Early child sleep loss ups ADHD symptoms

June 15, 2011 at 1:08 AM
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MINNEAPOLIS, June 15 (UPI) -- Preschoolers who get less sleep are more likely to be hyperactive and inattentive in kindergarten, U.S. researchers found.

Lead author Erika Gaylor, a senior researcher for SRI International, an independent, non-profit research institute in Menlo Park, Calif., says although less sleep in preschool-age children predicted worse parent-reported hyperactivity and inattention at kindergarten, but hyperactivity and inattention at preschool did not predict sleep duration at kindergarten.

The study involves about 6,860 children with analyses controlled for gender, ethnicity and family income.

"These findings suggest that some children who are not getting adequate sleep may be at risk for developing behavioral problems manifested by hyperactivity, impulsivity, and problems sitting still and paying attention," Gaylor says in a statement.

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder is not generally diagnosed until the school-age years, but the onset of developmentally inappropriate inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity is often much younger, Gaylor says.

The findings were presented at the 25th Anniversary Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC in Minneapolis.

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