Restless Leg Disorders in Kids with ADHD
If you have a child with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), he or she likely has trouble paying attention, sitting still, or controlling impulsive behaviors. What may be less obvious is that your child may also have problems sleeping.
Research suggests children with ADHD are more likely to have sleep disorders. These include insomnia, daytime sleepiness, trouble or abnormal breathing during sleep (sleep apnea), and delayed sleep. Two of the most common sleep disorders linked with ADHD are periodic limb movements (PLMS) and restless legs syndrome (RLS). For these reasons, kids with ADHD are more likely to have daytime drowsiness than those without ADHD.
Restless legs syndrome
RLS commonly occurs in children with ADHD. This includes many of those already who already have nighttime cramping and jerking in their arms or legs. Symptoms of RLS include an uncomfortable tingling, burning, or crawling sensation in the legs when the child lies down to sleep. This causes an almost uncontrollable need to twitch, move the legs, or thrash around. Among those who have RLS, as many as 80% also have symptoms of PLMS.
Periodic leg or limb movements (PLMS) during sleep
This sleep disorder causes your children’s arms or legs to cramp and jerk during sleep. The sudden movements may wake them up. Because these movements often jolt children awake, they can cause trouble falling back asleep or staying asleep.
Episodes of PLMS can last from a few seconds to nearly 2 minutes. They may happen often, too. The episodes may occur again and again over a period of several hours, severely disrupting sleep.
If your child with ADHD is losing sleep from these involuntary movements, the resulting sleep loss can affect his or her mood. Behavior problems and irritability are common. Children with PLMS may also have symptoms of RLS as they try to fall sleep.
Experts do not yet fully understand the causes of PLMS and RLS. But they are looking at a possible connection with the central nervous system. Studies suggest that RLS is linked to a lack of iron or trouble processing iron, a mineral important to many brain activities. It has also been tied to nerve damage; conditions such as diabetes; and certain medicines, such as antidepressants and allergy pills that contain antihistamines. In some cases, symptoms of RLS will improve when the medicine is stopped. RLS has also been found to run in families.
Less is known about the cause of PLMS, but it also appears to be linked to iron deficiency and anemia. Kidney disease and diabetes may also contribute.
Researchers don’t know why ADHD seems so often connected to these sleep disorders. They are trying to better understand the tie between them.
How these sleep conditions affect children
Children who don’t get enough sleep can suffer in daily life. They may struggle to pay attention in school or have aggressive outbursts. Unlike adults, who tend to slow down when sleep deprived, kids may become more hyperactive the more tired they are.
In kids with ADHD, lack of sleep tends to worsen their symptoms. One study looked at the impact of improving sleep in children with ADHD. It found that consistently good sleep helped limit and, in some cases, even completely control symptoms of hyperactivity and inattention.
Managing ADHD and sleep problems
Medicines are commonly used to manage ADHD. But the stimulant medicines that are effective in controlling symptoms can often cause sleep problems, such as insomnia. Because insomnia can worsen ADHD, some parents choose not to use medicines for their ADHD. Instead, they focus on therapy, counseling, and social skills training to change the child’s behavior. It’s important for a child who takes stimulant medicine twice a day to take the second dose no later than 2 p.m., so that it’s less likely to cause sleep problems.
These are other steps parents can take to control and prevent symptoms and help children with ADHD sleep better:
1351Baby shower guest sign in ideas
2533Boy baby shower decorations ideas
1607Girl baby shower favors ideas
1791TOP 10 Girl baby shower themes ideas for 2017
600Baby shower fruit tray ideas
1909Purchase The Special Twin Baby Shower Cakes From Your Local Stores
4319Baby shower afternoon tea ideas
3923Baby shower snack ideas pinterest
4291High tea baby shower ideas – 10 ways to have a High tea baby shower party!
218710 Useful Triplet baby shower ideas for you!
2553TOP 10 Baby girl baby shower food ideas
2463Baby shower ideas pinterest boy
554Welcoming a Baby Angel in Style with the Best Baby shower souvenir ideas
2041Planning a Baby shower program ideas – detailed guide
4315Baby shower centerpieces ideas pictures – 10 methods to brighten your baby shower party
23689It is Safe to Eat Raw Meat – A Guide to Choosing the Right Type
3165Baby shower charades ideas
4327Baby shower onesie ideas – 10 secrets to know
2479Baby shower menus ideas
1042Black and white baby shower ideas
1993Baby shower banners ideas
23710The Carnivore’s Dilemma – A Diet of Just Meats and Fats?
1815At home baby shower ideas
2935Decorating ideas for boy baby shower
23722Security Blankets and Other Comfort Objects
1261Home baby shower ideas
1022About to pop baby shower ideas
4175Baby shower ideas youtube
3413Ideas for small baby shower
4219Decorating ideas for baby girl shower
4169Ideas for a coed baby shower
3329Theme ideas for girl baby shower
3485Low budget baby shower ideas
4069Idea for baby shower gifts
3481Baby shower centerpieces ideas to make
2751Baby shower ideas favors