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November 29th 2005

New Report on Sleep & ADHD - How it Affects Family Life

PRESS RELEASE 29th November 2005

We received a copy of a Press Release which was released today 29th November 2005 which you can read below.

Also our very own Ruth from Ecosse ADDers was interviewed on BBC Breakfast TV this morning about this new survey and how ADHD and Sleep Disturbance impacts on family life as a whole.

Update - 10th December 2005

A copy of the Sleep Seekers Booklet is now available for people to download from Just click the link below to open the .pdf file and then save this to your desktop.

Although we regularly scan for any virus' I would strongly recommend that you do save this to your desktop and then before you open the file scan this with your own Anti Virus Software - I always do this for things I download from any site on the Net and really do recommend that everyone does this as a matter of course for this document and any others you may download from anywhere on the Net as there are so many virus' about now that you really cannot be too careful can you?!

To download Sleep Seekers Booklet Click Here

Consumer Press Release

57% of parents of children with ADHD cope on six hours sleep or less Bedtime and sleep-related difficulties reported in ADHD

Tuesday 29th November 2005: A new survey of parents of children with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) today highlights the impact that the severe sleep problems associated with ADHD can have, not only for the child but the family as a whole.1 Nearly six in ten parents of a child with ADHD get six or fewer hours of sleep per night, with one in four parents being woken during the night by their children six or more times a week.

Resulting tiredness has caused one in five parents to miss work in the last year, and nearly two-thirds have cancelled or avoided social events. Forty-three percent of parents find that tiredness also impacts a lot on their relationship with their partner, causing further disruption to an already challenging family life.

Andrea Bilbow, founder of the National Attention Deficit Disorder Information and Support Service (ADDISS), commented on the survey: "These new findings highlight the worrying extent of sleep deprivation experienced by children and their parents as a result of ADHD. Parents should be encouraged to seek the best available treatments and therapies to help minimise the negative impact that ADHD can have."

In response to the findings, a new campaign called Sleep Seekers is launched today by Eli Lilly and Company Limited, with the support of the National Attention Deficit Disorder Information and Support Service (ADDISS) and Dr Idzikowski, Director of the Sleep Assessment and Advisory Service. It aims to highlight the difficulties facing families of children with ADHD and explains that with proper management of the condition, with the use of various sleep techniques and with help from doctors, the amount and quality of sleep for both sufferers and their parents can be improved.

The sleep deprived child

The survey, which interviewed 100 parents of children with ADHD aged 5-16, illustrates how ADHD creates challenges throughout the day - symptoms make it difficult for the child to settle, get to sleep and stay asleep. Whilst nearly all children without ADHD settle to sleep within an hour, two out of three with the condition take more than 1 hours, and 40% take more than two hours. Over half of children with ADHD get up at least four times a night after going to bed, and 42% wake their parents before 6am.

The knock on effect of resulting tiredness means that schoolwork suffers for seven out of ten children, and daytime behaviour suffers, for eight out of ten.

According to Charlotte Williams, whose son has been diagnosed with ADHD, the problem was severe:

"Despite all our efforts, my son didn't seem able to switch off or slow down at bedtime. He used to say 'I can't sleep because it's all going on in my head.' He would usually wake us up once or twice a night, and would typically wake up at 4.30 or 5am and that would be it for the day. Tiredness would then affect his schoolwork and his behaviour during the day.

Charlotte continued: "That is how we lived for eight years, until we found a treatment regime that worked for him. Everything then changed so quickly - he suddenly seemed more able to calm himself down, and when I look back now it's like I'm describing somebody else's life."

According to Professor Peter Hill, Honorary Consultant in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, the survey findings are disturbing: "These parents are desperate to do the best for their children, but the constant exhaustion felt by many, which in some cases lasts until their child reaches adulthood, can have a serious effect on family life, as well as the children themselves.

Parents expect sleepless nights with teething babies, but it is important to recognise and find ways of minimising the impact of long term sleep deprivation. Sleep hygiene strategies, such as maintaining a regular, calming bedtime routine like a warm bath or a hot milky drink, and careful choice of medication for each individual case can have significant benefits."

Parents should feel encouraged to discuss all of their treatment needs with their doctor to ensure that their child is getting the treatment that they need. For further information, affected parents are encouraged to request a free Sleep Seekers information booklet, which provides useful sleep routines and other strategies. It is available on or by emailing their name and address to:

The Sleep Seekers and Family Stress Points campaign and research have been sponsored by an educational grant from Eli Lilly and Company Limited.

- ENDS -

For further information and interviews, please contact Virgo Health PR:

Andrea Petruzella 020 8822 6923
Abi Reed 020 8822 6711
Polly Lutter 020 8822 6704

AMX 604 Prepared November 2005

Notes to editors

Further market research findings

-- A quarter of children with ADHD take more than three hours to fall asleep at night
-- 76% of parents of children without ADHD weren't woken early at all
-- Three-quarters of parents with children with ADHD said that their child reduces the amount of sleep that they get, compared to only one in ten of parents with children without ADHD
-- Tiredness means that nine out of ten parents are less able to deal with their child's challenging behaviour during the day

About ADHD

-- According to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Evidence (NICE), ADHD affects 5% or 366,000 children in the UK
-- The core symptoms include inattention, hyperactivity and impulsiveness which are not expected of those of the same age and developmental level
-- Additional information about managing ADHD can be found at

Survey design

-- The national survey involved 100 parents of children aged 5-16 diagnosed with ADHD and 50 parents with children without ADHD as a control group
-- The survey included approximately equal numbers of parents of children aged 5-9 and 10-16
-- The survey included approximately equal numbers of parents in ABC1 and C2DE socioeconomic groups
-- Fieldwork took place from July to September 2005, and was conducted by Ipsos Health on behalf of Eli Lilly and Company Limited


-- ADDISS (the National Attention Deficit Disorder Information and Support Service) is a registered charity providing information, training and support for parents, sufferers and professionals in the field of ADHD and related learning and behavioural difficulties
-- ADDISS can be contacted by phone: 020 8906 9068, email: or visit their website at
Journalists wishing to contact ADDISS should call: 020 8906 0354.

About the Sleep Assessment & Advisory Service -- SAAS was originally set up in 1994 to provide a service for GPs and started to provide a direct service for the public in 1998. For more information visit Reference: 1. Sleep Seekers Research. Fieldwork took place from July to September 2005, and was conducted by Ipsos Health on behalf of Eli Lilly and Company Limited.



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