According to Vatsal G. Thakkar, a Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at N.Y.U., School of Medicine, many adults and children are wrongly diagnosed with A.D.H.D. He has treated adults by prescribing melatonin and teaching relaxation techniques to help them sleep. Once these adults are getting the proper sleep they need, the symptoms of A.D.H.D., tend to disappear.
What are these symptoms?
- a propensity to lose things
- an inability to pay attention
Often what is seen in children who are not getting the restorative sleep their bodies and minds need for proper growth, is not so much tiredness, but hyperactivity and unfocused behavior.
Dr. Thakkar points out that children today are getting less sleep than in previous decades. In fact the explosion of what he calls the “sleep restricting lifestyle” which began in the 90’s coincides with an increase in the number of children being diagnosed with A.D.H.D.
Often children have a sleep deficit because they have sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome or frequently interrupted sleep. Many times surgery can help the sleep apnea and snoring by having the tonsils removed. For children who are not experiencing the restorative, uninterrupted sleep they need, sleep training is in order.
Teaching a child to sleep and helping adults sleep not only can make an impact on attention- deficit problems, but also prevent more serious issues. Chronic delta sleep (deep restorative sleep) deprivation is a factor in depression, heart disease, hypertension, obesity, chronic pain, diabetes and cancer.
Parents, teach your child how to sleep and then give yourself the gift of sleep; either through medication or relaxation techniques, as well as having a consistent bed time and wake time schedule.