Studies have found that those with ADHD will also have some sort of sleep disorder. Most people that have trouble sleeping will feel the effects at work or school while driving and during many other tasks throughout the day.
Sleep Disorder Diagnosis
An important place to start on your journey to find better sleep is to talk to a mental health provider or doctor about your sleep problems. Their first priority is to figure out if there are any other factors inhibiting your sleep. These factors could include any medications you are taking, or the dosage, and the possibility of depression or anxiety preventing you from sleeping. Some doctors may ask you to write down information about your sleeping habits, such as when you go to bed, how long you sleep, whether or not you snore, how often you wake up during the night, and when you get up.
Getting A Diagnosis From A Sleep Clinic
Your doctor or health care provider may end up sending you to an ENT or to a Sleep Clinic. If you are sent to a sleep clinic or lab, you will spend the night and they will monitor your sleep. These monitors measure your brain waves, breathing patterns, and the amount of oxygen in your blood. They also track heart, muscle, and eye activity. With all the data combined, it helps them to see how long and how deeply you are sleeping.
Managing Sleep Disorders
Generally, when trying to manage or treat a sleep disorder, it will depend on what the root cause of your disrupted sleep is. Here are a few areas to consider improving when struggling with sleep:
Improve Eating & Drinking Habits
Consuming too much caffeine late in the day or drinking too much alcohol may prevent you from falling asleep when you want to. Cutting back or getting rid of these habits completely will help quite a bit. It is also a good idea not to eat a big meal close to bedtime.
Improve Sleep Habits
It is important to practice good sleep hygiene. This means finding good sleep habits that work for you and continue to use them daily. Some of these good sleep habits include:
- Going to bed and getting up about the same time every day
- Leave your phone in the other room at night
- Turn your phone and television off at least an hour before your regular bedtime
- Keep your bedroom cool and dark
- Do not take naps after mid-afternoon, generally no later than 3:00 p.m.
- If you do nap, make sure your naps are no more than 30 minutes long
Exercising during the day can help with quality sleep. The American Heart Association recommends getting 30 minutes a day of moderate-intensity exercise 5 days a week. It is generally recommended not to exercise close to bedtime, but there are people who find exercising before bed helps them to relax and fall asleep.
Seek Help From Your Doctor
There is a chance your sleep problem may be stemming from a medication you are taking. Changing when you take your medication, the dosage, or the medication altogether, could make a difference in your sleep patterns. It is important to talk to your doctor or healthcare provider before you stop taking a medication or make any changes. Sometimes a sleep issue can result from your circadian rhythm being out of sync and taking melatonin before be could be the answer. Again, always check with your doctor before taking any new medications.
ADHD & Sleep Disorders
Generally, over the counter sleep aids are not recommended due to their addictive nature. After taking them for a while, it may be hard for you to fall asleep without them and the longer you take, you may have to increase the dosage. They can also make it hard to wake up and function the next morning. If you are taking ADHD medication, there is also a chance the sleep aid will interact negatively.
Getting To The Root of Your Sleep Problem
When all attempts made to help you get better sleep have failed, it’s time to seek help from a sleep clinic. We specialize in finding the root cause of sleep disorders and providing treatment. Our team of sleep specialists can help you find answers to your sleep problem. For more information and to find answers, talk to the sleep specialists at Just Breathe by calling (208) 500-3030 today! We can help get you on your way to better sleep and a better life!
Hvolby A. (2015). Associations of sleep disturbance with ADHD: implications for treatment. Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorders 7(1): 1–18. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih. gov/pmc/articles/PMC4340974/