ADHD CHILDREN SLEEP LESS AND MORE POORLY

ADHD Children Sleep Less and More Poorly

Parents of ADHD children have claimed for years that their children have more trouble falling and staying asleep and have poorer quality sleep than other children.  A study out of Aarhus University has found that there is some truth behind this claim.

Recent studies have reported that approximately 70% of parents with ADHD children state that their child has a hard time falling and staying asleep and that their pre-bedtime routines take a long time.  Unfortunately, however, many science-based studies using electrodes to measure sleep quality have not been able to link ADHD and sleep quality.  This new Danish study gives some merit to these parental concerns and shows that children with ADHD do sleep worse than other children their age.

Behind the study is lead researcher, Anne Virring Sorensen, a medical doctor at the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Hospital in Risskov.  She reported that their study validates their experience, which is that their child with ADHD takes longer to get to bed and fall asleep.  With the measurements used in this study, researchers have seen also that these children have disruptive sleep, especially deep sleep.  Only looking at the length of sleep will tell you that children with ADHD sleep an average of 45 minutes less than other children; however, it is the quality of sleep that is most concerning, researchers state.

It is reported that two out of three children diagnosed with ADHD have at least one additional psychiatric condition, which in all likelihood increases the risks of poor sleep quality.  However, even when scientists look only at those with an ADHD diagnosis, they find that there is still a big difference in the patterns compared to children in the control group without a diagnosis.

In this Danish study, researchers also reviewed the daytime sleep patterns, and the findings were surprising.

They found that children with ADHD were able to fall asleep more quickly during the day than at night.  This is so surprising because one of the primary characteristics of ADHD is hyperactivity; however, researchers note that this hyperactivity may be compensatory for the inability to sleep during the day.

Researchers were unable to find a correlation between poor sleep quality and ADHD in the past may be due to the different methods of measurement.  In this study, electrodes were attached to the children for polysomnography readings during an afternoon at the hospital.  However, they still slept in familiar home surroundings.  Previously, children were admitted to sleep centers in a hospital overnight to get a sleep study performed.

Anne Virring Sorensen makes it clear in her findings that the children in this study received no medication to help them fall asleep.  This is a major concern because many ADHD children are given medication at night to help them sleep.

However many hundreds of parents with ADHD children have opted for a starry night sky ceiling mural in the child’s bedroom which has helped many gain a more relaxing sleep and reduced bedtime drama.

CHILDHOOD SLEEP AND SCHOOL SUCCESS.

Childhood Sleep and School Success

New research out of the Australia’s Queensland University of Technology suggests that 1 in 3 children between newborn and five years of age have trouble sleeping, leading to behavioral and emotional problems in the school setting. It was found that children who can ease themselves back to sleep in their earliest years have more productivity and better attention in school.

This new research involved looking at almost 3000 children in the study, “Growing up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children.” Dr. Kate Williams of QUT’s School of Early Childhood reviewed the sleeping patterns of the children who were born in 2004, up to the age of six or seven years. She notes that by five years of age, most children (70%) can self-regulate their sleep; however, the remaining 30% may have developmental problems due to sleep irregularity.

This study, published in the British Journal of Educational Psychology, is the largest sample size for the topic, during which time mothers reported any sleep problems, along with emotional or behavioral concerns between birth and five years of age; while preschool teachers and daycare workers reported any emotional and behavioral problems during the day.

The surprise in the study came to Dr. Williams when she saw that there were escalating behavioral concerns in school in those children who had poorer regulation of sleep, emotions, and attention throughout the day. The children who were associated with having escalated emotional and behavioral problems were also linked to more frequent emotional outbursts, attention deficits, and hyperactivity.

The research implies that if these sleep patterns are not under control by the age of five, then the child is at increased risk of poor adjustment and behavior in later school years. There is a great opportunity, Dr. Williams believes, to teach more about sleep hygiene in children, with greater than 85% of parents utilizing childcare and preschool.

This most recent study indicates that prevention is the key to better school performance in young children. Children must learn these self-regulation skills, so parents will need to cut back on some of their habits – such as lying down with children, allowing them into their bed in the middle of the night, etc.

This research was built off of another study out of QUT that looked at how mandatory daytime naps in childcare or preschool can contribute to poor sleep habits later in life and, therefore, contribute to problems in school. It is believed, however, that sleep problems can be fixed long before a child reaches the first grade, so long as parents, preschool teachers, and childcare workers are well informed and willing to make necessary changes, which ultimately will probably be difficult.

In conclusion, the addition of the night sky ceiling mural has helped hundreds of people gain a more relaxing deep sleep both young and old as there is no age limit on the splendor of a starry night sky bedroom ceiling mural.

Why you need relaxation and sleep.

During the night

How often have you found yourself lying in bed thinking: “If only I could relax, I’d be able to sleep”? Well, there has to be truth in that. A relaxed state, physically and mentally, is certainly a prerequisite for sleep, and we know that naturally relaxed people are usually better sleepers.

Relaxation at bedtime and in bed is crucial, but sleep is not something that can be forced because it is a process of “de-arousal” or “letting go”. Fortunately, learning to relax is a general skill and it is possible to learn to relax, even if you’re not very good at it just now. It can help in a number of circumstances to take a less anxious approach. Being able to relax is great preparation for sleep, but it’s also a great asset for the day–to–day life too.

First of all, you need to know what relaxation is. The human relaxation response involves both physiological and mental changes. Physiologically, relaxation is associated with deeper and slower breathing, a reduction in “muscle tone” (reduced tension) and a lowering of the heart rate. At the cognitive or mental level, relaxation involves detachment from the immediate external world, a focus on pleasant sensations or experiences, and a reduction of mental effort and anxiety.

Your first step in becoming more relaxed is to ask yourself whether you could benefit from improving your ability to relax – your natural “relaxation response”.

 

 

Learning to value relaxation

Do you think it’s important to relax? People who don’t value relaxation don’t spend time on it. They might say it’s important, but in their behavior, you would never know. Our lives can be full of shoulds, musts, and ought to, and we often don’t give ourselves permission to relax. We might even feel that we shouldn’t relax because there are “things that need to be done”. Does any of this sound familiar? If so, your challenge is learning a value system. We are not designed to be on the go 24 hours a day.

General ways to relax

Whereas people indeed relax in different ways, there are four essential types of relaxation response. There is the relaxation response that you get from active physical pursuits – “burning up” physical stress through activities such as exercise. Then there are active mental tasks such as playing chess to address mental stress. Then there is passive relaxation, which is more like “letting go”, for example physically by having a bath or mentally by listening to music. Of course, there is no hard and fast distinction between active and passive, or physical and mental, but good sleepers are better than poor sleepers at the passive approach to relaxation.

In conclusion to the above laying in bed under a clear starry night, sky ceiling mural has all the positiveness that has been proven to help relax and create a calming space enabling a deep relaxing sleep.

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Sensory toy ~ Specialist toy.

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