Can’t focus. Can’t pay attention. Can’t sit still. These are some of the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Does obstructive sleep apnea contribute to ADHD? A new review of OSA and ADHD examined the evidence. It was published in the August issue of Annals of Clinical Psychiatry.
The reviewers found that six studies have observed the effects of OSA treatment on ADHD. Up to 95 percent of people with OSA had attention deficits. In those with full-blown ADHD, 20 to 30 percent had OSA.
ADHD symptoms improved after the treatment of OSA in all six studies. Patients saw improvement in their behavior, attention span, and overall ADHD symptoms.
The study involved about 30 middle-aged men and women, all with about the same height and weight. They slept and lived in a research center for two separate five-night stints. During one of the visits, the researchers let the participants sleep for nine hours each night. On the other visit, they had only four hours of sleep. Both times, the participants had a strict diet for the first four days and then had permission to eat whatever they wanted on the final day.
The test showed that it didn’t matter which sleep schedule was in effect, a similar amount of calories were burned per day. The participants consumed about 2,500 calories when they were well-rested and could eat much as they wanted. After a week of sleep restriction, they consumed 2,800 calories on the final day – a 300 calorie increase.
Several recent studies have examined the relationship between sleep deprivation and weight gain. The findings show there is a possibility that amount of sleep can cause influence weight.
Marie-Pierre St-Onge, principle researcher at the New York Obesity Research Center at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital, suggests you should get lots of rest if you are trying to maintain your weight. Schedule at least 7 to 8 hours per night for sleep and make sleep a priority and you may gain an edge against weight gain.
The main way to find out if a person has a sleep disorder is an overnight sleep study at an AASM-Accredited Sleep Center. For those who might have severe obstructive sleep apnea, a sleep study is critical. New research suggests that these patients may soon have an alternative method of diagnosis.
At SLEEP 2011, the 25th Anniversary Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, a research abstract suggested that analyzing the breathing sounds individuals make while awake could be a useful tool in discovering if a person has sleep apnea. The purpose of the research was to find a fast, easy way to diagnose a patient without an overnight sleep study.
The test patients (35 with sleep apnea, and 17 controls) were told to breathe in two different body positions: sitting up and lying down. The patients were to do this five times each. The study was able—with 84% accuracy—to separate those who had sleep apnea and those who did not have the disorder. It was also able to show the different levels of sleep apnea severity that the patients had.
These findings show potential in diagnosing sleep apnea. However, the research is a work in progress. Contact an AASM-Accredited Sleep Center if you suspect that you have a sleep related breathing disorder. Nearly a third of patients who receive a sleep study discover they have severe sleep apnea.
A new study in the journal Sleep and Breathing assessed the risk factors for the presence and severity of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Participants were severely obese patients being evaluated for gastric bypass surgery.
Sleep studies were performed in patients undergoing gastric bypass from January 2004 to January 2007. Sleep apnea was noted as present or absent. The OSA was graded from mild to severe according to the apnea hypopnea index (AHI). The AHI is the average number of pauses in breathing that occur per hour of sleep.
The researchers also recorded patient gender, age, weight, height, body mass index, neck circumference, and waist circumference.
A total of 132 patients were involved. Sleep study results indicated that 64 percent of patients had a confirmed diagnosis of OSA. The prevalence of moderate or severe sleep apnea was 71 percent in men and 31 percent in women
In OSA patients, body mass index, neck circumference, and age were higher than with obese patients without OSA. No differences were found in waist circumference between groups. Body mass index, age, and male gender were independent predictors of sleep apnea.
In the female group, age greater than 49 years was the only significant predictor of moderate or severe OSA. Results indicate that men and women more than 49 years of age have the greatest risk for OSA. The researchers recommend mandatory preoperative sleep studies for this group of severely obese patients.
Find out your risk for sleep apnea here.
A new study in the journal Sleep and Breathing found that rapid maxillary expansion (RME) was effective in treating obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in children. The results of the treatment were apparent two years after treatment ended. RME involves widening the jaws using oral appliances.
The researchers evaluated the objective and subjective data over a 36-month follow-up period to determine whether RME is effective in the long-term treatment of OSA. The study included 14 children. The children's mean age was 6.6 years at entry and 9.7 years at the end of follow-up. Each child underwent an orthodontic assessment to detect possible jaw deviation from normal occlusion: deep bite, retrusive bite and crossbite.
A high angle face can cause breathing problems for children. Another common cause of OSA is large tonsils or adenoids. Removing the tonsils or readjusting the jaw line can help children breathe more easily during sleep.
All 14 children completed a 12-month therapeutic trial using RME and 10 enrolled in the follow-up study. Of the 10 children, five were male and five were female. The ten children took an overnight polysomnography (PSG) to test for the presence of OSA at baseline, after one year of treatment, and two years after treatment completion.
Results show that the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) decreased and the clinical symptoms had resolved by the end of the treatment period. Twenty-four months after the end of the treatment, no significant changes in the AHI or in other variables were observed.
The researchers concluded that RME may be a useful approach in children with malocclusion and OSA, as the effects of such treatment were found to persist 24 months after the end of treatment.
Learn more about children and sleep here.