A new study launches a warning for those struggling with sleepless nights as it might increase the risk of Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Around 75% of children and adults are reported to be affected by the disorder.
What is ADHD?
ADHD is a biological condition that makes it hard for many children to sit still and concentrate and now the extensive research shows that people with ADHD also tend to exhibit sleep problems, according to Sandra Kooij, Associate Professor at VU University Medical Centre in Netherlands.
Sleep patterns and ADHD
Earlier thought as separate issues, many sleep-related disorders like restless-leg syndrome, sleep apnea, circadian rhythm disturbance and delayed sleep phase syndrome are now seen to be associated with ADHD.
As per the results shown at the 30th ECNP Congress in Paris, the association is because the day and night rhythm is disturbed, the timing of several physical processes is disturbed, not only of sleep, but also of temperature, movement patterns, timing of meals.
"If you review the evidence, it looks more and more like ADHD and sleeplessness are two sides of the same physiological and mental coin", Kooij said.
Researchers are working to confirm this physical-mental relationship by finding biomarkers such as Vitamin D levels, blood glucose, cortisol levels, 24 hour blood pressure and heart rate variability, which may help "to treat some ADHD by non-pharmacological methods, such as changing light or sleep patterns and prevent the negative impact of chronic sleep loss on health", Kooij said.
"We don’t say that all ADHD problems are associated with these circadian patterns, but it looks increasingly likely that this is an important element", Kooij added.