By Elizabeth Warren | September 26, 2018 11:45:19When children are not getting adequate sleep, the next step in the treatment of ADHD is to look for the underlying cause of their behavior, and that’s exactly what researchers at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have done.
In their new study, published online this week in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, the researchers focused on the role that sleep deprivation plays in children with ADHD, and found that sleep quality was a significant predictor of how the children would be diagnosed.
For the study, which was conducted in the Boston area, the authors recruited a sample of parents of children ages 5 to 14 who had ADHD and who were asked to report their child’s sleep patterns, including how often they slept in the last two weeks.
The authors also recruited a nationally representative sample of students from a private, preschool-aged, public elementary, middle and high school in the Northeast.
Participants were asked whether their children slept between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m., and whether they were tired or not, according to the study.
Sleep was reported as either an average of three or four hours per night.
The researchers then looked at whether the parents had taken steps to help their children fall asleep, including adjusting the bedtime schedule, changing the television or radio channels, and putting their child in a bedtime routine that is more consistent with what they consider a typical night.
While sleep problems were prevalent, the research found that the researchers found that parents who had a sleep problem were not at risk for developing ADHD.
This may be because sleep problems are associated with poor health, the study authors said.
It is not clear why parents of ADHD may not be able to fall asleep in bed and not be at risk of developing the condition, they wrote.
However, the findings suggest that parents may be taking other steps to reduce their childs ADHD symptoms, including making changes in the sleep schedule or using sleep aids, which may help prevent ADHD symptoms in some children, the report said.
The study is the first to look at the association between sleep problems and ADHD diagnosis, said lead author Emily Kostner, an assistant professor in the School of Nursing at Harvard.
“We found that even when parents are able to get their children to fall in bed, it’s not necessarily because they are actually falling asleep,” she said.
“It may be that their children are just not falling asleep enough.”
Sleep is the most important factor in determining how well children do in school and in life, Kostberg said.
“It’s really important to get children to sleep,” she added.
“That’s where they’re at least going to get the sleep they need to learn, and to function at school and to participate in life.
We don’t know what causes ADHD.
We do know that parents of kids with ADHD often have poor sleep, and we also know that sleep problems can be associated with poorer performance in school.
It may be something that is happening in their family that contributes to the poor sleep quality that children have.”
While sleep has been linked to cognitive functioning, Kestner said the link between ADHD and sleep problems has not been explored.
The findings of this study, she said, highlight the importance of parents taking steps to support their children, and providing more time for sleep.
“If you are worried about your childs sleep, you need to get your child to bed, because the sleep that they get is what matters most in their health and well-being,” Kosters said.
Kostner is also an adjunct associate professor in Harvard’s School of Public Health.