Study objective: To examine sleep architecture and reported sleep problems in children with ADHD and normal controls, while considering the roles of pertinent moderating factors.
Design: Overnight sleep recordings were conducted in 15 children diagnosed with ADHD (DSM-IV) without comorbid psychiatric problems and in 23 healthy controls aged 7 to 11 years. Children were on no medication, in good health and did not consume products containing caffeine > or = 7 days prior to the polysomnography (PSG) study. PSG evaluation was performed at each child's home; children slept in their regular beds and went to bed at their habitual bedtimes.
Measurements: Standard overnight multichannel PSG evaluation was performed using a portable polysomnography device. In addition, parents were asked to complete a sleep questionnaire.
Results: Compared to controls, children in the ADHD group had significantly shorter duration of REM sleep, smaller percentage of total sleep time spent in REM sleep, and shorter sleep duration. In addition, the ADHD group had higher scores on the insufficient sleep and sleep anxiety factors than children in the control group.
Conclusion: The present findings support the hypothesis that children with ADHD present sleep disturbances.