Is It ADHD or Sleep Apnea?
Not getting proper sleep can make you feel exhausted throughout the day. You may find it difficult to concentrate or stay motivated, making simple day-to-day tasks difficult to complete. If you experience this, chances are you may be suffering from sleep apnea, which is a serious health condition that constantly blocks your airway during the night.
Living with sleep apnea can be difficult unless you receive proper treatment. However, many patients who have the sleep disorder are misdiagnosed with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) due to similarities in symptoms. ADHD can affect your attention span, ability to focus, and thought process. This is especially common for children due to their inability to accurately describe their sleep apnea symptoms.
It’s important to understand the shared similarities between sleep apnea and ADHD. Read our helpful guide below to learn more and how you can receive a proper diagnosis.
ADHD & Sleep Apnea: The Similarities
It can be hard to distinguish whether a patient is suffering from either sleep apnea or ADHD. Luckily, our sleep dentist Dr. Winkelmann has the experience to get a proper diagnosis. Some symptoms shared between both sleep apnea and ADHD include:
- Mood swings and irritability
- Disorganization and forgetfulness
Untreated sleep apnea can lead to complications including high blood pressure, depression, and diabetes. This is also true if you’ve been misdiagnosed with having ADHD. It’s best to keep track of the warning signs and undergo a sleep study if you believe you have sleep apnea to get an accurate diagnosis.
Our Sleep Apnea Treatments
You’ll first undergo a sleep study in order to receive an accurate diagnosis for sleep apnea before determining treatment. This can either be done in a lab, where you’ll stay overnight while your vitals are monitored by a physician, or at-home with instructions from your doctor.
This type of exam will gather information including oxygen saturation, leg and eye movement, as well as overall heart rate. That way, Dr. Winkelmann can determine the extent of your symptoms and how severe you or your child’s sleep apnea may be. After receiving a diagnosis, you’ll schedule an initial consultation at our Wake Forest office to discuss your symptoms as well as our various sleep apnea treatments.
Dr. Winkelmann and our expert team will make sure that you or your child receive the proper care needed for a good night’s sleep. We may also recommend CPAP alternatives to help with snoring.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does ADHD worsen sleep apnea symptoms?
ADHD can contribute to sleep apnea and worsen other sleep issues. However, using ADHD treatment for sleep-related issues can worsen your exhaustion, since many include stimulants to wake your body up. While it’s helpful for treating ADHD and increasing focus, patients may find that it worsens their sleep. That’s why it’s important to undergo a sleep study and understand what’s causing your symptoms.
Can sleep apnea cause ADHD symptoms?
Previous studies have shown that children who experienced sleep apnea were more likely to demonstrate certain behavioral issues. These were similar to children who struggled with ADHD including difficulty paying attention and concentration. While sleep apnea may cause similar symptoms, it doesn’t necessarily mean your child suffers from ADHD.
How does sleep apnea affect my ability to concentrate?
Sleep apnea can lower your focus and ability to concentrate throughout the day because your body isn’t getting the rest it needs. This can result in issues with memory, trouble staying awake throughout the day, and a general inability to organize your tasks. These can often be mistaken for ADHD symptoms, as some patients aren’t aware that their sleep is being interrupted.
Will treatment improve my sleep apnea symptoms?
Treating your sleep apnea can drastically improve your physical and mental health. Not only will you get the rest you need to recharge, but you’ll protect yourself from further complications including hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, and snoring. If you’re looking to improve your symptoms, Dr. Winkelmann can recommend treatment that’s specified to your needs.
Enjoy Quality Sleep With Dr. Winkelmann’s Help
Sleep apnea and ADHD are often confused with one another since they share similar symptoms. This can cause many specialists to misdiagnose patients who might be suffering from either condition. Fortunately, Dr. Craig Winkelmann is an expert in providing you or your child treatment that specifically targets the causes of sleep apnea.
Start getting the quality sleep you deserve today. Contact our Wake Forest, NC office by either calling (984) 237-1013 or filling out an online contact form below. Dr. Winkelman and our experienced team proudly serve patients in the Riverstone, Staffordshire, and Brooke Hollow areas.