poor sleep. It's important to look for other conditions such as poor sleep that can mimic ADHD when evaluating a patient so people aren't misdiagnosed.

TygerSan
05-05-09, 06:12 PM
There are a number of possibilities for these findings:

1) Lack of sleep leads cognitive impairment, which is similar to the cognitive impairment seen in ADHD. Some implications of this include making sure that sleep problems are treated, as cognitive "insults" can add up to be much more serious. (so you take care of the sleep deprivation in a person with ADHD and apnea, and the lack of sleep dep might allow one to reduce the amount of medication taken).

2) Ppl with ADHD have different neurology, which leads to a series of difficulties, some of which include problems getting to sleep and staying asleep . . .

3) Psychostimulants taken for ADHD can cause sleep disturbances themselves, (though some ppl actually find them helpful in falling asleep).


I also sense some frustration over the lack of any kind of biological marker for ADHD, or even any viable hypothesis for what might be going on in the brain of an ADDer. . . at the risk of sounding annoying: welcome to the wonderful world of psychiatry.

I mean no disrespect for the field of psychiatry, but I feel it's really in its infancy compared to most other medical disciplines. It's only within the last decade or so that we've really started believing that things like schizophrenia and ADHD are brain-based disorders. . . I like to say that we're sort of where infectious disease research was back in the 1800's when the "germ theory" of propagation of disease was just that, a theory, and b/c we didn't have a firm grasp on what a bacterium was, ppl were diagnosed with "consumption" rather than tuberculosis. I firmly believe that we will figure some of these psychiatric disorders out, but it's gonna take a while to get to the root cause of some of them. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if certain subtypes of ADHD are found to have very different causes.

InTheMoment
05-13-09, 11:08 AM
Sadly this type of reporting is business as usual in the UK. The newspapers and TV both seem to continue to pursue an agenda that ADD does not exist, is the fault of parenting, TV etc or a crazy American fashion to sell pharmaceuticals. Our national health service recently (September 08) published guidelines (NICE) finally accepting that ADD exists. The primary media reaction was to ignore this and to focus on a misinterpretation of the document that therapy is better than Ritalin.

As a Brit it makes me angry and sad that we have been so slow to accept ADD, with so many undiagnosed children and adults suffering the problems of ADD without insight, help, medication or hope. Not sure whether its because we are so conservative/old fashioned or whether the bulk of journalists, who are probably ADD themselves, are in big time denial. I understand why the doctors are that way, as doctors follow their training and they have next to no training on ADD. The situation is slowly changing, in large part to the US influence. I for one am very grateful for the US influence and science, so thank you.