Confusing A.D.H.D. symptoms with Sleep Deprivation
According to recent studies, attention problems such as A.D.H.D. or A.D.D. might be caused due to sleep-related issues rather than an attention deficiency (hyperactivity) disorder. In a recent study conducted by researchers reporting for the Journal Pediatrics, researchers followed 11,000 British children for six years and chronicled their sleeping habits from the ages of 6 months to 6 ½ years old. After six years, the researchers concluded “the children whose sleep was affected by breathing problems like snoring, mouth breathing or apnea were 40 percent to 100 percent more likely than normal breathers to develop behavioral problems resembling A.D.H.D.” (NYTimes). Unlike adults, children with sleeping disorders or lack of sleep experience symptoms that resemble those of A.D.H.D. Children with sleeping disorders are obstinate, moody, hyper, and experience a hard time focusing or interacting with their schoolmates. Oftentimes adults mistake these symptoms for A.D.H.D. and in the hopes of counteracting these side effects, the children are prescribed A.D.H.D. medications like Ritalin, Adderall, or Concerta, which ultimately increase sleeplessness and cause insomnia. The study ultimately concluded that students who loose even a half an hour of much needed rest a night would exhibit symptoms resembling behaviors typical of A.D.H.D.
Doctors, parents, and teachers often presume children with hyperactive and antisocial tendencies are suffering from a disorder, but what if that presumed disorder is only a side effect of loosing too much sleep? Children and teenagers live a very hectic life and an overload of homework coupled with texting, social media sights, and other entertainment usually results in a lack of sleep. People need to realize that behaviors resembling A.D.H.D. might be due to a lack of sleep, not an attention deficiency disorder. What do you think? Do you think children these days are more likely to have an attention disorder or are simply suffering from a lack of sleep? And also, do you blame the parents or the doctors for potentially misdiagnosing the children presumed to be suffering with A.D.H.D.?