Question: 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?

Answer: 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.

Thanks for your question and good luck,
Kevin