ADHD in Teens Correlated to Sleep Deprivation
June 8, 2016

Are The Symptoms of ADHD in Teens Actually ADHD or a Sleep Disorder?

Teenagers minds and bodies are still developing until their early 20’s. To promote healthy development, they need between 8 to 10 hours of sleep every night, which is well above the normal average for adults. Lack of sleep can affect attention, mood, and daily functioning in teens. Studies suggest that sleep deprivation can magnify these symptoms and other symptoms associated to ADHD in teens. Sleep problems are extremely common in ADHD in teens. 30 to 75 percent of teens with ADHD don’t get the amount of sleep they need daily. Psychology Today educates on research that suggest ADHD in teens could actually just be a sleep disorder, how ADHD in teens creates negative sleep habits, and the proper ways to manage sleep to prevent ADHD symptoms.

Symptoms of ADHD can create these sleep problems:

  • Trouble falling asleep
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Short sleep durations

The sleep problems often occur because teens with ADHD regularly have trouble managing their daily schedules and activities. This can lead to inconsistent bedtimes and too few hours available for sleeping. Researchers believe that people with ADHD may have different circadian rhythms. What this means is that people who ADHD have a different natural alarm clock. Due to this, they have a harder time going to bed and waking up at what society considers appropriate times.

Other Areas of Mental Health May Be at Risk

The effects from lack of sleep may magnify symptoms of ADHD in teens, but they also can create other negative mental health conditions. Research suggests that the sleep issues caused by ADHD in teens are also associated with increases in depressive symptoms, oppositional behavior over time, and daytime sleepiness that results in a drop in academic performance.

ADHD or a Sleep Disorder?

Lack of sleep can create ADHD symptoms in people who do not actually suffer from ADHD. Researchers believe that ADHD in teens may actually just be sleep disorders or poor sleep habits. Whether an individual is suffering from ADHD or a sleep disorder, they can reduce symptoms by managing their sleep habits and schedules. Teens can also use behavior strategies to improve sleep overall. Sticking to a regular bedtime every night and avoiding staying up late are good ways to achieve efficient sleep. Parents should consider negotiating bedtimes with their teens and setting rules on the amount of TV or social media is allowed before bedtime. Sleep is a natural cure and can have wonderful positive effects on all individuals.

For more information about ADHD in teens, check out Elevations RTC.

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