ADHD and inappropriate bedtime habits

November 29, 2011 by
Filed under: Research, Spinewave Bulletin 

“The New England Center for Pediatric Psychology found after testing more than 700 kids and their families, kids who didn’t sleep in their own bed were 7 times more likely to have ADHD-like symptoms.  And 8 times more likely if they didn’t have a regular bedtime.  But they didn’t actually have ADHD.”

We only find what we perceive. What is ADD/ADHD really? How does it fit into today’s social structure? What’s really happening with the child’s brain and body?

What is your concentration like after a poor night’s sleep? Prior to this study, there have been no major ADHD studies that examine specific bedtime habits as possible precursors of childhood ADHD. Furthermore, there is no evidence to indicate that bedtime habits are routinely assessed during intake procedures at a doctor’s office.

Of the 704 children assessed between the ages of 2 and 13, the following results were determined:

  1. Children who did not sleep in their own beds had ADHD-like behaviours 7 times more frequently than children who always slept in their own beds.
  2. Children who did not sleep in their own beds hit, pushed, or kicked their parents 13 times more frequently than children who always slept in their own beds.
  3. Children who did not have a regular bedtime had ADHD-like behaviours 8 times more frequently than children who had a regular bedtime.
  4. Children who did not have a regular bedtime hit, pushed, or kicked their parents 10 times more frequently than children who had a regular bedtime.

Reference: Imber, S. & Pressman, R. Relationship of children’s daytime behaviour problems with bedtime routines/practices: A family context and the consideration of faux-ADHD. American Journal of Family Therapy. 2011.

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