ADDitude ADHD Experts Podcast

Podcast Episode #239: “Sleep and the ADHD Brain: Why It’s Critical and How to Get More”

Sleep is vitally important for brain development and learning in children, teens, and adults with ADHD — yet few of us get enough. Tune in to hear Joel Nigg, Ph.D., and Elizabeth Super, M.D., review the optimal amount by life stage, and offer solutions to common sleep challenges.

Night sky with moon and step ladder. Elements of this image furnished by NASA
Night sky with moon and step ladder. Elements of this image furnished by NASA

Listen to “Sleep and the ADHD Brain: Why It’s Critical and How to Get More” with Joel Nigg, Ph.D., and Elizabeth Super, M.D.

Click the play button below to listen in your browser. Mobile users can open this episode in: Apple Podcasts; Google Podcasts; Stitcher; Spotify; Overcast.

Click here to view the original webinar broadcast and accompanying slides.

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Sleep problems are highly correlated with ADHD, but there remains confusion about why they overlap and the best practices to address them in children. What’s more, professionals often neglect to consider sleep problems when assessing a child or adult for ADHD, and parents too often overlook the vital role that sleep plays in healthy attention and brain development.

We know that children with ADHD are at high risk for secondary sleep problems or behavioral problems when going to bed and waking up. Less is known about the true incidence of primary or biologically driven sleep problems in patients with ADHD. What we do know is that concerns over sleep are very different in teens than in pre-adolescent children — and different again in adults. The good news is, sleep challenges correctly identified at any stage of life, are usually resolved pretty quickly.

Listener testimonials:

  • “Thank you for all of your proactive support and your informative talks, webinars, and literature and articles! Please keep up the good work.”
  • “Every time I listen to one of your broadcasts I learn a bit more about ADHD. I am so glad I found your website as the content and resources available are just great. Thank you for being the light and support system in my life.”
  • “Well done! As an adult with ADHD and sleep problems, after this webinar, I’m tempted to search for the hidden location of the recorder in my house because it seemed that the content was so familiar. There were behaviors and even thoughts that I was unaware of having! Good job, guys!”
  • “They were very informative, please thank them both on our behalf. I would enjoy participating in another webinar with either or both of them again.”

Related recommended resources:

This ADHD Experts webinar was first broadcast live on November 28, 2018. 

Joel Nigg, Ph.D., is a member of the ADDitude ADHD Medical Review Panel.

Note on audio quality: This podcast is a recording of a webinar series, and the audio has been captured from telephone conversations, not recorded in a studio. Register to participate in the live webinars at:

Webinar Sponsor

The sponsor of this week’s ADDitude webinar is….

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ADDitude thanks our sponsors for supporting our webinars. Sponsorship has no influence on speaker selection or webinar content.

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