Sleeping Issues with ADD and ADHD

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici /

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici /

Sleeping issues are common with people dealing with ADD and ADHD. It isn’t because we’re not tired, it’s because our minds are always chasing something. It is the same reason why we have trouble sitting still in a class or focusing on something for long periods of time. Our minds are always racing. There’s a secondary factor with sleep issues and it involves medication. As many of you know, sleep concerns are a major side-effect of medication.

OK, so now that we know there’s a problem, how do we fix it? Well, there’s no specific cure. But there are some things we can do to help facilitate the sleep process.

  • Do not drink caffeine or anything with large amounts of sugar within four hours of trying to sleep.
  • Discontinue the use of any media screens within 30 minutes of calling it a night.
  • Avoid eating within two hours of attempting to sleep.
  • If it’s a medication issue, talk with your doctor. It may be a simple dosage adjustment will solve the problem.
  • Exercise
  • Do not get overly worked up before bed. Try to table anything stressful until the morning.
  • Identify comfortable clothing.
  • Drink water and keep it near your bed.

Now some of these seem like common sense, but we don’t always practice good habits. Other situations may be unavoidable like avoiding stress. In my life, when something is stressing me out, it usually means I am not going to sleep. I often internalize my feelings. In these moments, I’ll journal about my thoughts and readdress these in the morning. If you walk away from this with anything, the key to a successful night’s sleep is regulating yourself. Put yourself in a good place before your head hits the pillow.

For more information on my ADD, ADHD and Executive Functioning coaching, please visit To learn more information about some of the other services I provide, please visit and I can be found on Twitter at ADHDEFCoach. You can also find me on Facebook and Tumblr. My good friend and fellow ADD/ADHD Coach Tara McGillicuddy invites me as a regular guest on ADD/ADHD Support Talk Radio. Tara does many wonderful things and you should check out her website here. Feel free to email me at or call 773.888.ADHD (2343) with any additional questions.

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