Many individuals with adhd find it challenging to sleep well. Even when they do finally hit the sack, their minds often remain active while their bodies continue to toss and turn during the night.
European and US guidelines advise patients with ADHD to have their sleep disturbances evaluated during evaluation for the disorder and prior to initiating any medication (Graham et al 2011; Wolraich et al 2011). Sleep diaries, questionnaires, polysomnography, actigraphy as well as polysomnography/actigraphy can all provide valuable data, while initial treatments such as healthy sleeping practices should be implemented immediately as first line treatments (Graham et al 2011; Wolraich et al 2011).
Sleep problems are one of the hallmarks of ADHD. Additionally, people living with ADHD often also have other sleep disorders which contribute to insomnia and make restful slumber difficult for them. Treating these underlying conditions may improve quality of restful slumber; alternatively there may be over-the-counter and prescription sleep medications and herbal remedies available which may increase restful slumber.
Sleep is essential to good health. Our bodies need sleep to regenerate cells, fight infections and focus on remembering things; too little rest may leave us feeling tired and impair our focus and concentration; poor rest can even cause headaches, weight gain and possibly heart disease and other serious health problems.
Studies have demonstrated that both children and adults with adhd have difficulty sleeping more soundly than those without. According to one research project, preschoolers who slept less than 10 hours each night were reported by their parents as more hyperactive and inattentive in kindergarten. Researchers speculate that poor early sleep could push some children toward developing ADHD later (Gaylor et al 2004).
Some individuals with ADHD experience difficulty sleeping even without taking psychostimulant medication, including nightmares and other sleep disturbances exacerbated by psychostimulant medications. Psychostimulant drugs may increase nightmares, nocturnal awakenings, snoring and other sleep issues while disrupting circadian rhythms causing them to sleep too much or difficulty awakening early enough in the morning; additionally they may cause them to be more impulsive leading to further difficulties sleeping.
Studies have also found that individuals with ADHD often struggle to sleep, having difficulty falling and staying asleep, night awakenings, snoring and restless leg syndrome as sleep disorders. These disorders could be brought on by stress, depression or mental health conditions or from medications they’re taking; or simply caused by medications taken themselves.
Sleep and ADHD remain complex and inexact despite extensive research. Sometimes sleep issues are intrinsic features of ADHD while other times they mimic it or appear as co-morbid conditions.
Chronic sleep deprivation can exacerbate ADHD symptoms and increase their likelihood of other health problems like obesity and depression. When your body doesn’t get enough restful sleep, certain chemicals needed for mood regulation cannot be processed correctly – these hormones must produce normal-feeling hormones so as to function correctly and help you feel normal again.
If you suffer from both ADHD and sleep disorders, treating both conditions simultaneously is key to effective management. You may need to modify how you eat or increase exercise regularly as treatments. Medication may also help alleviate both problems simultaneously.
Implementing a bedtime ritual is one of the best ways to guarantee you get enough rest each night. Stimulants or substances that interfere with falling and staying asleep should also be avoided, while it’s wise not to wake up too early as that can ruin your sleep cycle.
One of the key indicators that there may be a problem with sleep is experiencing multiple awakenings during the night. This could be a result of poor sleeping hygiene or another condition coexisting with adhd, such as restless legs syndrome (RLS), which causes uncomfortable sensations in your legs that may keep you up at night.
If you are having difficulty sleeping, your physician may suggest getting a sleep study. This involves spending one or two nights at a sleep laboratory where equipment measures vital signs, lung capacity, brain activity and other variables related to sleeping patterns. An alternative option would be nocturnal polysomnography which monitors your sleeping at home.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), the most prevalent form of the condition, often manifests itself in daytime drowsiness and snoring during the daytime hours. OSA has been linked with cardiovascular disease and stroke risk as well as depression anxiety or other psychological disorders.
RLS (repetitive leg movements of sleep) is a sleep disorder characterized by an irresistible urge to move one’s legs, sometimes as much as 10x an hour, without cause. People describe the sensations as tingling, creeping, tugging, itching, burning or ache in legs and feet – often at night and leading to sleep disturbance. Movement such as stretching, jiggling legs or pacing may help relieve these sensations temporarily; otherwise periodic leg movements of sleep (PLMS) often occurs throughout the night where legs twitch and kick repeatedly throughout the night causing further disturbance.
Although its causes remain elusive, experts speculate that restless leg syndrome (RLS) could be related to iron deficiency or low dopamine levels in the brain – both being chemicals which play a crucial role in controlling attention and movement. RLS can be caused by certain medications including antidepressants or some antipsychotics while caffeine use, smoking cigarettes or drinking can exacerbate it further.
Some children with ADHD also display symptoms of restless legs syndrome, making it hard to differentiate the two conditions as their symptoms can overlap significantly. It’s possible that these children may also have an underlying sleep disorder like obstructive sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome, making treatment with medication alone challenging.
Children with adhd may develop restless legs as a result of medical conditions like fibromyalgia or rheumatoid arthritis, so treating any underlying medical issues could ease discomfort and improve sleep quality.
Pain relievers, exercise or massage therapy may all help ease discomfort in muscles and joints. Sometimes combining these techniques with over-the-counter medications or prescription like Clonazepam or Melatonin may also be effective in helping alleviate insomnia symptoms.
If your child is experiencing RLS or obstructive sleep apnea, it’s essential that they see a doctor immediately for assessment. A thorough physical and neurological exam can rule out any potential underlying health conditions that could cause such disorders; an overnight sleep study may also be recommended in order to properly diagnose any potential obstruction.
Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorders
People with adhd can often have their circadian rhythms disrupted by environmental or daily routine factors. Sleep-wake cycles and external light-dark cycles become mismatched, leading to insomnia or excessive daytime sleepiness. This may also occur due to internal factors like genetic predisposition (eg, Smith-Magenis syndrome), changes in hormone levels during menstruation or pregnancy, shift work or certain neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.
Individuals living with adhd can often have a delayed circadian rhythm, commonly referred to as night owl syndrome. This means they typically go to bed and wake up approximately two hours later than other people, which makes falling asleep more challenging as well as leaving them feeling unrested in the morning.
Another issue related to adhd is sleep disruption: many adults tend to only get a few hours of restful slumber each night due to a mind that won’t settle and an inability to fully relax, leaving them exhausted and unable to focus on tasks.
Adderall and Ritalin may cause difficulty sleeping by keeping you active during the nighttime hours, while other stimulant ADHD medications (four hour doses or shorter-acting pills) have less of an effect during the daytime hours.
The key to effective sleep is understanding what’s causing any difficulties, whether they be caused by ADHD medication side effects or sign of underlying conditions that have contributed to restlessness and other sleep issues. Once that has been determined, establishing and sticking to a regular sleeping schedule should help. Adopting healthy sleeping habits will improve mood, increase energy and promote long-term health benefits – use your bed only for sleeping and sexual relations, rather than conflict resolution or arguments! For optimal results use only your bed for sleeping and sexual encounters rather than using it as a place where disputes or arguments occur or when they arise from.