Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Kids With ADHD: Could They Simply Be Tired?

Cafe Steph
Report
Yesterday at 11:11 AM
What are you doing this weekend? - CafeMom

I'm going to spend some time with my family this weekend, starting with Grandmother's funeral, then celebrating my

Posted by on Jun. 21, 2013 at 9:13 AM
  • 52 Replies

Kids With ADHD: Could They Simply Be Tired?

by Julie Ryan Evans

boy nappingIn what could potentially be good news for some of the children who are diagnosed with Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), a doctor claims to have a cure -- more sleep. Dr. Vatsal Thakkar believes that more than a third of children have been misdiagnosed with ADHD when what they're really suffering from is sleep deprivation.

I'm sure there are plenty of parents who have been through countless doctors, medications, and other treatments with their children who will bristle at this assertion. However, he's not saying that ADHD isn't a real thing for some people, he just believe that "a substantial proportion of cases are really sleep disorders in disguise."  Interesting.

His theory makes a sense too. Thakkar, who's a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at the New York University School of Medicine, told the Daily Mail that the symptoms of both (hyperactivity, difficulty focusing, aggression, and forgetfulness) are quite similar -- especially in children. Another doctor, Dr. Neil Stanley, agreed with the theory and told the paper that as ADHD diagnoses have risen, kids have gotten less sleep. He said kids today get at least one less hour of sleep than they did 100 years ago. Others studies have also made a link between sleep disorders and ADHD

Additionally, Thakkar says that it may be easier for doctors to hand out an ADHD diagnosis than to tell parents their kids need better sleep habits.

For some children it may be a diagnosis of convenience. Yet by misdiagnosing sleep-deprived patients as having ADHD, we are not only doing a disservice to those who really have ADHD but may be treating thousands of patients with poor sleep with medications designed to control or modify daytime behavior.

I don't doubt that ADHD is a very real and chronic condition for some children that no amount of sleep will cure, but if you could cure your child's symptoms with better sleep habits, wouldn't you want to? The CDC estimates that 3-7 percent of school-age children have ADHD. Between 2003 and 2007, the rate of reported cases in children ages 4-17 increased 22 percent. And with one of the prominent treatments for it  being drugs like Ritalin -- that have side effects -- some more z's sounds like a much better option. Hopefully there will be more research into this area soon.

Do you think your child's ADHD really could be sleep deprivation?

by on Jun. 21, 2013 at 9:13 AM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
IAMmomtotrips
by Member on Jun. 21, 2013 at 9:19 AM
I have ADHD and sleep or lack thereof really impacts my ability to focus. I was one of the children in the pilot study for using fMRI to diagnose ADHD.

Another thing that really needs to be looked at is dyes in food. All three of my girls would be on ADHD meds, if I had not figured out that they are allergic to Red Dye 40. Once I got it out of their diet their hyperactivity and concentration issues completely resolved.
LauraKW
by "Dude!" on Jun. 21, 2013 at 9:21 AM
4 moms liked this
Right, none of us have ever thought of that.
LauraKW
by "Dude!" on Jun. 21, 2013 at 9:26 AM
6 moms liked this
There is a diet - Feingold I think? - that many people have tried and found their child was allergic to dyes, and once removed their symptoms cleared up as well. I think a lot of people with ADHD symptoms may have such allergies. Unfortunately, nothing has worked for me or my boys except medication. I believe true ADHD is genetic.

Quoting IAMmomtotrips:

I have ADHD and sleep or lack thereof really impacts my ability to focus. I was one of the children in the pilot study for using fMRI to diagnose ADHD.



Another thing that really needs to be looked at is dyes in food. All three of my girls would be on ADHD meds, if I had not figured out that they are allergic to Red Dye 40. Once I got it out of their diet their hyperactivity and concentration issues completely resolved.
mehamil1
by Platinum Member on Jun. 21, 2013 at 9:28 AM

My son usually sleeps from 9:30 to 7 am. He's always been a good sleeper. I'm thinking it's more environmental and just run of the mill brain chemistry being a little off. Gotta play up the creativity and use it to his advantage. Or at least that's what I'm trying to do. 

