"What percentage of ADHD children have sleep problems?
According to different statistics and research methods, there is no definitive number, but it is certain that it is higher than in typically developing children.
A study in Denmark in 2020 found that the cumulative incidence rate of sleep problems in 5-year-old children with ADHD was 29.2%;
A study in Australia in 2008 found that 44.8% of parents of ADHD children aged 5-18 believed their children had moderate to severe sleep problems.
A study in the United States in 2022 also found that this group of children has a higher incidence of sleep problems.
What are the common symptoms?
The answer is that anything is possible, including refusing to go to bed, difficulty falling asleep, bedtime anxiety, reduced sleep duration, frequent waking, breathing problems, sleepwalking, and excessive daytime sleepiness.
Different types of ADHD may also have some common problems.
Possible diseases include:
Obstructive sleep apnea:
Statistics show that 25% of children with ADHD have this problem (about 3-5% of typically developing children have this disease).
Restless leg syndrome:
Possibly 50% of children with ADHD may have this problem (about 2% of typically developing children have this disease).
Circadian rhythm disorders and insomnia: There are too many causes to mention.
What can be done?
Because there are no good screening tools at present and few predictive factors can be found, the basic principle of handling problems remains to address them individually.
Good sleep hygiene habits, such as regular sleep and wake times, can reduce refusal to go to bed and difficulty falling asleep;
sleep tests can reveal clues to obstructive sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome;
sleep diaries or actigraphs can detect circadian rhythm problems.
Cognitive/behavioral therapy has been proven to be effective, but its effects may not be lasting.
Regarding medication, in addition to treating ADHD itself, the greater challenge lies in treating comorbid conditions (such as anxiety).
The sleep problems associated with ADHD are complex, but improving sleep problems can also improve ADHD symptoms, so this issue should be taken seriously and handled properly."
1. Cumulative incidence and relative risk of sleep problems among children and adolescents with newly diagnosed neurodevelopmental disorders: A nationwide register-based study https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jsr.13122
2.Sleep Problems in Children With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity DisorderPrevalence and the Effect on the Child and Family https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/379359
3Sleep Study Abnormalities in Children With Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2008.09.007
4 Somatic and neuropsychiatric comorbidities in pediatric restless legs syndrome: A systematic review of the literature https://doi.org/10.1016/j.smrv.2016.06.008