The link between parent and child sleep disturbances in children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder

Sleep Med. 2016 May:21:160-4. doi: 10.1016/j.sleep.2015.11.015. Epub 2015 Dec 8.


Objective: Although sleep problems are widely known to be a prominent feature of childhood attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), little is known about the link between these difficulties and parental sleep disturbances.

Methods: The design was cross-sectional assessing a clinical sample of 62 children, aged 7-17 years (mean age = 10.0 years) diagnosed with ADHD and their parents. All participants completed measures of ADHD symptoms, sleep, anxiety, and executive functioning.

Results: Regression analysis revealed that child's pre-sleep arousal significantly predicted parental sleep, and that medication status and children's anxiety significantly predicted children's sleep. Children with a clinical sleep score were more impaired in behavioral, emotional, and cognitive domains.

Conclusion: Parents of children with ADHD exhibit sleep disturbances that might be affected by their child's arousal prior to bedtime. The nature of the interaction between children with ADHD and their parents' sleep abnormalities is yet to be elucidated.

Keywords: ADHD; Anxiety; Children; Parental sleep; Pre-sleep arousal; Sleep.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / diagnosis*
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires