Is ADHD In Kids Caused By Sleeplessness?


Raising kids is never easy, especially those with hyperactivity. ADHD is a common disorder with children, and some experts believe they know what the cause is.


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD for short) causes many children to lack concentration, which in turn can cause disruptive behavior at school or home. At a recent scientific conference, experts are discussing a new cause of ADHD, or are at least arguing that it significantly contributes to the disorder. They believe that ADHD is caused by not getting enough sleep due to using smartphones, tablets, and computers before bedtime. In essence, they believe it is due to bad parenting.

One professor in attendance proposed a question: “Does ADHD cause sleeplessness or does sleeplessness cause ADHD?” Three-quarters of ADHD diagnosed children have a delayed circadian rhythm, that is, a delay in their day-night cycle. This delay means that they felt more energy into the evening hours which causes them to go to sleep later. On the flip side, they also felt more tired in the mornings, taking longer to feel energized for the day.


Professor Sandra Kooji from VU Medical Centre in Amsterdam stated, “If you review the evidence, it looks more and more like ADHD and sleeplessness are two sides of the same physiological and mental coin.” An interesting link she made is due to light sensitivity. She claimed that 70% of adults with ADHD have light oversensitivity and wear sunglasses to help shield the sun. This may add to circadian shift as one won’t receive a typical day of light and dark.

A professor from University Hospital in Frankfurt believes that the disturbance in circadian rhythm could not only be a major influencer in ADHD but that it could be related to other mental illness such as bipolar disorder or depression.


Professor Kooji made sure to hedge her bets with the connection. “We don’t say that all ADHD problems are associated with these circadian patterns, but it looks increasingly likely that this is an important element.”