The Link Between Sleep Apnea & ADHD
Sleep apnea and Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are two distinct medical conditions, but they often share common symptoms that can make it difficult to distinguish between the two. Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes pauses in breathing during sleep, while ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects attention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.
Studies have found that individuals with sleep apnea are more likely to experience symptoms of ADHD. Fortunately, our skilled Windsor, CT sleep specialist, Dr. Roberta Garceau, is dedicated to educating patients on the connection between sleep apnea and ADHD while offering safe and effective treatment options.
Shared Symptoms between Sleep Apnea & ADHD
Sleep apnea and ADHD share several common symptoms, including:
- Daytime sleepiness and fatigue
- Difficulty concentrating
- Impaired memory
- Mood swings
- Chronic headaches
Because there are many similarities between sleep apnea and ADHD, it’s important to seek assistance from your Windsor sleep specialist for an accurate diagnosis.
How does Sleep Apnea affect ADHD?
Sleep apnea leads to interrupted sleep patterns and inadequate oxygen supply to the brain. One common symptom of sleep apnea is daytime sleepiness and fatigue, which mimic symptoms of ADHD.
Chronic sleep deprivation can cause difficulties in concentration, memory, and overall cognitive function, similar to the symptoms experienced by individuals with ADHD. Consequently, individuals with untreated sleep apnea may exhibit behaviors that are often associated with ADHD, such as impulsivity, poor attention span, and hyperactivity.
Misdiagnosing Sleep Apnea as ADHD
The overlapping symptoms of sleep apnea and ADHD can make accurate diagnosis challenging. Many individuals with undiagnosed Sleep apnea may be mistakenly diagnosed with ADHD and prescribed medications or treatments that do not address the underlying cause.
Misdiagnosis not only delays appropriate treatment for Sleep Apnea but may also lead to unnecessary medication use and potential side effects. Therefore, it’s crucial to consider sleep apnea as a possible cause when evaluating individuals who exhibit ADHD-like symptoms.
Getting Your Diagnosis
The best way to get an accurate sleep apnea diagnosis is to visit our Windsor, CT sleep specialist. Depending on your symptoms, Dr. Garceau may recommend a sleep study. A sleep study, also known as a polysomnography, is a diagnostic test that measures various body functions during sleep, such as brain waves, eye movements, and oxygen levels in the blood. This test is essential in diagnosing sleep apnea, as it helps identify the type and severity of sleep apnea and the best treatment options.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can sleep apnea cause ADHD?
Can ADHD medication worsen sleep apnea symptoms?
Can children have sleep apnea and ADHD?
Schedule an Appointment With Dr. Garceau
Sleep apnea and ADHD are two very serious medical conditions that share similar symptoms, making it difficult to distinguish between the two. However, with proper diagnosis and treatment, individuals with either or both conditions can manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life.
If you experience any of the shared symptoms, schedule a consultation by giving us a call at (860) 254-6189 to discuss the possibility of a sleep study test.