Sleep disorders can trigger hyperactivity

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Sleep disorders can trigger hyperactivity

If children are unable to concentrate properly, cannot sit quietly for a moment and wriggle a lot, nowadays the diagnosis is more and more "Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder", ADHD for short. Other aspects such as nutrition or sleep are often wrongly overlooked. A quarter of the supposedly small ADHD patients could be caused by sleep disorders, as the specialist for pediatrics Prof. Dr. Alfred Wiater explained.

The chief physician of the pediatric clinic of the Porz am Rhein hospital in Cologne and specialist in pediatrics, Dr. Alfred Wiater estimates the number of misdiagnosed ADHD diagnoses at around 25 percent. Rather, the supposedly hyperactive children could suffer from sleep disorders, as the doctor told the news agency "dpa". Because children react differently to sleep disorders than adults. "While adults are tired during the day with a lack of sleep, children are very motorically active." Before an ADHD diagnosis is made prematurely, clarifications should be carried out by an orthodontist and / or ear, nose and throat specialist. Because children with oversized throat or palatine tonsils (polyps) or jaw problems, such as an overbite, often have problems breathing in and sleeping. The result: the little ones snore during the night and wake up again and again. Snoring is also a serious problem for children, because "Parents should not simply stop snoring their offspring, according to the motto: Dad snores too," warned the expert at the 19th annual conference of the German Society for Sleep Research and Sleep Medicine in Mannheim. The earlier treatment is started, the better the child's well-being.

Many parents do not recognize children's sleep disorders. The chief physician bases his statements on a scientific study by the University of Cologne. The researchers had observed around 13,000 parents and their children for four years. About a third of the parents had not noticed their child's sleep disorders. But not only parents, but also doctors need to be made more sensitive to the topic. If the sleep disorders cannot be treated in time, this can have serious consequences. “If treatment is not done in time, the consequences can be irreversible. Studies show that sleep disorders often lead to poor performance in school. ”

Fixed sleep rituals make it easier to go to bed. Of course, not only physical but also psychological background problems can be considered for children's sleep disorders. Some children sleepwalk at night or suffer from recurring nightmares. Wiater estimates that around 40 percent of primary school children suffer from sleep problems. In many cases, parents could prevent poor sleep hygiene by using clear structures. "Children should go to bed at the same time if possible," advises graduate teacher Gritli Bertram in a conversation with "". Bedtime is best associated with enjoyable rituals. "A good bedtime story or a body trip makes it easier for most children to fall asleep." Parents should take as much time as possible to end the day with their children positively. Television, PC or video console games should be taboo before going to sleep, advises Wiater. From a medical point of view, a "firm sleep-wake rhythm is extremely important, as is rest before going to bed."

The nineteenth annual conference of the German Society for Sleep Research and Sleep Medicine will take place until Saturday. At the congress, around 1,800 researchers and doctors will discuss and discuss the latest scientific findings on sleep disorders and sleep disorders. (sb)

Read on:
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ADHD: concentration through noise
ADHD genetic?
Allergenic foods favor ADHD
Environmental factors in ADHD hardly examined
ADHD: Prescription of Ritalin is restricted

Image: Rainer Sturm /

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