Bubbles and M-bug share a few symptoms of ADHD, but in one of the most obvious ways, they’re very different. Bubbles has always needed a bit of help calming down to sleep, whether for a nap or at nighttime, and has had increasing problems falling asleep in the last three years or so. This summer, when Bubbles came home from church camp, she told me about a girl there who had a sleep mask. Now, the only real issue with the sleep mask is that at night she can never remember where she put it that morning! DisclaimersThe articles on this site should not be taken as advice on ADHD, autism, learning disabilities, or other medical conditions.
Stimulant medications – including Ritalin and Adderall – are the most commonly used treatment for ADHD in kids. To determine the effect of stimulant medicines on kids, the study authors reviewed nine studies published through March 2015 that included 246 children with ADHD.
Findings showed that children who were treated with stimulant medications took longer to fall asleep, slept for shorter amounts of time and did not sleep as well as kids with ADHD who were not taking the drugs. The findings also showed that the drugs tend to cause more sleep problems for boys than girls. Kidwell and her colleagues cautioned that the new findings do not mean that kids with ADHD should stop taking these medications. Consistent bedtimes: Keeping your child on a sleep routine, especially on the weekends is a good way to get their mind and body in the habit of welcoming or preparing for that bedtime when it rolls around.
If your unsure whether it’s a behavioral disorder like ADHD or a sleep related issue, start keeping a sleep log for about two weeks.

Since 2002, Valley Sleep Center, accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine has provided Arizona with diagnostic sleep disordered testing in a home-like atmosphere, ensuring a comfortable, relaxing experience for patients.
M-bug’s version of the disorder is called Inattentive ADHD, meaning that her primary issues are related to focus and attention span. Granted, ADHD medications are stimulants, and can contribute to the problem, but this began long before she was taking meds, and she only takes one pill in the morning, so it’s pretty much worn off by bedtime. They may not rock your child to sleep, but they put a reasonable boundary on each step to get your child ready for bed. A protein snack like yogurt, cheese and crackers or peanut butter on celery before bedtime can help some children settle down, especially those whose appetites may have been dulled as a side effect of certain ADHD-inattentive management medications. Some have suggested that the medications may lead to insomnia, while others found that the drugs may actually help kids sleep better because they relieve ADHD symptoms and reduce resistance to bedtime. According to the news release, the researchers were unable to determine whether varying dosage amounts changed the effect on sleep, but they did find that more frequent dosages made it harder for children to fall asleep. The researchers also noted that sleep problems may dissipate, but never completely cease the longer the children are on the medication. Rather, the research team is suggesting “that parents can be advocates for their children,” if they are having sleeping problems.
It’s easy to look at the symptoms like trouble paying attention, impulsiveness or delayed learning and label it as a behavioral disorder like ADHD. Their Board Certified Sleep Medicine Specialists consist of experienced and knowledgeable sleep experts who provide advice across a multitude of sleep related disorders including insomnia, sleep apnea, snoring, excessive daytime sleepiness, hypertension, sleep walking and pediatric sleep problems. And one of the side-effects of ADHD meds to is that a child may have trouble falling asleep.

According to the study, poor sleep has the potential to render the medications less effective. She doesn’t get enough sleep, is very difficult to wake up, and once she is awake, she can be more hyper than anyone should have a right to be that early in the morning. As far as I’m concerned, anything that can help her sleep problems is welcome in our house.
A recent study at the New England Center for Pediatric Psychology suggests that the real issue is that children aren’t getting enough sleep. The 700 kids (ages 2-13) studied found that those who didn’t sleep in their own bed were seven times more likely to be present Attention Deficit Hyperactivty Disorder-like symptoms than those who always slept in their bed. It also revealed that kids who did not have a regular bedtime were eight times more likely to present the ADHD symptoms.
Another study suggests that treating sleep problems may be enough to eliminate the ADHD symptoms.
If your child presents symptoms that resemble that of a behavioral disorder like ADHD, sometimes referred to as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), try to assess for the possibility of a sleep related issue first. There is no actual test to diagnose ADHD or ADD, the diagnosis strongly depends on the feedback of the parents.
Before jumping to conclusions, you should rule out other possibilities like problems with sleep.

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