Sleep Apnea & ADHD

Misdiagnosing Sleep Apnea as ADHD

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, also known as ADHD, is a common condition diagnosed due to symptoms indicating hyperactivity, inattentiveness, and impulsivity. Nearly 75 percent of children and adults with ADHD also suffer from sleep problems, which is why it’s frequently misdiagnosed. 

Learn more about the signs of ADHD and how Dr. Slobodinsky can help you get the proper diagnosis and treatment for your condition.

The Shared Symptoms

Because of similar symptoms like feeling exhausted throughout the day, being forgetful, and being unmotivated, sleep apnea is often misdiagnosed as ADHD. The relationship between the two disorders can make it difficult to differentiate. 

The indicators of ADHD include:

  • Irritability 
  • Forgetfulness
  • Lack of focus
  • Impulsivity
  • Disorganization
  • Daytime fatigue
  • Disinterest

If you have ADHD but still find yourself suffering from sleep problems, having a sleep test done can be the best solution for you.

Proper Diagnosis With a Sleep Study

If you feel your ADHD diagnosis could actually be a sleep disorder, our team can help. To obtain a proper sleep apnea diagnosis, Dr. Slobodinsky recommends undergoing a sleep study. 

During an in-lab sleep study, vitals such as oxygen saturation, heart rate, and eye movement are tracked and recorded throughout the duration of the test. If you prefer, we can also offer an at-home sleep test for your convenience. 

Once you’ve been diagnosed with a sleep disorder, Dr. Slobodinsky will help you find the treatment option best suited for your unique situation. At Sleep Well Philadelphia, we offer a variety of treatment options, ensuring you get the care you need.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does sleep apnea cause ADHD?
Can sleep apnea affect my focus?
Are you born with sleep apnea?
Does sleep apnea cause ADHD?

It’s incredibly common for patients diagnosed with ADHD to suffer from sleep apnea symptoms. The research is still unclear on the link between the two, but the key is to seek treatment. If you, or your child, are displaying signs of either ADHD or sleep apnea, schedule an appointment at our Philadelphia office, and we’ll work together to find an accurate diagnosis.

Can sleep apnea affect my focus?

Common side effects of sleep apnea include memory problems, trouble staying awake, and issues concentrating. These can often look like symptoms of ADHD because patients who have sleep apnea aren’t aware that their sleep is being constantly interrupted. 

Are you born with sleep apnea?

Not everyone who develops sleep apnea was born with it, but about 40% of patients can trace a genetic link back to relatives with sleep apnea. This is why children are so often affected by the disorder. However, you can undoubtedly develop sleep apnea due to increased stress, weight gain, insomnia, or other factors as well. 

Your Journey to a Better Night’s Sleep 

Getting a proper diagnosis for sleep apnea as well as finding an effective treatment is imperative to your overall health. If you think you may be suffering from a sleep disorder, contact our Philadelphia office by calling (215) 739-2543 and we can schedule your appointment with Dr. Slobodinsky.

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