Sleep Apnea and ADHD in Children

The following links and excerpts are provided about this topic:

**Having Your Child Evaluated for Obstructive Sleep Apnea** -- ASAA article

***St. Joseph Medical Center Article*** -- Jan. 17, 2007

**Duke University Medical Center Article** -- Oct. 1, 2004
The following is an excerpt from the Duke University Medical Center article:

Child's Sleep Disorder May Cause Hyperactivity

This week on MedMinute...Children who sleep poorly may exhibit behavioral problems similar to those caused by attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Parents may want to ask their physician if pediatric sleep apnea could be contributing to a child's hyperactive behavior.

If we don't get a good night's sleep, we're worn out the next day. But lack of sleep may have the opposite effect on a child. As parents know all too well, a child who doesn't get enough sleep can sometimes exhibit hyperactive behavior. Parents may suspect a child has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), when the hyperactivity could be caused by a disorder called sleep apnea. Dr. Richard Kravitz, director of the Pediatric Sleep Laboratory at Duke University Medical Center, says it's often difficult to pin down what's causing the hyperactivity.

"As we learn more about ADD and ADHD, and we learn more about sleep apnea, we're starting to see overlaps between the symptoms. They're separate conditions, but they overlap in terms of their symptoms. So it makes it even more challenging to try to tease out in a child who has trouble concentrating or is hyperactive, is it ADD or ADHD or is it sleep apnea, or is it a combination of both?"

If your child is experiencing hyperactivity or having trouble concentrating in school, ask your pediatrician if a sleep disorder could be the cause.