ADHD Drugs Could Harm Kids' Sleep

Some children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) who take stimulant medications to treat their symptoms may develop sleep problems, according to a new analysis of previous research.

Researchers analyzed nine previous studies involving a total of 246 children and teens that examined the relationship between ADHD medications and sleep. They found that children who took the medications took longer to fall asleep, slept for shorter amounts of time and generally didn’t sleep as well as kids with ADHD who were not taking these medications, the researchers said.

“Sleep was worse in every analysis that we did,” said study author Katherine M. Kidwell, a psychology doctoral candidate at the University of Nebraska.

ADHD is a common disorder that occurs in about 7 percent of children and adolescents, the researchers said. Stimulant medications are the most commonly used treatment for kids with ADHD, they said. An estimated 3.5 million children in the United States are prescribed ADHD medications.

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