“Karen’s Noggin’ 🧠 Nuggets” #23 ~ October 6, 2022
HOW ADHD AFFECTS SLEEP!
We all need it, some love it, some try to get more of it, some can’t get enough of it, others resist it at times, and we can’t live without it, it’s one of the most common questions we ask one another ‘how did you sleep?’. We want to know how people sleep and rarely do we give it much thought to understand it.
The first book I would read off the recommendation list for school from Laurie Dupar, Owner, and Director of iACTcenter.com, was “Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams” by Matthew Walker. As much as I love to read, it’s just much better to read books with my ears. I got the book on audio and I devoured it. It is packed with amazing information on how important sleep is.
I took the information about sleep seriously and learned that it affects every aspect of our physical and mental well-being. Walker, the director of UC Berkeley’s Center for Human Sleep Science, explains how neglecting sleep undercuts your creativity, problem-solving, decision-making, learning, memory, heart health, brain health, mental health, emotional well-being, immune system, and even your life span. “The decimation of sleep throughout industrialized nations is having a catastrophic impact,” Walker writes.
Walker explains how we can harness sleep to improve learning, mood, and energy levels, regulate hormones, prevent cancer, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes, slow the effects of aging, and increase longevity. He also provides actionable steps toward getting a better night’s sleep every night.
Come to find out, a common condition that coexists with ADHD is sleep problems. An estimated 60%+ individuals with ADHD have sleep problems.
Sleep disturbances were included in the diagnostic criteria for ADHD but were removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 1980. Even though sleep problems are not included in the criteria for ADHD, sleep problems remain a significant challenge for persons with ADHD. Problems falling asleep, staying asleep, and difficulty waking are common complaints of people with ADHD.
Since I realized the odds were a bit against me with having undiagnosed ADHD until the age of 32 and then being diagnosed with sleep apnea before finally getting diagnosed again with Inattentive ADHD at the age of 58 and getting the proper medicine, dosage, and taking at the right time, I thought I better start working on my sleep health.
I learned that having the right medicine for my ADHD helps me sleep better. Some suggestions I found helpful from Walker are, “To successfully initiate sleep … your core temperature needs to decrease by 2 to 3 degrees Fahrenheit,” according to Walker. “alcohol is one of the most powerful suppressors of REM [rapid-eye-movement] sleep,” Walker says.
Just like everything else with ADHD, we need to find what works with our brains to get the sleep that our brains need. As we sleep, it allows our brains to reset so they’ll be ready and refreshed for the next day.
Our brains are all unique and so the treatments are just as unique for each of us. If after all these years I can sleep and feel rested, then I know you can find the combination that works for you.
In the words of Dr. Thomas Roth, of the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, “The number of people who can survive on five hours of sleep or less without impairment, and rounded to a whole number, is zero.”
We all need good restful sleep so we can live each day to our fullest. Oh, and by the way, I use a sleep mask too. It has made a world of difference to keep the light out to eliminate the middle of the night waking up and not getting back to sleep.
Until next time, sweet dreams!
For more information on this subject and/or if you would like to work with a Life Coach to work through some struggles or have someone beside you as you navigate this life, contact me at https://happybrainlifecoach.com/
Thank you for reading “Karen’s Noggin’ 🧠 Nuggets” #23 ~ October 6, 2022