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5 Fixes for “I Can’t Sleep”

Many adults with ADHD complain of restless nights and exhausted mornings. There’s no single cause for insomnia and other sleep disturbances, and no single solution. Try one of these tricks to sleep better, tonight!

You feel relaxed and ready for bed…until the lights go out. Then, suddenly your brain is in overdrive — forgotten tasks and brilliant ideas flood your mind, all when you should be sleeping.

Adults with attention deficit disorder (ADHD or ADD) often have sleep problems, like insomnia. But there are ways to train your body and mind to settle down, so you can get the rest you need. Start with these five tricks.

5 Fixes for “I Can’t Sleep”

Many adults with ADHD complain of restless nights and exhausted mornings. Sometimes medications cause adverse reactions; other times, racing brains are to blame.

There is no single cause of ADHD-related sleep disturbances — and no single solution either.

Try one (or all) of these tricks, and sleep better tonight!

1. Get your RDA of sunlight.

ADHD can skew a person’s internal clock, making him fall asleep and get up later than most.

Reset your circadian rhythms by getting sunlight first thing in the morning – or using a light box.

2. Slow your mind.

Develop routines – like showering and listening to a podcast before bed – that signal to your body, “It’s time to wind down.”

Use ADHD-friendly tools to help you calm speeding thoughts:

  • A white noise machine
  • Soothing music
  • Meditation apps

3. Set a bedtime alarm.

Try to go to sleep at the same time every day.

Program a recurring alert on your phone for one hour before lights out to give yourself a nudge.

4. Avoid sleep traps.

If scrolling through social media or watching TV keeps you up, create deterrents and disincentives to using those devices.

Ask for help from family, so they know not to distract you from your goal.

5. Try a supplement.

Expert Sandy Newmark, M.D., recommends the herb valerian or melatonin to his patients with ADHD.

Talk to your doctor about the solution and dosage that might work for you.

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