Recent findings reveal that adults with attention deficit disorder who improve their sleep quality can experience a noticeable reduction in symptoms.


Summary: A recent study has found a significant correlation between sleep quality and symptom management in adults with attention deficit disorder (ADD). Conducted over six months, the research showed that better sleep quality leads to improved cognitive function, reduced impulsivity, and enhanced attention spans in adults with ADD. Stanford Owen, MD, of ADD Clinics, emphasized the importance of integrating sleep assessments into ADD treatment plans, suggesting that interventions to enhance sleep hygiene could greatly support traditional pharmacological and behavioral therapies, thus providing a comprehensive approach to managing ADD in adults.

Key Takeaways:

  • The study established a link between improved sleep quality and better management of ADD symptoms. Adults with ADD who reported better sleep quality exhibited enhanced cognitive function, reduced impulsivity, and longer attention spans.
  • Stanford Owen, MD, from ADD Clinics, highlighted the need for sleep assessments to be included in comprehensive ADD treatment plans. He recommended interventions aimed at improving sleep hygiene—such as regular sleep schedules, minimizing exposure to blue light before bedtime, and using relaxation techniques in the evening—as effective adjunct therapies to pharmacological and behavioral treatments.
  • Enhanced sleep hygiene is proposed as a powerful tool for managing ADD symptoms in adults. This approach complements and may enhance the effectiveness of traditional therapies, offering a holistic method to address the complexities of ADD.

A study recently found a significant correlation between sleep quality and the management of symptoms associated with attention deficit disorder (ADD) in adults.

Attention deficit disorder, characterized by patterns of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity, has long been the subject of medical research and discussion. However, the focus has often been more on pharmacological and behavioral therapies, with less emphasis on lifestyle management, such as sleep. 

This study provided new insights into how improving sleep quality can have a profound effect on managing ADD symptoms in adults.

Stanford Owen, MD, owner of ADD Clinics in Mississippi, commented on the study’s findings. “The implications of this research are significant for both practitioners and patients. For years, the link between sleep and ADD has been understood anecdotally, but now we have empirical evidence that highlights just how pivotal good sleep is,” says Owen in a release. “This study reveals that adults with ADD who report higher quality sleep also experience a noticeable reduction in the severity of their symptoms.”

Analyzing Sleep Patterns in Adults with ADD

The research involved a comprehensive analysis of sleep patterns and their effects on daily functioning in adults with ADD. Participants in the study were assessed over a period of six months, with researchers evaluating various aspects of sleep, including duration, quality, and patterns of disturbance. 

The findings indicate that individuals with ADD who consistently achieve higher quality sleep exhibit better cognitive function, reduced impulsivity, and improved attention spans.

Moreover, the study proposes that interventions aimed at enhancing sleep hygiene could be an effective adjunct therapy for adults dealing with ADD. Recommendations include establishing regular sleep schedules, reducing exposure to blue light before bedtime, and incorporating relaxation techniques into the evening routine.

“What this research suggests is that by focusing on improving sleep quality, we can offer adults with ADD a powerful tool to better manage their symptoms. This doesn’t negate the importance of traditional therapies but rather adds another layer to our approach in supporting our patients,” says Owen in a release.

A Need for Sleep Assessments for ADD Patients

The study also underscores the need for healthcare providers to include sleep assessments as part of the comprehensive management plan for ADD. By identifying and addressing sleep-related issues, practitioners can offer more holistic and effective care.

Many patients with ADHD, by definition, are “hyper,” states Owen in a release. This means they either make too much adrenalin, the fight or flight hormone made by the adrenal gland, or are more sensitive than others to adrenalin. This leads to a heightened sense of awareness, being on the lookout for danger, unable to “relax.”

He has found that simply blocking the effects with FDA ADHD-approved medications clonidine or guanfacine, normally used to treat hypertension, can drastically reduce the time to fall asleep, then stay asleep, and gain more rapid eye movement sleep, the stage that “restores” the brain with brain-growing hormones that chemically lock in memories from the previous day.

A combined approach is always the best course: lifestyle, behavioral, and medical.

In conclusion, he says the research marks a step forward in understanding and managing Adult ADD and highlights the necessity of a holistic approach to treatment.

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