In recent decades, parents and teachers around the world have been talking more and more about children's problems with inability to concentrate, impulsive behaviour and hyperactivity. ADHD has been analysed by many scientists and doctors in the search for its causes - wondering whether it is genetics or a disorder of brain development? But what if the cause of this disorder is actually much simpler?
More and more scientists are saying that children nowadays don't get the sleep their bodies really need - which may be one of the causes of ADHD. This theory still sounds quite provocative and controversial, but recent research is finding a pretty strong link between ADHD and sleep duration and quality.
Sandra Kooij, a professor who studies ADHD, says that one of the most important things for a child's healthy development is to have the right "rhythm" of day and night - it's about when we eat, when we move, when we go to bed. Changes, lack of routine and rest can lead to very serious consequences and disorders, she says. "ADHD and insomnia seem to be two sides of the same coin," she said.
Recent research suggests that children with ADHD may actually just suffer from poor sleep quality, insomnia or another sleep disorder. Some researchers suggest that ADHD may even be considered a sleep disorder in itself, a view that would fundamentally change the perception and treatment of ADHD. Studies have shown that children with ADHD take longer to fall asleep and have a disrupted sleep cycle, which affects physiological processes.
In these days when computers and the internet take up a large part of even the smallest children's daily routine, quality rest is even more valuable. Also, when children are expected to perform at their best every day, both at school and in a wide range of extra-curricular activities, it is predictable that some children who are struggling with their personal achievements are feeling stressed and overwhelmed - leading to inadequate, poor-quality rest, sleep deprivation, and even greater problems.
Do you think your child is showing signs of ADHD? Contact us for a free consultation and ways to help your little one. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org