Solving sleep problems and ADHD

Have you noticed that your child with ADHD has trouble with sleeping? Sleep disturbances caused by ADHD have been overlooked for several reasons, including the late age of onset. There is a well established scientific link between ADHD and sleep disturbances. Older children with ADHD rarely fall asleep quickly, sleep soundly through the night, and wake up feeling refreshed. But, as with most of our knowledge about ADHD in adults, we’re only beginning to understand the more vital link between ADHD and sleep, which creates difficulties:

  • Falling asleep
  • Staying asleep
  • Waking up

On average, sleep disturbances associated with ADHD generally appear later in life, at around age 12. Sleeping problems are often overlooked and attributed to coexisting ADHD problems and incorrectly using stimulant medication to treat ADHD.

· January 3, 2022

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Summary of the Five-Part Series on Sleeping Problems and ADHD

Part 1: The Intersection of ADHD and Sleep Disturbances

In the opening segment, we’re introduced to the complex relationship between ADHD and sleep. Pediatrician John guides us through the underappreciated link between the two, aiming to clarify common misconceptions about ADHD medications and behaviors. Highlighting that sleep issues often precede medication and are misattributed, John sets the stage for a detailed examination of how ADHD influences sleep, emphasizing the critical nature of early identification and management. This discussion sets the groundwork for understanding the multifaceted challenges of ADHD, especially in relation to sleep, paving the way for an in-depth exploration in the series.

Part 2: Unraveling the Sleep Challenges in ADHD

The second part delves into the theories behind sleep difficulties in individuals with ADHD, highlighting arousal and engagement’s pivotal roles. Renowned psychiatrist Thomas Brown’s insights into arousal and alertness underscore the importance of managing these states for better sleep. The discussion expands to the impact of an irregular internal clock on melatonin production and the significance of sleep hygiene. Anxiety’s role is scrutinized, advocating for cognitive and relaxation strategies to combat bedtime anxiety, promoting a holistic approach to improving sleep for those with ADHD.

Part 3: Treatment Options and Strategies

Here, we explore various treatment avenues beyond medication, acknowledging the pre-existing nature of sleep challenges in ADHD. The segment introduces counterintuitive methods like administering short-acting stimulants before bedtime and highlights the importance of avoiding habit-forming medications. Melatonin and clonidine are discussed as beneficial alternatives, with practical tips such as a dual alarm system for morning wakefulness. This part emphasizes a nuanced understanding of ADHD’s impact on sleep, incorporating behavioral strategies and awareness of anxiety’s influence.

Part 4: Practical Advice for Managing Sleep Issues

Focusing on actionable strategies, this installment offers parents insights into navigating sleep difficulties in children with ADHD. It stresses the importance of distinguishing between ADHD-related sleep problems and other causes, advocating for medication adjustments and the establishment of a conducive sleep environment. Recommendations include screen-free routines, consistent sleep schedules, and modeling good sleep hygiene. The narrative underscores the need for a structured approach to bedtime routines, considering additional factors like anxiety and specific sleep disorders, guiding parents towards fostering restorative sleep for their children.

Part 5: A Deeper Dive into ADHD and Sleep

The final part synthesizes our journey, reiterating the critical connection between daily activities and sleep quality in ADHD. It discusses the ADHD mind’s constant state of alertness and its implications for sleep, advocating for a balanced, authoritative parenting style. Highlighting the role of technology and the importance of natural rhythms in regulating sleep, it calls for structured daytime activities and reduced screen time. Concluding the series, this segment ties together the themes discussed, emphasizing a comprehensive approach to managing ADHD and sleep challenges for improved well-being.

This series offers a comprehensive overview, from foundational concepts to practical strategies, for understanding and addressing the sleep difficulties faced by individuals with ADHD. Through expert insights and actionable advice, it aims to empower caregivers and individuals with ADHD to navigate the complexities of sleep disturbances, fostering better sleep habits and overall quality of life.

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Course Includes

  • 1 Lesson
  • 5 Topics


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