Sleep disturbances in prepubertal children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: a home polysomnography study

Sleep. 2009 Mar;32(3):343-50. doi: 10.1093/sleep/32.3.343.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety / diagnosis
  • Anxiety / epidemiology
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / diagnosis*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / epidemiology
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / psychology
  • Child
  • Child Behavior Disorders / diagnosis
  • Child Behavior Disorders / epidemiology
  • Child Behavior Disorders / psychology
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Disorders of Excessive Somnolence / diagnosis
  • Disorders of Excessive Somnolence / epidemiology
  • Disorders of Excessive Somnolence / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control
  • Male
  • Monitoring, Ambulatory*
  • Parasomnias / diagnosis
  • Parasomnias / epidemiology
  • Parasomnias / psychology
  • Polysomnography*
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / diagnosis
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / epidemiology
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / psychology
  • Sleep Deprivation / diagnosis
  • Sleep Deprivation / epidemiology
  • Sleep Deprivation / psychology
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / diagnosis
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / epidemiology
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / psychology
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / epidemiology
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / psychology
  • Sleep, REM