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The Vicious Cycle of ADHD and Sleep Deprivation: New Research

Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (a.k.a ADHD) may sound cute and harmless, but in reality it is a disorder that comes attached with a string of problems that severely disables a child from assimilating into society and learning at par his peers.

That's why the findings of a new research on the close relationship between ADHD and sleep deprivation by Dr. Sandra Kooij of the VU Medical Center in Amsterdam, Netherlands, is causing major ripples in the medical fraternity ever since it was presented at the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology's Conference in Paris earlier this month.

ADHD and the Biological Clock

Hyperactivity and short attention span may be the more famous symptoms of ADHD. But the disorder always brings with it an array of sleep disorders, including sleep apnea (difficulty in breathing during sleep), restless leg syndrome (urge to move legs when at rest), and insomnia.

The reason behind which has finally been revealed as a problem in melatonin levels. The hormone responsible for inducing sleep at night.

In fact, when Dr. Kooij analyzed saliva samples of 52 adults with ADHD against a control group of 52 normal individuals, she found that those suffering from ADHD had delayed release of melatonin by almost 1 - 1.5 hours at night.

This prevents them from falling asleep on time at night, and leads to exacerbation of the symptoms of the disorder.

Resetting the Internal Clock

Given the findings of this research, the first step anyone with ADHD can take right now is to improve their circadian rhythm by installing certain habits in their life to help them sleep.

Habits like these:-

1. Dimming lights earlier in the evening to stimulate melatonin production.

2. Exercising earlier in the day.

3. Eating a smaller meal for breakfast.

4. Refraining from use of electronic devices before bed.

So if you suffer from ADHD, we urge you to share this article to help more people with the disorder get some much-deserved rest at night.

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Story first published: Tuesday, September 5, 2017, 18:15 [IST]
Read more about: sleep adhd