many children and adults who have adhd also have a sleep disorder—almost three out of four children and adolescents, and up to four out of five adults with adhd. while adults may seem obviously tired when they are behind on sleep, fatigue in children often looks like exaggerated adhd symptoms: hyperactivity and impulsivity—sometimes even aggressiveness and acting out. researchers have repeatedly found that sleep problems are common among people who have adhd. if your circadian rhythm is off, you may have a hard time falling asleep at a standard bedtime, or your sleep may be regularly disrupted, with lots of wakeups throughout the night. either of those can make it hard for you to wake when your alarm goes off or stay awake and think clearly at work or at school. that is the opposite of the way it is for people who do not have adhd. although these are not troubling behaviors, when they occur every night, they can frustrate both the child and his or her parents, and in turn further mess with sleep habits. caffeine in soda, coffee, and chocolate, as well as stimulant medications, can also get in the way of a good night’s sleep.
yet even nonstimulant adhd medications can affect sleep by making people sleepy after taking them—they may need a nap during the day. many conditions that commonly coexist with adhd, such as anxiety or depression, can have a significant effect on sleep as well. for anyone, too much time on a smartphone, playing video games, or watching television in the evening can mess with the ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. when kids with adhd and sleep-related breathing disorders have their tonsils removed, they often see an improvement in symptoms of both. another common coexisting condition is restless legs syndrome (rls). it is especially noticeable in the evenings and when they are in bed. rls is not common among the general population of children, but many children who have adhd also have rls. it may just be that the symptoms of the two conditions are very similar and it’s hard to tell them apart when a person is sleeping.
but, as with most of our knowledge about adhd in adults, we’re only beginning to understand the stronger link between adhd and sleep, that creates difficulties: sleep disturbances caused by adhd have been overlooked for a number of reasons. as research has expanded to include adults with adhd, the causes and effects of sleeping disturbances have become clearer. sleep is not refreshing and they awaken as tired as when they went to bed. there are several theories about the causes of sleep disturbance in people with adhd, with a telling range of viewpoints. the simplest explanation is that sleep disturbances are direct manifestations of adhd itself.
a few rules of sleep hygiene are universal: if the patient spends hours a night with thoughts bouncing and his body tossing, this is probably a manifestation of adhd. generally, they find that the medication’s “paradoxical effect” of calming restlessness is sufficient to allow them to fall asleep. some professionals will order a sleep study for their patients to determine the cause of the sleep disturbance. recognition of sleep disturbance in adhd has been hampered by the misattribution of the difficulty falling asleep to the effects of stimulant-class medications. we now recognize that sleep difficulties are associated with adhd itself, and that stimulant-class medications are often the best treatment of sleep problems rather than the cause of them.
circadian rhythm disorders. researchers have repeatedly found that sleep problems are common among people who have adhd. they think that one reason is because adults with adhd rarely fall asleep easily, sleep soundly through the night, and then wake up feeling refreshed. more often, adhd’s mental sleep disorders are more than a bad night’s sleep. and if you have one, it can steal your rest and make you more distractible and impulsive, adhd sleep problems adults, adhd sleep problems adults, adhd and sleep problems in toddlers, natural sleep aid for adhd adults, adhd and sleep reddit.
many people with adhd experience daytime sleepiness and difficulty waking up as a result of poor sleep. others experience restless, non-refreshing sleep with multiple nighttime awakenings. sleep problems in adhd appear to differ depending on the type of adhd7. insomnia is a sleep disorder characterized by difficulty falling or staying asleep, even when a person has the chance to do so.45 prolonged problems with sleep may be an intrinsic feature of adhd, or may both exacerbate and be exacerbated by the symptoms of the disorder. problems with sleep can, sleep and adhd can be a bit of a chicken and egg situation. “kids with adhd commonly have a much higher energy level than other kids,” explains dr. anderson. “, adhd waking up too early, adhd sleep medication list.
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