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J Pediatr Psychol. 1991 Apr;16(2):229-39.

The role of sleep disturbances in attention deficit disorder symptoms: a case study.

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University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pennsylvania.


Identified a 10-year-old girl with ADD and a 5-year history of sleep difficulties. Sleep difficulties (delayed sleep phase insomnia) were corrected while performing blind assessments of behavioral symptoms. The intervention (chronotherapy combined with a behavior modification program) resulted in an increase of sleep from 7.2 to 9.2 hours per night. Pre/postintervention behavioral measures indicated significant improvement in positive interactions with peers, increased productivity on a timed arithmetic task, and significantly increased percentage of assigned seatwork completed. Four-month follow-up in the natural school setting indicated improvement in teacher ratings and classroom performance. Despite the persistence of ADD symptomatology, the improvement in sleep apparently contributed to a clinically significant reduction in ADD.

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