The circadian rhythm in adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: current state of affairs

J J Sandra Kooij, Denise Bijlenga

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademic

61 Citations (Scopus)


Adults with ADHD often have sleep problems that are caused by a delay of their internal circadian rhythm system. Such individuals are often typified as 'evening' or 'night' persons. This review focuses on the link between ADHD symptoms and the evening typology through multiple pathways. Etiology of the internal circadian rhythm system, the genetic basis for evening typology, overlap between ADHD symptoms and evening preference and risk factors for various chronic health conditions, including metabolic syndrome and cancer, are discussed. The treatment perspectives to reset the delayed rhythm in adults with ADHD involve psychoeducation on sleep hygiene, melatonin in the afternoon or evening and bright light therapy in the morning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1107-16
Number of pages10
JournalExpert review of neurotherapeutics
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Adult
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity/complications
  • Attention/drug effects
  • Circadian Rhythm/drug effects
  • Humans
  • Melatonin/pharmacology
  • Sleep Wake Disorders/complications
  • Sleep/drug effects

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