The impact of lockdown on sleep patterns of children and adolescents with ADHD

Oliviero Bruni, Martina Giallonardo, Roberto Sacco, Raffaele Ferri, Maria Grazia Melegari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Study Objectives: The current study examined the impact of home confinement (lockdown) because of the COVID-19 pandemic on the sleep patterns of children and adolescents with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Methods: Nine hundred ninety-two parents of children and adolescents with ADHD filled out an anonymous online survey through the ADHD family association website. The survey investigated the sleep patterns and disturbances (using a modified version of the Sleep Disturbance Scale for Children) and screen exposure time before and during lockdown. Results: During lockdown, 59.3% of children and 69.4% of adolescents with ADHD reported a change of bedtime, with a significant increase in patients with ADHD who went to sleep at 11 PM or later. Sleep duration, in contrast, resulted in 2 opposing processes with more children and adolescents sleeping either less than 6 hours/night or 10-11 hours/night. Among children and adolescents, respectively, 19.9% and 22% slept less than they did before lockdown, whereas 21.4% and 27.4% slept for more hours. Bedtime delay and decreased sleep duration were associated with an increase in screen time exposure. Moreover, patients with ADHD reported an increase in sleep disturbances when compared to their previous condition, mainly including difficulties falling asleep, anxiety at bedtime, night awakenings, nightmares, and daytime sleepiness. Conclusions: Lockdown impacted sleep-wake rhythms by strengthening the maladaptive sleep patterns reported in usual-life conditions in children and adolescents with ADHD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1759-1765
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Sleep Medicine
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2021


  • Adolescents
  • Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorders
  • Children
  • COVID-19
  • Sleep disorders
  • Sleep-wake patterns

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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