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Lack of Sleep Can Cause ADHD

10.27.09 Lack of Sleep Can Cause ADHD

While paging through a recent Parents magazine (the ultimate in reuse-- my dear friend gives me all her old magazines, we're talking Parents, Rachel Ray, and sometimes even trashy People mag!), I found a small article that gave me pause.


Seems a new study published in Pediatrics found that children who don't sleep enough are more likely to show symptoms of ADHD (and other behavioral problems).  Now, this isn't rocket science, we've all seen what sleep deprivation does to us.  (Did I brush my teeth?  Where is XYZ?  Why did I come into this room?).  In the study, eight year olds who slept less than 7 and a half hours were more implusive and hyperactive than those who slept more. 


I am not surprised, as a teacher, the students who stay up late watching TVs in their rooms are more likely to be disruptive and inattentive.  I see this everyday.


And under this little article was guidelines from the National Sleep Foundation, stating:


Kids Ages 1 and 2:  need 12-14 hours of sleep


Kids Ages 3 and 4:  should sleep 11-13 hours each night and might still take naps (not mine!)


Kids 5-12:  ideally should get 10-11 hours of sleep everynight. 


That really gave me pause.  We’re pretty good about our bedtimes, but with me working and sometimes having a late dinner, bedtime can be pushed back.  Or it’s delayed by that extra story or conversation. My two year old decided not to nap anymore (there is just too much to do with her older sister!), so she is borderline for getting what she needs.  So I am going to try harder in this area.  It’s difficult for parents who work out of the home and want to see their babies…I find myself wanting to have them stay up a little to spend more time with them.  But for many reasons (I have also heard that sleep is directly related to growth), sleep is crucial in the development of little bodies and brains. 


Here's a longer article I found about this also from Parents.  What about you, readers?  How do you manage your child’s sleep?

Posted in: Sleep, ADHD
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