There is certainly a lot of information out regarding ADHD. Procrastination, forgetfulness, lack of focus, losing things…all are classic symptoms that you will be told to watch for in your child if you perceive there might be a problem.
These are also issues many adults struggle with.
So, do you, or does your child, have ADHD? One thing in diagnosing attention-deficit hyperactivity is that these types of symptoms must date back to childhood. If they don’t, you need to look further into what could be causing these disorders.
Dr. Jackie Schafer of Colorado Healthy Sleep advises, “I have seen many clients who exhibit symptoms of ADHD, but those symptoms manifested in their teens and 20s…or even 30s and 40s…too late to be considered ‘classic ADHD’. To those patients, I urge them to get evaluated to see if they have a breathing disorder that causes a chronic sleep deficit.”
According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), 11 percent of school-aged children have now been diagnosed with ADHD and the numbers are continuing to rise. But what if they actually have a sleep disorder and it’s masking itself as ADHD?
Medical science is starting to think it might not be a coincidence that the 1990s saw an era of decreasing average sleep times, the increased use of sleep-impairing electronic devices, and skyrocketing numbers of cases diagnosed as ADHD.
Here are some statistics to consider:
7 is the average age of ADHD diagnosis
3-6 is the age when symptoms of ADHD typically first appear
6.1% of American children are currently taking medication for ADHD
42% is the increase in ADHD diagnoses over the past 8 years!
Dr. Schafer goes on to say, “Continued lack of sleep usually causes lethargy in adults. But in children, it often causes the opposite reaction; they become hyperactive. Parents might not know this, so they don’t correlate sleeping disorders with their child’s constant movement and lack of focus.”
To support her concerns, a large proportion of children diagnosed with ADHD also have sleep apnea and excessive snoring. Both can be disorders that occur when an airway is obstructed during sleep and can lessen the amount of quality sleep a child – or adult – receives nightly.
You should not only be worried about a mere lack of focus. When laboratory animals have their quality sleep – called delta sleep – continually interrupted, they fail to thrive and simply die. Likewise, several serious human diseases like diabetes, heart disease, chronic pain, depression, and even cancer have been linked to obstructive breathing and a lack of restful, quality sleep.
If you suspect you, your spouse, or your child might have issues with sleep, take the self-assessment found at https://coloradohealthysleep.com/self-assessment/
To find out more, watch this video below and/or call Dr. Schafer at 303-469-3344.