Amy Gore Hartman, PhD, OTR/L

Fellow In Child & Adolescent ADHD

Project Details


Adriane Soehner, Ph.D.
Heather Joseph, D.O.


University of Pittsburgh


Settling down for sleep: The impact of sensory and arousal systems on sleep in ADHD


Sleep problems are common for children with ADHD (prevalence 70%). Child bedtime struggles impact both the child and the family, causing stress and long-term health consequences. Dr. Hartman hypothesizes that sleep problems for children with ADHD are linked to sensory over-responsivity, a type of sensory processing difference that causes a person to interpret daily sensory input as stressful. Sensory over-responsivity, common for children with ADHD (prevalence 57%-78%), is overlooked in existing sleep interventions. Dr. Hartman’s innovative study examines the impact of sensory over-responsivity on bedtime arousal levels in 30 children with ADHD (ages 6-10). She will measure baseline bedtime arousal and sleep using an in-home remote monitoring protocol (1 week) and then test a unique caregiver-driven bedtime “power-down” intervention (1 week), developed by blending sleep and sensory processing theories. By understanding and addressing sensory factors, she aims to optimize interventions, fostering smoother bedtimes, better sleep, and reduced stress for the entire family.