Counting sheep till the wee hours of morning? If you’ve ruled out these surprising habits that keep you up, you might need to blame it on your ADHD.
A growing body of research suggests that those who are diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) also have sleep problems. In fact, 75 percent of children and adults with ADHD have difficulty sleeping, a new study reports. Now, scientists speculate that lack of a regular circadian rhythm could somehow be connected to the disorder.
“There is extensive research showing that people with ADHD also tend to exhibit sleep problems,” said Sandra Kooij, MD, PhD, at the ECNP Conference in Paris. “What we’re doing here is taking this association to the next logical step: pulling all the work together leads us to say that, based on existing evidence, it looks very much like ADHD and circadian problems are intertwined in the majority of patients.”
The study also noted that many sleep-related disorders—like sleep apnea and restless-leg syndrome—are associated with the condition. Plus, those who suffer from ADHD are usually more alert at night than those who don’t. This raises an interesting question: Does lack of sleep cause ADHD, or does ADHD cause a lack of sleep? Going forward, researchers aim to find out.
“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,” Professor Kooij said.
Think a lack of shuteye is impairing your focus at work or school? Researchers suggest snagging some melatonin or these sleep-boosting essential oils at night. And if all else fails, these experts can help you get the best sleep of your life. Sleep tight!