A good night’s sleep not only helps recharge us physically but also helps us reboot mentally and emotionally. You must have heard the phrase “Let’s sleep on it” – have you ever wondered why it is said?
Many times, because of exhaustion, our minds have trouble staying alert. Sleep helps improve our ability to focus better, improve our mood, our health, and overall well-being.
Below are some sleep habits for people with ADHD who struggle to find a good night’s rest.
ADHD Friendly Sleeping Habits To Keep In Mind
If you’re wondering, ‘How to fall asleep with ADHD”, you don’t have to look far. Here are some healthy sleep habits if you’re struggling with ADHD and finding it hard to sleep peacefully at night:
1. Tea Helps. A warm cup of tea before bed can help you improve your sleep. Many people (including myself) have found drinking a warm cup of chamomile tea before bed promotes sleep. Although, make sure you drink tea without caffeine.
2. Eat Light. Eating a heavy dinner before bed can also make it difficult to catch a good night’s rest. Make sure you eat a light dinner or healthy snack before bed.
3. Meditate. Having a quiet time to yourself before you go to sleep can help your mind calm down and get ready for sleep. If your child is struggling with sleep and ADHD then it is suggested you try quiet and focused playtime such as reading, listening to soothing music, breathing exercises, or meditation.
4. Warm Bath Also Helps. Warm baths or showers before bed can help you physically and mentally relax which, in turn, will help you catch sleep faster than usual.
5. Think Positive. Negative thoughts before you go to sleep can make it harder for your mind to relax and get into a positive state before bed. Here, you can try thinking positive and happy thoughts or picture yourself in your happy place. This will help you sleep in a positive mood.
6. Try Aromatherapy. Lavender, especially, can help promote sleep and relaxation. Using essential oils in diffusers, a drop on your pillow, or in your bath can be good ways to incorporate aromatherapy into your sleep routine. Other scents such as jasmine, ylang-ylang, and chamomile help in sleep too.
7. Be Patient. ADHD and insomnia can go hand in hand. In the beginning, sleep might not come easy but you need to be patient. Stick to your routine and gradually you’ll begin to reap the benefits of your efforts.
8. Be Consistent. Having a consistent schedule for waking up and going to sleep can also help you regulate your sleep cycle and get the rest you need. Being consistent with your sleep routine and bedtime rituals can improve your sleep with time.
9. Exercise. Vigorous exercises are not recommended before bed. Gentle exercises, however, can promote good sleep habits and overall health. Regular exercises can help improve your sleep – quality and duration. If your child has ADHD, make sure you include physical exercises in their routine.
10. Try Sleep Supplements. Many people find using sleep supplements such as melatonin and L-Theanine can help better sleep in both children and adults. However, it is strongly recommended you talk with a physician before taking any supplements. If you’re on any ADHD medication, mixing supplements with it can have side effects.
Avoid These Habits If You Have ADHD
While the above tips may help you catch a good night’s rest, these habits might interfere with your sleep:
1. Avoid Alcohol. While many people treat alcohol as a sedative and while it may work, your sleep will be restless. Alcohol might cause you to wake up in the middle of the night and might not let you get the restful, less disruptive sleep you need.
2. Avoid Sugary Beverages Or Snacks. Sugary foods and drinks might give you an energy boost which can make it harder for you to get a good night’s rest. Avoid such substances before bed, if possible.
3. Avoid Caffeine. Caffeine at least 4 hours before bed can also make it difficult for you to catch a restful sleep. Caffeine is diuretic and may cause you to wake up in the middle of the night. It can also act as a stimulant that might keep you awake all night.
4. Avoid Smoking. Nicotine is another substance that can cause a night of restless sleep. Not to mention, it is harmful to your lungs.
5. Avoid Hyper Focused Activities. Before bed, it is important to keep activities that might cause you to hyperfocus away. Avoid watching TV, staying late on the computer, and avoid using your phones before bed. Such activities can also disrupt your sleep.
While these sleep habits might help you fall asleep if you’re struggling with ADHD, it is important to understand that there is help available if these methods don’t work.
One of the treatments for ADHD is medications and if you or your child is on medications, ask your doctor if you can adjust the dose. Some medications can cause side effects which can make it harder to fall asleep.
If your sleep issues continue, seek help from a professional. Many a time, underlying sleep disorders such as insomnia, restless legs syndrome, or sleep apnea might be causing you sleeping problems.
ADHD is a challenging disorder to navigate but with the right help, it can be manageable. I hope the above ways and habits on how to fall asleep with ADHD can help you get the good night’s rest you need.