ADHD and sleep

ADHD and sleep are often thought of as being mutually exclusive. However, research shows that for many people with ADHD, getting enough quality sleep is essential for managing symptoms and improving overall health.

In fact, untreated sleep problems can significantly contribute to ADHD symptoms. If you have ADHD and struggle with getting a good night’s rest, there are a few steps you can take to improve your sleep habits.

Read on to learn more about the link between ADHD and sleep and what you can do to get the shut-eye you need.

Define ADHD

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, more commonly known as ADHD, is an umbrella term for various neurobehavioral disorders that can occur in children and adults.

These disorders are typically characterized by symptoms such as difficulty paying attention, impulsivity, hyperactivity, difficulty regulating emotions and activities, and problems participating in everyday life tasks.

The exact cause of ADHD is unknown. It is believed to have genetic and environmental components. Diagnosis involves an assessment of the individual’s behavior and the environment through interviews with them, family members or other caregivers, school reports, and neuropsychological evaluations.

Treatment usually consists of psychological interventions such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and medical interventions such as medications with stimulant properties. Individuals with ADHD may also benefit from lifestyle changes, such as regular exercise and a balanced diet, to help manage symptoms.

Ultimately, while ADHD can often be difficult to manage and has severe implications on daily functioning, it can be effectively addressed through appropriate diagnoses and treatment plans specifically tailored to each individual’s circumstances.

With proper support and management strategies in place, many individuals with ADHD can lead successful lives.

The link between sleep and ADHD

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has been linked to sleep disturbances. Researchers have noted that patients with the disorder tend to experience worse symptoms when they don’t get enough rest.

Poor sleep can contribute to hyperactivity, impulsivity, inattention, and poor organizational skills, which are common symptoms of ADHD. Sleep deprivation can also lead to problems regulating emotions, a lack of motivation, difficulty concentrating, and difficulty paying attention.

While more research is needed to understand why there’s such a strong link between sleep and ADHD, what is clear is that getting adequate rest may be beneficial in managing the disorder. Treatment plans for those with ADHD often emphasize lifestyle changes such as time management or creating routines that promote healthy habits like physical activity or regular bedtimes.

Increasing the duration of an individual’s sleep period or improving its quality should always be part of a comprehensive treatment strategy for a person with ADHD. For those dealing with ADHD symptoms, good sleep hygiene is essential for overall mental health on both large and small scales.

In conclusion, affected individuals must prioritize getting enough quality sleep every night as part of their health regimen.


How Do ADHD Sleep Problems Affect YOUR Daily Life?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a disorder that can disrupt many aspects of everyday life, including a person’s ability to sleep. ADHD patients often have difficulty falling and staying asleep, leading to fatigue, irritability, and low energy levels.

Research shows that those with ADHD often have reduced total sleep time or altered sleep patterns. This can, in turn, reduce the patient’s cognitive functioning during the day, making it difficult to concentrate and stay focused for extended periods.

Furthermore, uncontrolled adrenaline and cortisol levels due to lack of sleep may lead to behavioral issues such as excessive talking or acting out impulsively. Understanding and addressing ADHD-related sleep issues is essential for the overall quality of life for ADHD patients. healthcare providers need to recognize the connection between these two problems and take steps to support their patients with an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan.

With good care, the potential disruption caused by an ADHD patient’s poor sleep quality can be curbed to allow them more freedom in their daily lives.

Common Sleep Disorders Commonly in People With ADHD

ADHD is associated with a wide range of sleep problems. Common sleep disorders commonly observed in people with ADHD include difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, and waking up too early.

Furthermore, there can be periodic night awakenings and excessive daytime sleeping. These can lead to disturbed sleep cycles, resulting in fatigue and decreased daily functioning. To make matters worse, medical comorbidities such as anxiety disorders can worsen these symptoms.

Sleep-Disordered Breathing

Sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) is a general term that describes breathing problems during sleep. There are many different types of SDB, including obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), central sleep apnea (CSA), and mixed sleep apnea.


Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder that causes excessive sleepiness and sudden muscle weakness. People with narcolepsy often have problems staying awake during the day and can fall asleep at inappropriate times.

Restless Legs Syndrome

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a condition that causes an uncomfortable feeling in the legs and an urge to move them. This sensation is usually worse at night and can keep people from getting a good night’s sleep.

Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorder

A circadian rhythm sleep disorder (CRSD) is a sleep disorder that affects the body’s natural wake-sleep cycle. People with CRSD often have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep at the correct times. This can lead to problems such as excessive daytime sleepiness and fatigue.

Sleep Tips for Children and Adults With ADHD and Sleep Problems

Evidence suggests a strong link between sleep issues and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Poor sleep or insufficient amounts of sleep can worsen the symptoms of ADHD in both children and adults. To help those with ADHD and their families, finding healthy ways to improve their sleeping habits is essential.

For adults and children with ADHD, establishing a consistent sleeping pattern is key to obtaining restful sleep. It can be helpful to set the alarm for wake-up times and begin winding down toward bedtime at least an hour before bed every night. Additionally, regular physical activity during the day may help reduce fatigue during evening hours and promote better sleep quality.

Stimulants, such as caffeine or nicotine, should also be avoided late in the day, so they do not interfere with falling asleep. Lastly, lifestyle changes such as reducing noise levels in the bedroom and attempting relaxation techniques like yoga can make all the difference in achieving more restful nights of sleep.

A weighted blanket can be a helpful tool for improving sleep in individuals with ADHD and sleep problems. The added weight of the blanket for Adults helps to create a sense of calm and relaxation, which can lead to a better night’s sleep.

For children, it is important to use a blanket that is lightweight and soft. Parents should make sure the child is comfortable with the weighted blanket and does not feel constricted. It is also important to monitor the child during sleep to ensure they are not having difficulty breathing or any other adverse effects.

By following these simple tips, individuals living with ADHD may be able to get better quality sleep while managing their condition more effectively.

Finale Words

ADHD can be difficult to manage, and one of the most common problems associated with it is a sleep disorder. By understanding the link between ADHD and sleep and the different types of sleep disorders commonly seen in people with ADHD, you can start to make changes that may help improve your child’s or your own quality of life. Try out some sleep tips and see if you notice a difference in your ability to focus, pay attention, and control impulsive behaviors.

Phillip Ottiger
Phillip Ottiger

Hello, I am a Co-Founder and former editor of Soothsounds, one of the top blogs related to sleep habits and needs. With my experience, I want to help you understand the importance of a good night’s sleep and how to create it for your own benefit.