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ADHD and Sleep



Even in party season everyone needs between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night to feel productive and well during the day. People with ADHD often have a hard time falling or staying asleep. Night-time, with the obvious lack of distractions, presents an ideal opportunity for negative thoughts to burst into mind, for hyper-focus and thought rumination to take control.


Sleeping difficulties for someone with ADHD often become worse with both time and age. It becomes harder to switch the ADHD brain off at night and it becomes more challenging to settle into a good sleeping pattern.


A disrupted sleep cycle, and the resulting tiredness, will make the symptoms of ADHD worse and will make it harder to sleep the following night ... and so the cycle continues, possibly resulting in stress related to bedtime and the onset of a sleep disorder.


The poor night’s sleep then impacts on the productivity of the following day by resulting in fatigue, difficulty waking up, getting out of bed, and having a positive start to the day. People with ADHD-related sleep deprivation may feel grumpy, irritable, restless, or tired, and they may have trouble paying attention at school or at work.

This situation is compounded by the fact that many of the symptoms of ADHD, like difficulty concentrating, forgetfulness, and fatigue, are similar to symptoms of sleep deprivation or mood disorders. Sleep deprivation can make people vulnerable to health issues like depression, anxiety, hyperactivity, inattention, and difficulty processing information


Sleeping difficulties impact on the whole family by making it hard for everyone to get a good night’s rest. Family members may experience depression, anxiety, stress, and may find it difficult to start their days on time and in a positive way.

Assistance creating a structured and consistent bedtime routine can help reinforce the connection between bed and sleep. Strategies need to be put in place to promote healthy sleep hygiene and positive habits that support good rest.

Consider that every tomorrow starts the night before.

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