SuperChicken
by on Jun. 21, 2013 at 9:30 AM

Do the do a sleep disorder study when diagnosing ADHD?   Many sleep disorders are not readily apparent - i.e. a child can seem to be sleeping but never really going into deep sleep so they still wake exhausted. 

Amanda471
by Member on Jun. 21, 2013 at 9:32 AM
Yes! This is exactly what my 7 year old daughter's pediatrician said when we took my daughter in to visit with her. We had done 2 evaluations-one I filled out, the other one the teacher filled out. The dr said, "...listen, just b/c the teacher said she has trouble focusing doesn't mean I'm going to immediately medicate her." She also asked me A LOT of questions, which was a good thing. In the end she determined that 1) Rachel has NO trouble sleeping and a lot of these kids who are diagnosed do 2) she's in 1st grade and we're not going to worry about this until the end of 2nd grade b/c her grades are excellent and she's good for us at home. In her case, it appears to be trouble focusing in a classroom of 20 plus kids. They sure expect them to know so much more than I had to know going to school in the '80's-holy cow. It could be a matter of her age, the dr said. She wants to be kept up to speed with future parent/teacher meetings regarding this. So the dr mentioned sleeping has a lot to do with it...yeah, no wonder they can't concentrate in school!
celticwych
by Member on Jun. 21, 2013 at 9:33 AM
3 moms liked this

 Uhhhhh ROFL I find this hysterically funny.  Unless you walk in the shoes of someone who has ADHD or you are the parent of someone who has ADHD......you can come up with all the excuses in the world and you will still have no idea.  My now 28 year old daughter who has ADHD along with other diagnoses described ADHD as having headphones on with death metal music blasting in your ears ALL THE TIME, 24 hours a day.  You cant concentrate, you cant focus.  You cant think or accomplish any tasks because you cant focus, the music is to loud. Its easier to just tune it all out. The music, the people trying to tell you things and life in general.   Sleep deprivation was NOT her problem. ADHD is. 

garnet83
by Member on Jun. 21, 2013 at 9:33 AM

I believe there is a lot of merit to this. I believe there are children with ADHD, but I've always thought it to be overly diagnosed. Also, after proctoring EOG's in the local schools this year and seeing all of them fall into deep, drooling, snoring sleep as they finished their tests, I was convinced children are not getting adequate sleep. They weren't napping. They were snoozing. They were out cold. Teachers had to walk around and individually wake up the kids. With my own children (4 and 5), they were going to bed around 9-9:15. They didn't seem sleepy at all at that time either. But they started getting restless during the day and getting in trouble in preschool. I moved their bedtime to 8-8:30. Their behavior improved immediately.

dtm1491
by on Jun. 21, 2013 at 9:34 AM

My dd was diagnosed at 7 with ADD. She is 10 now and was just diagnosed with hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is sometimes mistaken for ADD because of lack of focus, lethargy and inattention. Once she began her thyroid medication and her hormone levels were deemed to be normal I did have her reevaluated to make sure it was not just her thyroid. She is still diagnosed as ADD BUT obviously judging from this there is a lot of truth to misdiagnosis claim.

dtm1491
by on Jun. 21, 2013 at 9:40 AM

ADHD is not a behavioral disorder.

Quoting garnet83:

I believe there is a lot of merit to this. I believe there are children with ADHD, but I've always thought it to be overly diagnosed. Also, after proctoring EOG's in the local schools this year and seeing all of them fall into deep, drooling, snoring sleep as they finished their tests, I was convinced children are not getting adequate sleep. They weren't napping. They were snoozing. They were out cold. Teachers had to walk around and individually wake up the kids. With my own children (4 and 5), they were going to bed around 9-9:15. They didn't seem sleepy at all at that time either. But they started getting restless during the day and getting in trouble in preschool. I moved their bedtime to 8-8:30. Their behavior improved immediately.


Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)



Featured