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Oral Appliance TherapyThe Link Between ADHD and Sleep Apnea


Many of the symptoms associated with sleep apnea are so similar to those experienced with ADHD that the conditions are often misdiagnosed. In fact, recent studies show that around 75% of children and adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) also suffer from some type of sleep problems. So how do you know if it’s truly ADHD or a sleep disorder like sleep apnea? The key is receiving the right diagnosis by starting with a sleep study to determine if your symptoms are caused by lack of sleep.

Symptoms Associated with ADHD and Sleep Apnea

People who suffer from sleep apnea can be misdiagnosed as having ADHD because the two disorders share very similar symptoms. This is especially true for children. The American Sleep Apnea Association estimates that up to 25 percent of children with ADHD actually suffer from sleep apnea and many of their ADHD symptoms are from a lack of quality sleep.


According to WebMD, ADHD symptoms include:


  • Forgetfulness
  • Irritability
  • Disorganization
  • Lack of focus
  • Impulsivity
  • Easily distracted

These symptoms mimic the symptoms of sleep apnea, including daytime fatigue, dificultyconcentrating, daydreaming, irritability, and other abnormal behavior. If you suspect that you or a loved one may have been misdiagnosed with ADHD when the symptoms fit those of sleep apnea, we highly recommend you have a sleep study performed so you can discover the proper diagnosis and the right treatment.

Get the Right Diagnosis

Many people who are misdiagnosed with ADHD end up being unnecessarily medicated, which does nothing to treat the root cause of the problems. That’s why getting the right diagnosis is so important.


On our website, we offer a convenient Sleep Self Quiz, based on the Epworth Sleepiness Scale that’s used by professionals to determine a person’s level of daytime sleepiness. This test can give you insight into whether your symptoms may be sleep apnea and can help you decide if you should undergo a sleep study.

Overnight Sleep Study

The full, overnight sleep study can be performed on adults as well as children to diagnose sleep disorders. During the study, you’ll spend the night in a sleep center where specialists monitor your breathing while you sleep to diagnose the cause of your issues.


At West Coast Snore & Sleep Apnea Solutions, we also provide a free home sleep test that can be used to diagnose your condition in the convenience of your own home. Called ARES, this lightweight device is worn over the forehead during sleep. The information it collects is sent to a board-certified sleep medicine physician for analysis so they can make a diagnosis.

Get the Right Treatment

Once you have a diagnosis of sleep apnea from a sleep specialist, we can help you receive the right treatment for your condition. We offer convenient and comfortable oral applainces to treat snoring and sleep apnea. Our appliances are custom-made for each patient so they fit the specific dimensions of your mouth for the best possible results.


If you’d like to learn more about how an oral appliance can help you or a loved one sleep soundly through the night, schedule an evaluation at our Vista or Encinitas location. We can also help you find a sleep specialist to schedule a sleep study so you get the right diagnosis for your condition. Our team is here to help you Sleep, Dream, Thrive®.