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Sleep Problems in Children With Psychiatric Disorders

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There is a large body of literature indicating high prevalence of sleep disorders in children with ADHD, based on subjective parental and self-reports and objective instrumental assessments of sleep. Difficulty settling down to sleep, delayed sleep onset with frequent nocturnal awakenings, restless sleep, and reduced total amount of sleep have been reported in children with ADHD. Both behavioral and intrinsic sleep disorders have been associated with symptoms of ADHD. Snoring and OSA have been implicated in the possible pathophysiology of ADHD symptoms in some children. A strong association among RLS, PLMD, and ADHD was shown in a number of studies, with 26%–64% of children with ADHD meeting criteria for PLMD on polysomnography (Picchietti et al. 1998, 1999) and over 44% of children with PLMD having a clinical diagnosis of ADHD (Crabtree et al. 2003).

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