Parents of kids with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
(ADHD) may face another challenge as they seek treatment for their child. A
research review confirmed that Ritalin, Concerta and Adderall, all drugs used
to treat ADHD, list sleep problems as a potential side effect.
Katherine Kidwell, a researcher at the University of
Nebraska-Lincoln, and her team pooled the results of seven clinical trials in
which children with ADHD were randomly assigned to take a stimulant or not.
The research showed that children who were given stimulants tended
to sleep less, on average, than children given placebo pills. Her team also found
that, on average, the more often a child took a stimulant during the day, the
longer it took to fall asleep at night.
"We're not trying to encourage parents to stop their children's
medication," Kidwell told HEALTH. "But we do encourage parents to talk to their
pediatrician if they think their child is having sleep problems."
Fitful sleeping habits may not always be attributed to medical
stimulants. Parents and kids may also need advice on developing good sleep
habits, Kidwell advised.
"Have them go to bed at the same time every night, and keep electronic
devices out of the bedroom, Dr. Trevor Resnick, chief of pediatric neurology at
Nicklaus Children's Hospital in Miami told HEALTH.
Resnick, who was not a part of Kidwell's research team recommends that
all children develop good sleeping habits to aid in healthy brain development.