The Role of Sleep Duration and Sleep Problems during Childhood in the Development of ADHD in Adolescence: Findings From a Population-Based Birth Cohort
Marina Xavier Carpena, Tiago N. Munhoz, Mariana Otero Xavier, Luis Augusto Rohde, Iná S. Santos, Bianca Del-Ponte, Fernando C. Barros, Alicia Matijasevich, Luciana Tovo-Rodrigues
Commentary* by Dr. Margaret Weiss: The complex interface of sleep and ADHD is apparent in this longitudinal follow up sample in which infant sleep problems were predictive of later ADHD symptomatology.
Objective: We aimed to investigate the association between sleep in early life and ADHD in adolescence. As a secondary analysis, we tested whether the associations may be specific to ADHD.
Method: Data from 3,467 participants of the 2004 Pelotas Birth Cohort were used. Information on their sleep duration and problems was collected at 12, 24, and 48 months of age. ADHD diagnosis and hyperactivity/inattention problems were assessed with the Development and Well-Being Assessment (DAWBA) and the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) among participants at 11 years of age.
Results: Difficulty going to sleep at 24 months, nightmares at 24 months and at 48 months, and restless sleep at 48 months were consistently associated with ADHD as well as with other mental disorders.
Conclusion: The results suggest that sleep disturbances may be more important ADHD predictors than sleep duration or sleep duration trajectories. However, it may also be considered early markers of other mental disorders.
* Abstracts are selected for their clinical relevance by Dr. Margaret Weiss, Director of Clinical Research, Child Psychiatry, Cambridge Health Alliance, Harvard University. Her commentary reflects her own opinion. It is not approved or necessarily representative of the CADDRA board.