ADHD seems to have come out of no where. It was not even something anyone talked about not that long ago and then it became a big deal. Kids were getting diagnosed with left and right. And it makes one wonder why all of a sudden this happened. Well, it turns out there might be a very simple solution, at least in some of the cases according to a recent article I read in the Washington Post.
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Over the past two decades, U.S. parents and teachers have reported epidemic levels of children with trouble focusing, impulsive behavior and so much energy that they are bouncing off walls. Educators, policymakers and scientists have referred to attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, as a national crisis and have spent billions of dollars looking into its cause.
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That's what I'm thinking. There has to be something more simple to explain why this is happening.
What if, as a growing number of researchers are proposing, many kids today simply aren't getting the sleep they need, leading to challenging behaviors that mimic ADHD?
You mean our achievement oriented, tech addicted society might not be the most conducive for healthy sleep?
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That provocative and controversial theory has been gaining momentum in recent years, with several studies suggesting strong links between ADHD and the length, timing and quality of sleep. In an era in which even toddlers know the words Netflix and Hulu, when demands for perfectionism extend to squirmy preschoolers and many elementary-age students jugglemultiple extracurricular activities each day, one question is whether some kids are so stimulated or stressed that they are unable to sleep as much or as well as they should.
I'm no doctor and won't pretend to have all the answers here but this makes a ton of sense.
Growing evidence suggests that a segment of children with ADHD are misdiagnosed and actually suffer from insufficient sleep, insomnia, obstructed breathing or another known sleep disorder. But the most paradigm-challenging idea may be that ADHD may itself be a sleep disorder. If correct, this idea could fundamentally change the way ADHD is studied and treated.
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The pharmaceutical companies might not like this but if the answer is simply to get more sleep, it seems we can knock out several problems in one fell swoop.
“There's a lot of evidence that sleep is a big factor in behavior in children,” Bonuck said in a recent interview.
Previous studies have shown that about 75 percent of people with ADHD have sleep disturbances and that the less sleep they get the more severe the symptoms. In one paper, scientists showed that a group of children with nighttime breathing issues who were diagnosed with ADHD no longer met the diagnostic criteria for the disorder after they had their adenoids or tonsils removed to treat the sleep problem.
I'm sure there are other factors to consider but it seems that sleep is a good place to start.
Read the full article below.
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