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J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2013 Aug;52(8):784-96. doi: 10.1016/j.jaac.2013.06.001.

Assessment and management of sleep problems in youths with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

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New York University Child Study Center and Verona University, USA.



To provide evidence- or consensus-based recommendations concerning the assessment and management of sleep problems in youths with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).


PubMed, Ovid, EMBASE, and Web of Knowledge were searched through October 31, 2012. When no evidence was available, consensus of the authors was achieved. The evidence-level of the recommendations on the management of sleep disturbances was based on the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) system.


A total of 139 original articles on sleep and childhood ADHD were retrieved, including 22 on treatment of sleep disturbances. This review focuses on behaviorally based insomnia, circadian rhythm disorder, sleep-disordered breathing, restless legs syndrome/periodic limb movement disorder, and sleep disturbances due to comorbid psychiatric disorders or ADHD medications. Healthy sleep practices are recommended as the foundation of management strategies. Behavioral interventions should be considered as first-line treatment of insomnia, although further evidence from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) is needed to prove their efficacy in ADHD. Among pharmacological treatments, RCTs support the use of melatonin to reduce sleep-onset delay, whereas there is more limited evidence for other medications.


Growing empirical evidence is informing assessment/management strategies of sleep problems in youths with ADHD. However, further RCTs are warranted to support current recommendations.


assessment; attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); management; sleep

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