We’re talking about ADHD and sleep, but let’s start with a story: I majored in English at Penn State. You want to catch my attention? Talk about Shakespeare. In Macbeth, one of the best lines is when Macbeth plagued by a guilty conscience wakes up in the middle of the night and says:
Methought I heard a voice cry ‘Sleep no more!
Macbeth does murder sleep’, the innocent sleep,
Much to the chagrin of his less than savory life partner, Macbeth is having second thoughts about his actions. Anyway, I brought that up to say that there are some obstacles getting in the way of our sleep, folks. Our sleep is being murdered night after night and we are suffering the consequences. Let’s explore a few of the reasons.
External obstacles to slumber
- Overcomitting– This one is easy; if you’re trying to cram five pounds of stuff into a five pound bag you will be overwhelmed and it will overflow. STOP. Otherwise, continue trying to stay up all night to get it done
- Smart phones– Ah, the smart phone. This device is my joy and my pain wrapped into one. My time saver and time waster. The only device that can remind me in a million ways that I’m wasting my time yet I can ignore it and risk it all for five more minutes of Candy Crush. What can we do? Well, one of the things you may want to do is set a sleep alarm. That’s right, you can use an alarm to tell you it is time to go to sleep. Or uninstall your apps. Or immerse your phone in water — no, don’t take it that far.
- Social Media – The question is, why go to sleep when you can stay up all night talking about the weather in Bangladesh with someone FROM Bangladesh? ADHD and sleep? Who needs sleep? Seriously though. People with ADHD do, and social media is keeping us from getting it.
Internal Obstacles to Slumber
- Time Blindness– ADHD and sleep is complicated enough, but many of the people who have ADHD experience time blindness- meaning an hour can feel like five minutes and five minutes can feel like an hour. What so worse, your “one more episode” on Netflix and one more message before you turn off social media and one more picture ok Instagram can quickly snowball into 3:00AM. BE CAREFUL.
- Unwillingness to acknowledge the NEED sleep– This is my number one issue with sleep. For starters, I’m not a morning person. I’m also an entrepreneur, which means I ALWAYS have something to do. Also, we are socially conditioned to neglect sleep in favor of work. I am an impulsive woman. That means I like to take risks. That means I like to see how far I can push it. My brain is a liar! ADHD and sleep are vital – lack of sleep means lack of concentration and focus. You WILL regret it in the morning.
Your brain lies!
People, if there was a lullaby for ADHD and sleep it would probably begin “will I EVER lay me down to sleep?” ( Also worth noting: a lack of stimulation can make it difficult to fall asleep. Consider a sleep machine to counteract those symptoms.) ADHD presents its own difficulties. In conclusion, you have enough issues. Don’t let sleep issues be one of them.
What helps you sleep at night?
Until next time,