Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) could be associated with lack of good sleep according to new research. Sandra Kooji, associate professor at the VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam and also the founder of the European Network Adult ADHD has researched the condition and has evidence that there is a strong link between ADHD and lack of sleep.
ADHD linked with lack of sleep
The research performed by Sandra Kooji was presented during the ECNP Congress in Paris. The ECNP is a European scientific meeting for disease-oriented brain research. The study found a link between sleep issues and ADHD and that is the similarity of the symptoms such as restless leg syndrome, circardian rhythm disturbances and sleep apnea.
The physiological phase of sleep, during which sleep related movement takes place and the melatonin levels change, is delayed by an hour and a half in 75% of ADHD patients. The same happens with body temperature. 70% of ADHD adult also experience oversensitivity to light and they also exhibit greater alertness in the evening.
It is unclear however if ADHD causes sleeplessness or if sleeplessness causes ADHD. In order to determine this, Kooji intends to confirm the physical-mental relationship by identifying biomarkers such as blood glucose, cortisol levels, Vitamin D, 24-hour blood pressure, heart rate variability.
The implications of the research are important because it could mean that non-pharmacological methods could be used to treat ADHD. For example, patients could improve their sleeping habit by correcting their cicardian rhythms: ingesting melatonin and night and going under bright light therapy in the morning. Another natural treatment for ADHD is regular physical activity.
ADHD disorder patients suffer from inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. Most people experience only one key behavior of ADHD, some have problems with inattention and some with hyperactivity. Others experience both behaviors.