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How Are ADHD and Sleep Apnea Connected?

February 15, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — sleepsnoringtmj @ 4:32 pm
Man in front of computer, struggling to concentrate

Millions of people throughout the U.S. struggle with ADHD. Countless more individuals may have it but remain undiagnosed due to things like a lack of awareness or reluctance to seek professional care. ADHD can have significant effects on a person’s quality of life.

When ADHD is coupled with a sleep disorder, such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), its effects can be even more troubling. How are ADHD and sleep apnea connected? Continue reading this blog post to find out.

OSA and ADHD Often Go Hand in Hand

Many people with ADHD also struggle with a sleep disorder. Insomnia is the most common problem, but sleep disordered breathing (SDB) also occurs quite a bit. In fact, one estimate states that about one-third of individuals with ADHD also experience episodes of SDB. Obstructive sleep apnea, which causes multiple pauses in breathing throughout the night, falls under the SDB umbrella. The reason for the correlation between these conditions is not yet fully understood.

Treatment for OSA May Reduce ADHD Symptoms

A number of OSA’s symptoms overlap with those of ADHD. For example, both conditions can make it difficult to concentrate, make it challenging to listen to instructions, interfere with the ability to stay organized, and contribute to forgetfulness. In fact, OSA or other sleep orders might sometimes be misdiagnosed as ADHD.

If you have symptoms that stem from OSA, or a combination of ADHD and OSA, sleep apnea treatment may be able to help. There are a few different ways to address OSA, such as a CPAP machine or an oral sleep appliance. These therapies prevent pauses in breathing, leading to vastly improved sleep quality.

How Effective Is OSA Treatment for ADHD Symptoms?

Here are a few heartening notes that showcase the ability of OSA treatment to improve ADHD symptoms:

  • In some younger patients, treatment for sleep disordered breathing has reduced the need for the stimulants that are often used to treat ADHD.
  • A professional literature review of six different studies found that OSA treatment resulted in improvements in attention, behavior, and overall ADHD-related symptoms.

What You Can Do

If you or someone you love struggles with ADHD, you may need to schedule a sleep study, which can let you know for sure whether OSA is present. From there, you can start exploring your treatment options. It may not be long before you are enjoying better sleep and a heightened quality of life!

Meet the Sleep Apnea Expert

Dr. Mitch Conditt and the team at Fort Worth Snoring & Sleep Center specialize in helping patients find relief from OSA via oral appliance therapy. If you are curious about how OSA treatment may be able to benefit you, we would be pleased to answer your questions. Contact our office at 817-527-8500.

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