ADHD & Sleep
Racing thoughts. Lingering to-do lists. Myriad distractions. They keep an ADHD mind from falling and staying asleep, tiring us out to the point that no alarm clock can rouse us in the morning.
Racing thoughts. Lingering to-do lists. Myriad distractions. They keep an ADHD mind from falling and staying asleep, exhausting us into a "sleep of the dead." Here, the ADDitude experts offer advice for ending the vicious cycle of sleep deprivation and aggravation...
ADDitude's Top 5 Articles On Falling & Staying Asleep Appear Below. But First Some Background...
The four most common sleep disturbances associated with ADHD are:
1. Initiation Insomnia
Prior to puberty, 10 to 15 percent of children with ADHD have trouble getting to sleep -- twice the rate found in children without ADHD. This number dramatically increases with age: 50 percent of children with ADHD have difficulty falling asleep almost every night by age 13. By age 30, more than 70 percent of adults with ADHD report that they spend more than one hour trying to fall asleep at night.
2. Restless Sleep
When individuals with ADHD finally fall asleep, their sleep is restless and not at all refreshing -- they awaken as tired as when they went to bed.
3. Difficulty Waking
ADHD sleepers who have fought bedtime restlessness well into the morning hours are commonly irritable, even combative, when roused before they are ready. Many of them say they are not fully alert until noon.
4. Intrusive Sleep
If an individual with ADHD loses interest in an activity, his nervous system disengages, in search of something more interesting. Sometimes this disengagement is so abrupt as to induce sudden extreme drowsiness, even to the point of falling asleep.