[Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and sleep disorders]

Rev Neurol. 2006 Feb 13;42 Suppl 2:S37-51.
[Article in Spanish]


Introduction: The purpose of the present review was to analyse the comorbidity that exists between attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and sleep disorders in children and adolescents, together with their clinical characteristics, diagnosis and treatment regimens.

Development: ADHD and sleep disorders are a frequent cause of visits in neuropaediatric departments. Around 25% of children with ADHD have some kind of sleep disorder but, unlike the case of adults, these often remain undetected. We nearly always choose to improve hyperactivity, attention deficit and impulsiveness symptomatically and forget to treat the associated sleep disorder.

Conclusions: There is a clear correlation between ADHD and sleep disorders and they are very common in visits to the neuropaediatric department. Diagnosis of these patients is clinical. Neurophysiological evaluation, especially using polysomnography, provides objective confirmation of the symptoms. Novel treatments such as melatonin and other drugs are now available to improve the sleep pattern. By improving these children's sleep, the symptoms of ADHD are diminished and thus avoid the need to administer psychostimulants, which have undesirable side effects that produce a great deal of anxiety in the parents of these children.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / complications*
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / diagnosis
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / etiology*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / therapy