The following is a visitor-submitted question or story. For more, you can submit your own sleep story here, or browse the collection of experiences and questions other visitors have shared here.

ADD Diagnosis, But My Daughter Has Slept Badly Since Birth

by S van Rooyen
(South Africa)

My daughter was sleeping badly since birth. She never slept more than two hours at a time before waking-up again. When she started school (Grade 0) we were called and informed that she does not perform well and is forgetting words. We went to see a doctor, who diagnoses her with ADD and prescribed Concerta. Due to her bad sleep pattern the doctor also recommend Tripoline. The teacher informed us that Monqiue was improving; however she was extremely tired at times.

During the December school holdidays, I did not give Concerta to her as I wanted to see what effect it has. I have to say that she was a happy energetic child during this time.

We start administrating Concerta again and discovered that the Concetra was affecting her heart rate. The doctor suggested that we stop the Concerta immediately and begin with 5 mg of Ritalen.

After reading this article, I was wondering if ADD was diagnosed accurately or may this be because her sleeping disorder since birth till the age of 6 years? Tripoline seems to help with the sleeping disorder, but is Tripoline the answer?

Kevin: Thank you for sharing your story. I would indeed look more into your daughter's sleep problems and see if you can target what disorder might be causing her daytime sleepiness.

You're right that ADD is often mistakenly diagnosed when the real culprit is a sleep disorder leading to fatigued hyperactivity. Sleep apnea is a common perpetrator, because it leads to frequent awakenings and a low sleep quality. If you watch your daughter closely during different parts of her sleep, do you notice her breathing becoming labored or stopping at all? Does she snore at all? Does she have large tonsils that might obstruct her airway? Of course, her fragmented sleep could be the result of something else other than sleep apnea. The key I think will just be for you to target what her sleep ailment actually is. A doctor who knows about sleep disorders will be a big help in that.


(Please keep in mind that I am a student of sleep science and not a medical doctor. Please take any thoughts I give with my background in mind.)

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Experiences With Sleep Disorders In Children.

Enjoy this page? Please help us pay it forward to others who would find it valuable by Liking, Sharing, Tweeting, Stumbling, and/or Voting below.

About This Site

Welcome! This site is continuously being created by students of Dr. William C. Dement's Sleep And Dreams course at Stanford University.

We made this site as a call to action for people all over the world to live healthier, happier, safer, and more productive lives by learning about their own sleep. We have faith that reading the information provided on this site will motivate you to be smart about your sleep deprivation and strategic about your alertness in order to live life to your fullest, most energetic potential.

In fact, we challenge you to do so! What do you say, are you up for the challenge?

A Note On Visitor-Submitted Questions:

Publishing sleep stories and questions from our visitors is meant to create a forum for open and proactive dialogue about an extremely important portion of our lives (one that occupies 1/3 of it and affects the other 2/3) that isn't talked about enough. It is not meant to substitute a trip to the doctor or the advice of a specialist. It's good to talk; it is not good to avoid consulting someone who's profession it is to help you with this kind of stuff.

If you are in any way concerned about your sleep health, don't wait for an answer on here, and don't necessarily rely on them. See a sleep specialist in your area as soon as possible.

More Questions:

Ask | Answer

The Stanford Sleep Book

Stanford Sleep Book Picture

Dr. Dement's pioneering textbook has been the core text for Sleep and Dreams since 1980, but it has just recently been made available to the wider public for the first time.

In it you'll find a more detailed account of the most important things you need to know about sleep, alertness, dreams, and sleep disorders. Studies, statistics, plus plenty of Dr. Dement's classic anecdotes painting the history of sleep medicine.

Preface | Intro | Contents | Get A Copy

More Sleep Resources

The Zeo

A revolution in personal sleep tracking, the Zeo is a wireless headband that transmits your brainwaves in realtime to a dock (pictured here) or your smartphone. The result? You can wake up and see exactly what stages of sleep you were in during the night! Unprecedented personalized sleep knowledge.

Sleep Paralysis: A Dreamer's Guide

Sleep Paralysis Treatment Book

Ever woken up paralyzed? A surprising number of us have, believe it or not. But few know the actual causes of this phenomenon, and fewer still how to exert control over it. Dream researcher and sleep paralysis expert Ryan Hurd shares breakthrough insights into how to do just that.

Important Disclaimer

Please Note:

The information found on this page and throughout this site is intended for general information purposes only. While it may prove useful and empowering, it is NOT intended as a substitute for the expertise and judgments of healthcare practitioners.

For more info, see our
Terms of Use.