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Originally published November 3 2008

ADD/ADHD: Children and the Effects of Sleep Disorders

by Kevin Gianni

(NaturalNews) This interview is an excerpt from Kevin Gianni's Fountain of Youth Summit, which can be found at In this excerpt, Dr. Michael Breus shares on children and sleep disorders, including ADD and ADHD.

The Fountain of Youth World Summit with Dr. Michael Breus, the author of Good Night and Web MDs sleep expert.

Kevin: That's incredible stuff. [Laughs] I'm saying "Wow!" to everything. It's amazing. You don't think about, you know, the effects that sleep have, and the benefits that they have, until you realize, you know, some of the things that are happening to people who are not getting enough sleep.

Dr. Breus: Oh, there's no question about it. And here's another area. Even if you're not even, even if you're not interested in your own health, Kevin - and I know that you and I both are - but even if some of [those may] say "Well, yeah, I sleep fine. It's not that big a deal.". Let's talk about your children's sleep for just a second here.

Kevin: Mm hmm.

Dr. Breus: Okay. Children, if there's, this study blew me away. Twenty-five percent of the children who're apparently diagnosed with ADD and ADHD are actually found to have a childhood sleep disorder.

Kevin: Twenty-five percent.

Dr. Breus: Twenty-five percent. Now what's the normal, you know, treatment regiment for a kid who's got ADD or ADHD?

Kevin: Ritalin.

Dr. Breus: Mm hmm. Ritalin is a stimulant and it prevents children from sleeping. So, here's the problem. You stick a kid on Ritalin who really has a sleep disorder, now you've messed up their sleep even worse.

Kevin: Yeah.

Dr. Breus: Now you've got an even more vicious cycle. And think about kids who are sleepy. What do they do? I've got a five-year-old and a three-year-old. When my kids are sleepy, you know what they do? They don't say "Daddy, I want to lie down and take a nap." They get rambunctious.

Kevin: Yeah.

Dr. Breus: And they look like ADHD kids!

Kevin: [Laughs] Yeah.

Dr. Breus: Right?

Kevin: Right, right. [What does that...]

Dr. Breus: And so it's very easy for the practitioner to not ask the question about sleep, as soon as the child [can have] ADHD and stick them on Ritalin.

Kevin: Yeah. Which...

Dr. Breus: And that's, you know, I don't have a problem with a lot of the pharmacologic treatments for ADHD. What I do have a problem with is misdiagnosis.

Kevin: Yeah.

Dr. Breus: So again it's a big, big issue. I want to move on to a section that I call "Looking better with better sleep".

Kevin: Mm hmm.

Dr. Breus: It's not to be vain. But it is to say "We all want to feel good. We all want to look good. We all want to feel refreshed. We all want to be ready to meet the day." And I want people to know and understand how sleep can affect, you know, all of those areas.

Kevin: [Yeah], this is about the Fountain of Youth too. You know, this is finding a youthful and lively appearance.

Dr. Breus: Mm.

Kevin: And energy. So, I mean this is right along the line.

Dr. Breus: Well good. Then let's talk about it. 'Cause what I call it is "Beauty Sleep".

Kevin: Mm hmm.

Dr. Breus: And, you know, it's not to be confused with "Sleeping Beauty".

Kevin: [Laughs]

Dr. Breus: But, "Beauty Sleep" is really the time-out that your body requires to make cellular repairs. And deep sleep is when your skin actually repairs itself. [Now], when I talk about deep sleep, remember I'm talking about that "Delta Sleep".

Kevin: Mm hmm.

Dr. Breus: That deep sleep, that Stage Three and Four sleep. That people all need to be aware of. This is the time when you have new growth of cells, you have a fortification of defenses against moisture-loss, and free-radical damage.

Kevin: Okay.

Dr. Breus: Okay. So, another big factor about being asleep, is - you're out of the sun. So, you're not getting any damaging UV rays while lying in bed, hopefully. So again, things to think about - we know that free-radical damage increases the ageing process. We know that moisture-loss can cause wrinkles, dry skin, [cerisis], all these other problems. And so allowing yourself to sleep, simply allows you to just build back all the damage that you've been doing to your skin and health during the day.

Kevin: Okay. Then moisture-loss, what do you mean by moisture-loss? Do you mean...

Dr. Breus: So, I mean everything from sweat, evaporation to intra-cellular moisture-loss.

Kevin: Okay, okay.

Dr. Breus: Okay. So we're also talking about during "Beauty Sleep" or deep sleep an increase in protein production, which is the building blocks of cell growth and repair. So one of the things we know is during sleep, when your body is asleep, it allows your cells to increase proteins. What does that do? It allows for your rebuilding or re-strengthening of the cells. Okay, everything from muscles cells to skin cells. So, it's not necessarily only about aesthetics, the beauty, but it's also about the musculature. It's about the exercise. It's about having effective exercise, by being able to sleep effectively. Now one of the things that I talk about - and I joke about this - is that I call him Doctor GH appears in sleep. Dr GH stands for Dr Growth Hormone, or Human Growth Hormone.

Kevin: Mm hmm.

