New research indicates millions of children may be misdiagnosed with ADHD, and a sleep expert working with sleep advice website SleepBetter.org is calling for mandatory tests to avoid unnecessary medication.
Online PR News – 26-September-2011 – – (Richmond, VA) – In light of new research, a sleep expert working with one of the Internet's premier sites for news and information on how to sleep better is calling for sleep testing for all children suspected of having Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Dr. Lisa Shives, a medical doctor who specializes in sleep issues and contributes to SleepBetter.org, says the symptoms of ADHD and sleep deprivation are too similar to ignore, and the sleep testing would guard against misdiagnosis.
New research from the New England Center for Pediatric Psychiatry and the Rhode Island College Department of Special Education indicates that the majority of the more than five million children in the U.S. who are taking medication for ADHD may actually be exhibiting symptoms of sleep deprivation. The Centers for Disease Control says nearly one in ten American children between 5 and 17 years old have been diagnosed with ADHD.
"It is one of my missions as a sleep doctor to have a sleep evaluation become a standard part of the workup for ADHD," said Dr. Shives, who is one of only a few practitioners with a fellowship in Sleep Medicine in addition to board certification by both the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of Sleep Medicine.
ADHD and inadequate sleep both can cause daytime hyperactivity, problems with concentration and learning and mood problems. Studies have shown that a adding or subtracting just one hour of sleep per night can make a big difference in a child’s behavior.
“No one is questioning a valid diagnosis from a trained specialist,” said Dan Schecter, vice president of Consumer Products at Carpenter Co. and creator of SleepBetter.org. “However, while looking at the possibility that a child has ADHD, parents should also consider the child's sleeping habits.”
As families work to settle in to healthy habits during the new school year, SleepBetter.org offers the following tips to help establish and maintain good sleep patterns for children:
* Studies show most school-age kids are at their best with 10-12 hours of sleep per night. For more information, read this article: "How much sleep does my child need?"
* Set a regular bedtime each night and stick to it, even on weekends
* After-dinner play should be relaxing; avoid strenuous physical activity
* Avoid electronic devices as bedtime approaches, as light from computer and TV screens can act as a signal to the brain to “wake up”
* Create a nightly bedtime routine. Routines typically involve activities such as bathing and reading. Starting the routine is a good signal to children (and adults) that it's time to prepare to sleep
For more tips to make the most of your family's sleep, please visit http://sleepbetter.org. You can also get sleep advice from SleepBetter on Twitter and Facebook.
About Carpenter Co. / SleepBetter.org
SleepBetter.org is dedicated to helping people sleep better. Designed as an online resource, the web site creates a forum for visitors to define, discuss, and discover solutions to their particular sleep needs. SleepBetter.org’s quest is to continually gather pertinent sleep information, then share this knowledge with the general public. The site also shares tips on the best sleep related products, both in stores and online. SleepBetter.org has created the Sleep Better seal as a way to easily identify products recommended for their superior quality or scientifically based design. Created by Carpenter Co., the world’s largest producer of comfort cushioning products, SleepBetter.org provides information and advice that visitors can use to sleep better. For more information, please visit http://SleepBetter.org.