ADHD and Insomnia

Posted by Darian Dozier on Dec 27, 2021 8:00:00 AM

Add a heading-Aug-29-2021-11-13-18-70-PM

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, ADHD, is a neurodevelopmental disorder that impacts one's ability to pay attention, sit still, and control their impulses. This is normal diagnosed in childhood and persists into adulthood. The hyperactivity of ADHD can make sleeping very difficult and can even cause the onset of insomnia. Read below to see how ADHD can cause insomnia, and what are some ways to manage this for better sleep. 

What is ADHD? 

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that impairs one's ability to focus, pay attention and control their impulses. These individuals, often children, find themselves daydreaming, unable to sit still, and may have trouble keeping up with conversations. ADHD is normal managed with a combination of therapies and medication. 

The cause of ADHD is unknown but researchers think there is a genetic link, and that also any thing that could alter the brain during fetal or neonatal development - such as an injury or drug/alcohol use - could increase the risk. 

What is insomnia? 

Insomnia is a sleep disorder where one cannot receive the optimal 7-9 hours that is currently recommended for daily functioning and health. Insomnia can either be a primary disorder or a secondary disorder. Primary insomnia is where insomnia is the main disorder and that leads to other health problems. Secondary insomnia is when something else leads to insomnia, such as depression causing insomnia. 

Insomnia can also be labeled as acute or chronic. Acute means a very short period of time - like having trouble sleeping the night before a big day. Or, insomnia can be chronic meaning that it is long lasting and is experienced many times during the week for several weeks. 

Insomnia is a dangerous disorder because it can lead to sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation can cause changes in mood and attention. It also can cause weight gain, depression, anxiety, and many other negative secondary outcomes. Therefore, it's very important to find the cause of insomnia and handle it sooner, rather than later. 

How ADHD causes sleeplessness 

ADHD can pose a number of challenges for anyone trying to get a good night's sleep. 

Those with ADHD can have trouble keeping a schedule. It's important in general to have a good schedule and try to get in the bed at the same time every night. Therefore, if someone has a disorder that stops them from following a regiment, then they will struggle to get the amount of hours they need. 

Medication is also another issue because most of the medications used to treat ADHD are stimulants. Stimulants can increase the activity of the brain at a time when the brain should be winding down for bed. 

There is alo an impact of the other disorders associated with ADHD that can impact sleep. Individuals with ADHD also have anxiety, depression, mood disorders or substance abuse problems that can add to the insomnia. 

How to get better sleep 

There are a few steps that someone with ADHD can try to improve sleep. Avoiding napping four hours before bedtime and consuming any caffeine - through coffee, chocolate, etc. - can help. Also, if their medication is a stimulant, take it as early as possible so it doesn't impact sleep. 

Although it's hard to maintain a routine, it will be helpful to be mindful about having a calming bedtime routine that helps establish the same bedtime every day. When in bed, it's important that the sleep environment is conducive for a good night's sleep as well. 

If someone with ADHD is having trouble with insomnia, then please click the orange button below to take a free online sleep test to see if any of our services can be of use.  

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