OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to assess the links between temperament and sleep in a group of preschoolers with ADHD.
METHOD: Twenty-five ADHD ( M = 5.37 years, SD = 1.09) and 22 typically developing (TD; M = 5.10, SD = 1.18) preschoolers participated in the study. Sleep was assessed with the Sleep Disturbance Scale and wrist actigraphy. The Preschool Temperament and Character Inventory (PsTCI) was used to evaluate the child temperament.
RESULTS: ADHD children showed a temperamental profile characterized by higher novelty seeking, lower persistence, self-directness, and cooperativeness and marginally lower harm avoidance (HA) compared with controls. HA was associated negatively to wakefulness after sleep onset and sleep fragmentation and positively with sleep efficiency and sleep time. Reward dependence was negatively associated with wake episode length.
CONCLUSION: Sleep and temperament are correlated in preschoolers with ADHD and temperament might represent an intermediate endophenotype underlying the relation between ADHD and sleep disorders.