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Kids With ADHD: Could They Simply Be Tired?

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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
Replies (21-30):
SilverSterling
by MrsSilverusSnape on Jun. 21, 2013 at 10:14 AM

My 17yr and 11yr (girls) have ADHD and are medicated (patches and pills)

My only Boy has ADD Just Patches as needed He has other learning issues that he is working through and he can tell you if and when He needs a Patch

my youngest is NOTHING like the other 3... she has an over active mind who thinks of things no 4yr normally thinks of.. 

I am of the mind that ADHD is a Blanket for many things... As a parent we have to fight to make sure that it is what it is... I have seen so many specialists that i am 99.9999999999% sure that the 3 older ones have what they have.. BTW my only son doesn't sleep.. always been a poor sleeper and I was 110% sure they were going to tell me he was just like his sisters..  

furbabymum
by on Jun. 21, 2013 at 11:54 AM
1 mom liked this

 I bet a lot of kids aren't sleeping because they are over stimulated with electronics.

cjsbmom
by Lois Lane on Jun. 21, 2013 at 12:32 PM
1 mom liked this

I don't think lack of sleep causes ADHD nor does it mimick the signs of it. I think lack of sleep would make ADHD symptoms worse, though. 

MamiJaAyla
by Member on Jun. 21, 2013 at 12:47 PM

I remember reading a study YEARS ago by our local hospital regarding enlarged adrenal glands and diff. in behavior after they were removed.  Quite a few of the children were suffering from "sleeping issues" ather than ADHD>

One of the reasons that on my path... I also took ds to an allergist and a asthma specialist.  Had his glands and tonsils looked at.  Did a psycho-social-educational evaluation... looked at diet changes and vitamin supplements etc.

MamiJaAyla
by Member on Jun. 21, 2013 at 12:50 PM

 


Quoting cjsbmom:

I don't think lack of sleep causes ADHD nor does it mimick the signs of it. I think lack of sleep would make ADHD symptoms worse, though. 


 As I posted a local hospital did a study and many of the kids who had their enlarged glands removed their ADHD "disappeared".  Bad sleep does cuase "ADD" like behavior/symptoms. 

 

LavenderMom23
by Bronze Member on Jun. 21, 2013 at 12:51 PM

For my family sleep definitiely is part of the problem, but it's not poor habits we go to sleep on time and set the required hours down, it's a physical inability to get good quality sleep. Which requires medication

survivorinohio
by René on Jun. 21, 2013 at 12:57 PM

We had a vacation where we had extra cash and part of the plan was to have a healthy preservative, gluten and dye free diet for the children.  It made a huge difference in their behavior.  I have a much harder time doing it at home on my budget though.

Quoting LauraKW:

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.


How far you go in life depends on your being: tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of both the weak and strong.  Because someday in life you would have been one or all of these.  GeorgeWashingtonCarver


cjsbmom
by Lois Lane on Jun. 21, 2013 at 12:59 PM


Quoting MamiJaAyla:



Quoting cjsbmom:

I don't think lack of sleep causes ADHD nor does it mimick the signs of it. I think lack of sleep would make ADHD symptoms worse, though. 


 As I posted a local hospital did a study and many of the kids who had their enlarged glands removed their ADHD "disappeared".  Bad sleep does cuase "ADD" like behavior/symptoms. 


Lack of sleep doesn't cause hyperactivity. It may make it hard for someone to focus, but that is not the only symptom of ADHD. 


cjsbmom
by Lois Lane on Jun. 21, 2013 at 12:59 PM
1 mom liked this

All that artificial crap in foods isn't good for anyone, but especially so for kids who already have behavioral issues. 

Quoting survivorinohio:

We had a vacation where we had extra cash and part of the plan was to have a healthy preservative, gluten and dye free diet for the children.  It made a huge difference in their behavior.  I have a much harder time doing it at home on my budget though.

Quoting LauraKW:

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.



elkmomma
by Bronze Member on Jun. 21, 2013 at 1:07 PM

LOL  Not sure if that applies to me or my kid.  DS gets 9 - 10 hrs every night, occasionally less or more.  I get 4 -5 most nights, but that's due to playing video games after kiddo's in bed.  However, that may work for many other kids.

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