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Therapists with ADHD Share Tips on Improving Sleep Quality



Are you struggling to fall asleep due to ADHD symptoms? Many individuals with ADHD find it challenging to wind down and relax at bedtime, making it difficult to get the rest they need. However, there are some strategies you can try to help improve your sleep quality and establish a bedtime routine that works for you.

Finding the right amount of stimulation before bed is crucial for individuals with ADHD. Engaging in calming activities such as listening to a guided meditation, audiobook, or podcast can help calm your mind and prepare you for sleep. Dr. Svendez recommends the Sleep With Me podcast as a soothing option. For some individuals, activities like scrolling through silly meme pages on their phone can also help calm their hyperactive minds. Dr. Svendez suggests playing simple games on your phone, such as Candy Crush, to wind down and relax before bed.

If you’re finding it difficult to fall asleep, it’s important not to force yourself to stay in bed. Spending too much time tossing and turning can lead to increased anxiety and make it harder to drift off. Instead, consider moving to a different location such as the couch or a comfy chair to break the cycle of sleeplessness. Dr. Hamdani recommends addressing any physical needs that may be keeping you awake, such as using the bathroom or grabbing a snack. If racing or anxious thoughts are keeping you awake, engaging in a semi-stimulating activity until your eyes feel heavy can help prepare you for sleep.

Adjusting your daytime schedule to accommodate your sleep needs can also help improve your quality of rest. Some individuals with ADHD naturally tend to fall asleep later and wake up later, so shifting your schedule to allow for more sleep can be beneficial. Discussing possible accommodations with your employer, such as working a later shift or working remotely to avoid a commute, can give you the extra time you need to rest. While societal norms may emphasize waking up early, it’s important to prioritize your own sleep needs and make adjustments to support a healthy sleep routine.

If you’re taking medication to manage your ADHD symptoms, it’s essential to talk to your doctor about how it may be affecting your sleep. Stimulant medications that help you stay focused during the day can sometimes interfere with your ability to fall asleep at night. Dr. Svendez suggests discussing potential adjustments to your medication regimen with your healthcare provider to ensure you’re getting the rest you need. By making small changes to your bedtime routine, daytime schedule, and medication regimen, you can improve your sleep quality and overall well-being as an individual with ADHD.

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