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Avatar universal

Sleep Apnea and ADHD

My 8 year old daughter just started on ADHD medications for inattentiveness at school, impulsiveness, and some mild hyperactivity.  She also wets her bed at night because she sleeps so deeply.

I have severe sleep apnea and I'm wondering if it's possible that some/all of her behavior could be a result of childhood sleep apnea  as well.  She doesn't snore but is extremely restless in bed, is tired during the day, falls asleep almost immediately when she goes to bed, says she doesn't feel like she has a lot of energy although she seems a bit hyper.  Her pediatrician doesn't seem to think so because everyone associates sleep apnea with snoring, but I know that is not always the definitive sign.  So the dr. was only willing to send her to an ENT.  Does this make sense?  I don't want to be medicating her for the symptoms of a physiological condition that can be helped in other ways.

Thank you!
4 Responses
242606 tn?1243786248
If sleep apnea is present, it will likely be pursued as one of the results of the ENT evaluation. It is unusual for a child of 8 to be complaining of feeling tired during the day. Now, relative to the attentional and hyperactivity issues, they are likely a separate thing, not related to either ENT problems or sleep apnea.
Avatar universal
Ummm....sry, but I think this lady has a point, and should pursue any sleep problems her daughter may have. My son, who has suffered from sleep disorders since 2, is undergoing testing because we suspect that although he is alsleep 11-12 hours, his actual rest is more like 4-5 hours on some nights. While gathering research, I've learned that sleep deprived children can exhibit symptoms like: impulsiveness, high sensitivity/emotional, difficulty sitting still, etc. Ritalin is a stimulant, so it can effectively help sleep-deprived children to cope, but it is better to address any sleep disorders and reduce the problem in the first place.  Search for a site called 'PubMed'. On the site you can search for research and articles based on keywords, and it will return abstracts from the articles. It may give you some insights and other areas to search. Use combinations of words like : parasomnia, ADD, sleep-deprived, child, sleep, ritalin. I was just looking last week and found a study about children with ADD/ADHD, treated with Ritalin who also have parasomnias (I think they said they were looking at the higher incidence of parasomnias in ADD children).  Anyway, of the ADD children whose Ritalin treatments were effective (cause Ritalin doesn't help all kids), they found that  for %30, treating their sleeping disorder reduced their need for medication or they could stop altogether. In the study, it was suggested that those children had not been truly ADD, but rather their behaviour was a coping mechanism for the sleep-deprivation and that was why the stimulant medication worked for their symptoms.
It's a fairly new study area, but do the research and get some more information, and get an assessment from a professional - perhaps discuss with the pediatrician monitoring her ADHD. Good luck.
Avatar universal
I hae heard that there is a correlation between sleep apnea
diagnosis and ADHD diagnosis.  I was told that the symptoms look similar and unless you rule out sleep apnea i dont thiki its
fair to the child to diagnos as ADHD.  you should consult a specialist not just pediatrician.
Avatar universal
I have an 11 year old son who has been diagnosed with ADHD and bipolar disorder.  I saw 48 hours this past Friday and was stunned.  He has snored practically all of his life and he has been head banging on his pillow while sleeping as well.  I was always told not to worry about it, that he would outgrow the head banging by adolescence.  Now I wonder if this ADHD/Bipolar disorder could be caused by a Sleep disorder.  Does anyone know of a site that could give me some concrete info to take to my pediatrician?
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