Study is first to find executive functioning skills deteriorate with lack of sleep — ScienceDaily

Teenagers with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), might benefit from more rest to help them focus, plan, and control their emotions. These findings, which are the first in their kind in ADHD young people, will be presented today at Experimental Biology 2019, the American Physiological Society’s annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.

ADHD is a common neurobehavioral disorder among children and adolescents. ADHD patients often struggle with executive function. This refers to the ability to pay attention, focus and manage your time. ADHD may affect academic performance, social skills, or emotional development. Research has shown that ADHD adolescents are more likely to have poor executive functioning than other adolescents. However, this is not the case.

Researchers at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center measured executive functions in adolescents with ADHD following two sleep trials. After a week of sleep restriction, the volunteers were allowed to sleep for up to nine and a quarter hours each night. The Behavior Rating Inventory for Executive Function, Second Edition (BRIEF2) was administered to the research team after each trial. This is a widely-used measure of executive function in children aged up to 18. The BRIEF2 evaluates executive function areas such initiation and inhibition, working memory, planning and organization.

The sleep-extension week was a week that saw significant improvements in all areas of the tests. However, the tests showed significant differences. “Increased sleep may substantially [and positively]”Sleep may have a significant future impact on academic, social, or emotional functioning in adolescents diagnosed with ADHD,” the researchers wrote.

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