Sleep disorders and daytime sleepiness in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: A two-night polysomnographic study with a multiple sleep latency test

Department of Neurology, Charles University in Prague, 1st Faculty of Medicine and General Teaching Hospital, Prague, Czech Republic.
Sleep Medicine (Impact Factor: 3.1). 10/2010; 11(9):922-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.sleep.2010.03.017
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To evaluate sleep macrostructure, sleep disorders incidence and daytime sleepiness in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affected children compared with controls.
Thirty-one patients (26 boys, 5 girls, mean age 9.3±1.7, age range 6-12 years) with ADHD diagnosed according to DSM-IV criteria, without comorbid psychiatric or other disorders, as never before pharmacologically treated for ADHD. The controls were 26 age- and sex-matched children (22 boys, 4 girls, age range 6-12 years, mean age 9.2±1.5). Nocturnal polysomnography (PSG) was performed for two nights followed by the multiple sleep latency test (MSLT).
No differences between the two groups comparing both nights were found in the basic sleep macrostructure parameters or in the time (duration) of sleep onset. A first-night effect on sleep variables was apparent in the ADHD group. Occurrence of sleep disorders (sleep-disordered breathing [SDB], periodic limb movements in sleep [PLMS], parasomnias) did not show any significant differences between the investigated groups. A statistically significant difference (p=0.015) was found in the trend of the periodic limb movement index (PLMI) between two nights (a decrease of PLMI in the ADHD group and an increase of PLMI in the control group during the second night). While the mean sleep latency in the MSLT was comparable in both groups, children with ADHD showed significant (sleep latency) inter-test differences (between tests 1 and 2, 1 and 4, 1 and 5, p<0.01).
After the inclusion of adaptation night and exclusion of psychiatric comorbidities, PSG showed no changes in basic sleep parameters or sleep timing, or in the frequency of sleep disorders (SDB, PLMS) in children with ADHD compared with controls, thus not supporting the hypothesis that specific changes in the sleep macrostructure and sleep disturbances are connected with ADHD. A first-night effect on sleep variables was apparent only in the ADHD group. Though we found no proof of increased daytime sleepiness in children with ADHD against the controls, we did find significant vigilance variability during MSLT in the ADHD group, possibly a sign of dysregulated arousal.

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