Insomnia, Alcohol Consumption and ADHD Symptoms in Adults
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionFrontiers in Psychology. 2020, 11, 1150. 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01150
Introduction Substance use disorders and insomnia are common in the general population, and particularly among adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Here we investigated the relationship between insomnia, alcohol consumption and ADHD symptoms. Methods: Adults with an ADHD diagnosis (n = 235, 41.3% males) and controls (n = 184, 38% males) completed a questionnaire assessing insomnia (Bergen Insomnia Scale), alcohol consumption (Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test), and current ADHD symptoms (Adult ADHD Self-report Scale). The majority of the sample (95%) gave additional information about childhood ADHD symptoms (Wender Utah Rating Scale), and information about lifetime occurrence of an internalizing disorder was included as part of background information. Results: Compared to controls, the ADHD group reported a higher frequency of insomnia, a higher quantity of consumed alcohol and a higher frequency of internalizing disorders. Current and childhood ADHD symptoms were more severe in those with than without insomnia. Scores on ADHD symptom scales were explained by the presence of insomnia and internalizing disorders, while the contribution from alcohol consumption was restricted to the control group. Discussion: The high functional impact of insomnia, alcohol misuse and internalizing disorders is well known. The present study contributed by focusing on their relations to ADHD symptoms, and by showing that strong relations were not restricted to adults with a clinical ADHD diagnosis. By this, the results put a critical light on a categorical delineation between adults with an ADHD diagnosis and population selected controls, and call for further studies including dimensional metrics of ADHD symptoms and co-occurring problems.