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Sleep Can Treat ADHD: 10 Scientifically Proven Markers of Sleep Disorders

Did you know that children and adults with ADHD also have sleep disorders?  Studies show that treating these sleep disorders can help reduce the symptoms of ADHD.  Watch out for the markers of sleep disorders, and make notes to discuss with your doctor during treatment.

Measure total average hours.  Evaluate the duration of sleep in terms of total average hours.  Sleep is best done before midnight and should be unbroken for 8 hours.  Less than 7 hours of sleep or broken sleep should always been addressed, especially in children. 

Identify sleep levels.  Sleep has three levels: the first is falling asleep, the second is staying asleep, and the third is waking in the middle of the night and being unable to return to sleep.  Each level will require different treatments.

Identify sleep architecture.  A deep sleep with a feeling of restfulness in the morning is ideal, but many individuals with ADHD have varying levels of sleep that often suggest problems.

Assess history of sleep problems.  Adults with ADHD often have a history of sleep problems that eventually catch up with them in their later years.  Just because a person was able to do well with only four hours of sleep a night, it doesn't mean that they will avoid the consequences in the future.  Treatment for problems like this will involve excessive sleep for a few days or weeks until the body is calibrated to get 8 hours of sleep. 

Identify sleep apnea.  SPECT imaging technology reveals that snoring or sleep apnea is related to brain oxygen depravation, which will aggravate the symptoms of ADHD.  Fortunately, sleep apnea can be treated through sleep clinics.

Check for other psychiatric conditions.  The most common cause of sleep problems is unidentified depression, bipolar disorder, and other psychiatric conditions. If detected, these conditions should be treated using natural means instead of through medication.

Overly-treated ADHD. Stimulant medications used to treat ADHD tend to interfere with sleep patterns.  If sleep problems start occurring after taking medication, the dosage might need adjustment.  However, the best solution for this is to discontinue medication and use natural ADHD treatments instead.

Check for hormone levels.  Did you know that too much estrogen also affects sleep patterns?  Increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol also disrupt sleep and may be responsible for some of the ADHD symptoms.

Check for metabolic problems.  There are some metabolic problems like restless legs syndrome that get in the way of sleep patterns.  However, these problems are often caused by a magnesium deficiency and other nutritional deficits.  These are causes that cannot be addressed by medications alone.

Sleep disorders seem completely unrelated to ADHD, but as you start understanding the relationship between a good night's rest and proper brain functioning, it doesn't seem like such a strange idea after all.  Ask your doctor for advice on the best treatments for your sleep disorder.