In sleep deprived ADHD households, 57% of parents sleep less than six hours per night. Most children suffering from attention deficit disorders often struggle to fall asleep or to stay asleep. More than 50% of children are waking up to 4 times during the night and are fully awake before 6am, according to an article published in ADDitude magazine.
You don’t outgrow ADD. Children suffering from ADHD and sleeping problems will carry their difficulties into their adulthood. Studies have shown that not getting enough rest can worsen the symptoms, leading to loss of emotional control and irritation.
I’m regularly available for consultations and you should always get professional help. I also wrote about how much sleep your brain needs in a previous blog post. Below you can find few tips that I have gathered along the way and you can try on your own to help you sleep better:
When are you going to bed? Are you actually going to bed when you say you are? How many times are you waking up during the night?
Track these patterns to better understand your sleeping problem. You can easily find apps that are doing it for you or you can go with the classic pen and notebook. Check your notes regularly as you try different methods of improving your sleep to see if they are helping or not.
Less Caffeine, More Sport
We all enjoy a good coffee, but if it’s within 2 or 3 hours before your bed time, it’s a sure way to keep you awake. Many people don’t drink coffee after 1pm. Similarly to this, naps are a great way to energize your body, but are not beneficial to an ADHD person as they are taking away precious tiredness from your night sleep.
Increasing the level of activity has proven to help. So take your dog for longer walks or walk when you can, instead of driving everywhere.
Avoid Sleep Traps
Playing Angry Birds under the covers, hiding from your partner, is a big NO. Mindlessly scrolling on social media will keep you awake and affect your mental health in the long term. The blue light from the screen is the biggest intruder in the night. Don’t spend time in from of a TV or a computer after 9pm.
Let the Night Come
Instead of becoming a scrolling slave, prepare your brain and body for sleep. Take a warm, relaxing shower, listen to a podcast, meditate and relax your muscles or turn on a shooting music playlist.
Help your racing brain wind down before bed. Ask help from your family to keep you on track.
Create your own waking up and winding down routine. It’s important to have a routine to give your brain a little nudge to get ready to wake up or to go to sleep. Putting a daily clock alarm, an hour before bed, will give you a gentle push to get ready for the end of the day.
Once you discover what works best for you, do it every day consistently. This will increase the quality of your sleep by allowing your body to get into a daily rhythm, something beneficially especially for children and adults with ADHD.
ADHD is always awake, but that doesn’t mean you need to constantly suffer from restless nights and exhausting mornings.
Share your experience with our community and let us know what worked for you!
High-quality sleep is essential for optimal health. I’ve discovered that Neuro Emotional Technique is very effective for clearing stress and tension that is keeping you awake at night. If you live near Portland, OR/Vancouver, WA please contact my office and schedule an appointment. Online therapy is also available, if that works best for your busy schedule.
2 Replies to “ADHD and Sleeping Better”
The increased daylight hours in summer are lovely, but goof up my sense of ‘night-time’. I feel I should stay up a couple hours after it gets dark, but that could mean 11pm or later, which is later than I really want to go to bed.
Hi Lori. I agree that our daylight saving time makes getting rest more difficult. Have you tried using a full spectrum light? Some people find that this type of lamp helps re-set their internal clock. This is especially helpful for people with ADHD and Seassonal Affective Disorder. It’s not just for winter time either.