Posted in Family Life, Health & Wellness, Parenting

LESS LIGHT MORE SLEEP …Innovative specs help with ADHD

ADHD – a modern menace

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has become a modern menace for millions of children and adults alike. 

It is characterised by problems with concentration, impulse control, organisation and memory and makes life difficult for the child affected by the condition as well as parents, teachers and other care-givers; but, most significantly it often leads to a life-time dependency on drugs.

Sleep difficulties and ADHD

 
Sleep difficulties are also often associated with ADHD affected children and now the question is being asked: what comes first – the ADHD diagnosis or the sleep difficulty?  And is one being treated rather than the other?
 
According to commentary by Dr Vatsal Thakkar, a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at NYU Langone Medical Center, one needs to consider sleep problems as a possible cause when evaluating patients for ADHD
 
He notes that many of the symptoms of ADHD are similar to insufficient or poor sleep, for example lack of focus, problems listening, forgetfulness and disorganisation, as well as a tendency to be agitated, excitable and disruptive.
 
These behaviours interfere with a child’s social and intellectual development, causing problems with relationships with peers and adults, at school and at home.
 
There is also particularly strong evidence that children with sleep disordered breathing display many of the same symptoms & behavioural problems as children with ADHD

The problem, however, is that sleep disorder screening is not often done and so problems go undiagnosed.

Does technology play a part?

 
 
Dr Thakkar makes the interesting observation that …

“the escalation of ADHD cases in the 1990’s and 2000’s coincided with the rise of the digital age, and the widespread use of personal technology that now pervades our daily lives.

These devices – our laptops, tablets and cell phones – that enable so much convenience and connection, also threaten the quality and quantity of sleep.

The night-time exposure to the light they emit interferes with the body’s release of melatonin, disrupting sleep cycles and diminishing time spent in the deepest, most restorative phases of sleep. 

More than ever before in history, we must work to create the darkness that is so essential to sleep.

Keeping our bedrooms, and our children’s bedrooms, gadget-free sanctuaries for sleep is one important way to guard against chronic sleep deprivation.”

 
This may be easier said than done, however, as watching television or playing a game on their tablet also helps children destress after a busy day at school. 
 
 
SleepSpec is a non-invasive, non-medicated solution to sleep difficulties. 

These glasses contain scientifically engineered amber lenses, which filter out the blue light which suppresses the production of melatonin.

 
Worn for two hours before bedtime, SleepSpec allows the body to produce melatonin and prepare for sleep, while continuing with watching television or using other electronic devices.  

“The glasses, however, need to be taken off in complete darkness, as even the smallest amount of light can signal the brain to stop producing melatonin and to wake up,” says Daniel.

 
He adds that it is also important to keep bedrooms as dark as possible and use an amber coloured flash light on waking at night so as not to interrupt melatonin production.
 
“Many children suffer from night terrors or are scared of the dark.  If any light is needed, make sure that it is one with an orange or red colour as this contains little or no blue light and so will not disturb sleep,” he says.
 
The effectiveness of SleepSpec is also cumulative so the more they are used the more noticeable the difference.
 
SleepSpec come in various styles including one specifically designed for children. 
 

For more information http://www.sleepspec.com

(Photo credit: Sleepspec)
(Article supplied)

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