Sleep patterns in children with ADHD: a population-based cohort study from birth to 11 years

Nicola Scott, Pete S Blair, Alan M Emond, Peter J Fleming, Joanna Humphreys, A J W Henderson, Paul Gringras

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Associations between sleep duration and disturbance in infancy and
early childhood and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder diagnoses
were investigated. Data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and
Children, a population-based prospective longitudinal birth-cohort study
of children born in 1991–1992 in South-West England, were employed.
Eight thousand, one hundred and ninety-five children were assessed
using the Development and Well-Being Assessment. One hundred and
seventy-three cases (2.1%) met criteria for attention deficit hyperactivity
disorder. Parental report at eight time points showed children with
attention deficit hyperactivity disorder slept less than peers. Absolute
differences were small and mainly restricted to night-time sleep, with no
strong evidence of differences from controls, except at 69 months
[5 years 9 months; 12 min (95% CI: 5–19), P = 0.001], at 81 months
[6 years 9 months; 15 min (95% CI: 8–22), P < 0.001] and at 115
months [9 years 7 months; 11 min (95% CI: 4–18), P = 0.001]. The
attention deficit hyperactivity disorder group had more night-waking at
every age, significant from about 5 years. When tracking children’s sleep
along a normative centiles chart, a shift in sleep duration from one centile
to a lower centile was a useful predictor of attention deficit hyperactivity
disorder. Age-specific decreases of >1SD in sleep duration across
adjacent time points was a significant predictor of attention deficit
hyperactivity disorder at 3–5 years (P = 0.047). In children with attention
deficit hyperactivity disorder, shorter sleep duration and sleep disturbances
appear early and predate the usual age of clinical diagnosis. The
rate of change of sleep duration relative to an individual, rather than
absolute sleep duration at any stage, may prove beneficial in identifying
increased risk of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-128
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Sleep Research
Volume22
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Keywords

  • sleep ADHD ALSPAC

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