Doctors think some children with symptoms of ADHD may be suffering more from poor sleep than an actual disorder.

One of my favorite posts to pop up on Facebook from friends who are new parents is when their baby sleeps through the night for the first time.  It was such a big deal in our house when Lauren slept all night long that Chris and I reserved a bottle of wine from a winery we toured on our honeymoon, normally only to be opened on anniversaries, as a celebration for the momentous occasion.

Kids sleeping all night is not just good rest for their parents; new research is bolstering the argument that parents get tough about bedtime with their children of any age.

Doctors at the New England Center for Pediatric Psychology says some children suffer from what looks like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, (ADHD), with one big exception: they don't respond to medication.

For families in that category, the doctors say the kids might actually suffer from "Faux ADHD," and they are prescribing a change in bedtime routines.  The doctors found getting kids into bed and making them stay there all night long was a major problem for parents.  The children suffered during the daytime with irritability, trouble focusing and other symptoms of the classic ADHD. 

What are your thoughts on this? Ever heard of "Faux ADHD?"  Any tips for parents on getting kids to stay in bed all night?

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  • by rapper Location: wilson on Oct 28, 2011 at 11:14 AM
    A small sip of wine before bedtime will help them sleep well. Old European ermedy for fidgety kids who don't sleep well.
  • by Jessica Location: BOCO on Oct 6, 2011 at 02:06 PM
    I have a 8 year old son that was diagnosed with "ADHD" at the age of 4 . We have struggled with his behavior for four years. He has a hard time sleeping threw the night. He likes to "ramble" as we call it. We kept going to the doctor and they would change his medicines, for them to only work a couple of weeks. I finally mentioned to the doctor about a article i had read about this "faux ADHD." We were referred to a Ear, Nose, & Throat doctor. Our son underwent adenoidectomy & tonsilectomy, three months post surgery he sleeps threw the night 90% of the time. We can really see a big difference in his behavior and attitude. He still has some issues with focusing & being attentive but we have been on the same medicine regiment since his surgery with no changes.
  • by Dr. Robert Pressman on Sep 22, 2011 at 01:45 PM
    Hi, Heather. Nice article as usual. I was the lead on the team at New England Center for Pediatric Psychology who ran the study. Actually, we found that sleeping in ones own bed and having a consistent bedtime were key factors, perhaps even more than the quality of sleep itself. Reader can see the full abstract at www.adhdstudy.org. Keep up the good work!

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