Kids affected with ADHD may benefit from good night’s sleep

Kids affected with ADHD may benefit from good night's sleepAccording to Aussie researchers, kids suffering from sleeping difficulties and ADHD showed marginal improvement post a sleep intervention therapy. A good night’s sleep was partly responsible for improvement in the ADHD symptoms. The study also observed that it was due to parent’s learning procedures to deal with behavior issues

According to pediatrician Dr. Hiscock, their past work revealed that sleeping problems are widely common within children suffering ADHD. It is also associated with bad behavior, quality of daily life, per day functioning and disorder symptoms. Hiscock’s mail revealed that children suffering from these two disorders had poor school attendance and parents had also poor mental health and office attendance. They wanted to find out if the improvement in child’s sleep may alter at least some of the aforementioned outcomes.

US Psychiatric association observed that 5% of the country’s children suffer ADHD. Boys are highly prone to develop the disorder compared to girls, reveal Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. To serve the purpose of their study, families of over 200 children were enrolled that aged between five to twelve years. They were suffering from these disorders and attended 21 pediatric clinics of Victoria.

Fifty percent of these families got the intervention that included two private consultations. It was with those clinicians who were trained to control sleep problems of kids and provide personalized programs in sleep management to these families.  It was followed up with a phone consultation. Such an intervention was inclusive of guidance for the parents on the things such as setting up kid’s bedtimes, avoiding caffeine, keeping electronics away from bedroom and establishing routine. Rest of these families continued with regular care serving as the comparison team.

The parents of both groups had dairies featuring questionnaire on their children’s sleeping problems, behaviour, regular functioning at the study’s beginning, 3 and 6 month later and quality of life. They answered questions regarding their own psychological health. Additionally, the teachers of the children filled up rating scales for ADHD during this study. Children were also tested for the working memory. This includes capacity of count in descending order without losing their track.

The team conducting this research observed improvement of symptoms among children of the intervention team at three and also six months. Sleeping difficulties came down more than the kids belonging to comparison group. Teachers also reported of higher reductions in terms of school based behavior issues among the children of intervention team at both 3 and 6 months.

According to Hiscock, management of behavioral sleep difficulties of kids with the disorder is quite effective. It also improves the child behavior, sleep, working memory and quality of the life. Parents may do this with guidance and support from a well-trained health expert. Establishing better sleep hygiene, bedtime routine, media-free bedrooms and setting bedtime are the initial steps. According to Hiscock, paediatricians should enquire about sleeping difficulties among children suffering from the disorder. They should offer evidence related solutions like the one which is used in this study.

Image credit: Feng Yu