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How Sleep Deprivation Looks a Lot Like ADHD

Inadequate sleep can cause procrastination, forgetfulness, and inattention among other symptoms often mistaken for ADHD. Learn the telltale signs of a sleep deficit, and how to get the rest you need.

1 Comment: How Sleep Deprivation Looks a Lot Like ADHD

  1. When I read this article this morning, I just wanted to cry!
    This article/author UNDERSTANDS me!

    I have been looking for some clarity on this connection for a long, long time. I have not (yet) been able to find a medical professional that understands the nuanced connections that you have explained here so clearly! -And how subtly ‘disabling’ they can be. It really is an invisible dis-ability, except to those who live with me (-And even then, not always).

    I was diagnosed with Narcolepsy w/mild Cataplexy when I was 33 yrs old (experiencing Excessive Daytime Sleepiness, profound fatigue, memory loss, problems concentrating, etc) through a Sleep Study that showed a similar result as the the author’s Sleep Study Test (Dr. Thakkar). Looking back-I suspect I’ve had Narcolepsy since I was teenager.

    I am now 51. I have been through several medication combinations that seem to work for a few months but then many of my ADHD-like symptoms return and the fatigue sets back in and I’m back where I started (or nearly). I still need a lot of sleep to make it through a day, and I also have the complication of Fibromyalgia pain that saps my energy and makes it hard to concentrate (brain fog). I believe FMS is related to the Sleep Dysfunction- but that’s another discussion.

    I discovered in the last few years through ADDitude Online- the overlap in symptoms of Sleep Deprivation/poor restorative sleep and ADHD/ADD- and wondered how that applied to my situation and what I could do about it. I was amazed reading how Dr Thakkar made it through Med school with many of the same challenges I have had. Kudos to you, and THANK YOU for researching this topic! You are an inspiration to me.

    My goal is to go back to school and finish my degree someday. I haven’t yet found the right management tools to achieve my dream yet, but with information like this I hope I can discover new approaches and something what works better in the future.

    I hope that funding can be found and allocated to studying this connection and finding more effective treatments- so that I, and people like me, can experience fuller and more productive lives. Until then, I keep fighting everyday to stay awake, manage the pain, and apply what I learn on this website to improve things that lie in my power to change.

    Thank you! Keep it coming! Pleeease!

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