Dr. Breus: Now what's interesting is during deep sleep or Stages Three and Four sleep is when you have the highest spike of Human Growth Hormone. Okay. Now, so what does that mean? Well, Growth Hormone is responsible for a lot of different areas of [development]. Everything from tissue repair, to [cellular] placement, to even [serve naps] like some brain function. Okay, so what are the areas that Growth Hormone affects most in the body? Well, we see that it revitalizes the immune system. So remember I was talking before about how some of those flu shots don't work so well ...

Kevin: Yeah.

Dr. Breus: When you are sleep deprived?

Kevin: Mm hmm.

Dr. Breus: This is a direct relationship to Growth Hormone.

Kevin: Okay.

Dr. Breus: Alright. We talk about reducing the risks of [oxyo-perosis], okay, with more Growth Hormone. We talk about the restoration of skin elasticity. And there's another area that people don't know whole lot about that I've been doing significant amount of reading on which is called "The [Arteriole] Aging". So what's interesting is, just like every other part of our body, our artery have a tendency to age. That ageing process can be sped up or, in some cases, slowed down by the presence or absence of Growth Hormone.

Kevin: Okay.

Dr. Breus: Right. So if you deprive yourself of sleep and you are not getting enough Growth Hormone cause you're not getting enough deep sleep, your arteries would be aging faster.

Kevin: Okay, and some of the negative effects of ageing arteries?

Dr. Breus: Well, you know, there's a zillion of them.

Kevin: Yeah.

Dr. Breus: Let's talk about just a couple. A big one is you're going to have potentially an increase in blood pressure. What happens when you have increase in blood pressure? You have an increase in fluid retention, and that can lead to those big puffy bags underneath people's eyes.

Kevin: Mm hmm.

Dr. Breus: Now, don't get me wrong, it's not like puffy eyes is the only thing I want to talk about here, because increased blood pressure [in another cell] is a huge factor.

Kevin: Sure.

Dr. Breus: Okay, it's a huge factor for health. But when people turn to me and they say "You know, Micheal, how do I get rid of these bags under my eyes?" One of the first things I tell them is "Get some more sleep.".

Kevin: Yeah.

Dr. Breus: Okay, now don't get me wrong. If you look at your mother and you look at your grandmother, and everybody had these genetic bags under their eyes, well, then you may have it genetically too. And no amount of sleep may get rid of those.

Kevin: Mm hmm.

Dr. Breus: But if you notice that [these] have been coming on for, you know, quite some time, and you know that you've been sleep deprived and things like that, then yeah, that could be a big factor. Also people need to realize that the area right underneath your eye sometimes have small fat deposits in it. And sometimes that can lead to the bags under the eye. Those fat deposits are actually cushioning for your eyeball.

Kevin: Okay.

Dr. Breus: Okay. So, sometimes, that's protective in nature. And we need to realize that sometimes that's an okay thing.

Kevin: Mm hmm.

Dr. Breus: Another big factor from sleep deprivation and arterial ageing is the decrease in circulation.

Kevin: Okay.

Dr. Breus: Okay. So the blood isn't moving as quickly because the arteries aren't as efficient. Well, the thinnest piece of skin in your body is directly under your eye.

Kevin: That's why it shows the most.

Dr. Breus: That's right, gotcha. Raccoon eyes as they are better known.

Kevin: Mm hmm.

Dr. Breus: Okay. And also the decrease in circulation gives you a lifeless skin color. The reason people look healthy and vibrant is cause blood is flowing through their skin and they have rosy red cheeks. So, again, sleep deprivation affects, you know, multiple areas of how you look and feel.

Kevin: Dr Breus has some slides and we're going to make some of these available. There's actually pictures here. They're just pretty telling about how the puffy eyes, the difference that you can see. So, we'll make those available for everyone to take a look at.

Dr. Breus: Absolutely. The second area that I want to go into which still talks about the Fountain of Youth is weight gain. You know, we all struggle with this in different forms and fashions throughout our life. Sometimes it's easy to lose weight. Sometimes it's hard to lose weight. Sometimes when you go past thirty, or you go past forty, or you go past fifty, it may be easier or more difficult. Believe it or not, within the last two to three years, some stunning new research has come about. And this research has shown that sleep deprivation equals weight gain.

Kevin: Wow! Say it again? [Laughs]

Dr. Breus: Sleep deprivation equals weight gain.

Kevin: [Laughs] Remember the diets are going to work guys! [Laughs]

Dr. Breus: Well, here's what I would say. I would say "Many of the diets would work if you get a good night's rest.".

Kevin: There you go. [Laughs]

To read the rest of this transcript as well as access more information by health experts on abundance, optimum health, and longevity just like Dr. Michael Brues, please visit

About the author

Kevin Gianni is a health advocate, author and speaker. He has helped thousands of people in over 85 countries learn how to take control of their health--and keep it. To view his popular internet TV Show "The Renegade Health Show" (and get a free gift!) with commentary on natural health issues, vegan and raw food diets, holistic nutrition and more click here.

His book, "The Busy Person's Fitness Solution," is a step-by-step guide to optimum health for the time and energy-strapped. To find out more about abundance, optimum health and self motivation click here... or you're interested in the vegan and raw food diet and cutting edge holistic nutrition click here. For access to free interviews, downloads and a complete bodyweight exercise archive visit

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