Restorative Sleep in the Management of ADHD

Restorative Sleep in the Management of ADHD

Sleep is a foundational contributor to overall health. Lack of restorative, energizing sleep diminishes both physical and psychological health. This severe health risk especially threatens individuals who are already dealing with challenges such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Educate yourself about the connection between sleep and ADHD and the hope of breaking this detrimental cycle.

The Professional Version of the Merck Manual identifies Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder as a condition that usually begins in childhood, demonstrating debilitating symptoms of impulsivity, inattention, and hyperactivity. This condition causes challenges for the patient in all realms of life, including physical health, educational development, psychological wellness, and interpersonal relationships. Clinical ADHD appears in approximately five percent of children.

An estimated 25 to 50 percent of those diagnosed with ADHD show significant sleep problems. Like ADHD, this range of disorders may stem from a faulty gene or problem with neurotransmitters.

Sleep disorders in individuals diagnosed with ADHD tend to increase with age. Around adolescence and puberty, people with ADHD are more likely to experience reduced sleep periods and problems falling and staying asleep.

Problems include:

  • Daytime sleepiness and difficulty waking.
  • Restless sleep plagued with numerous awakenings and nightmares.
  • Increased forgetfulness and difficulty concentrating, leading to negative consequences both at school and at work.
  • Episodes of stress and anxiety over trying to fall and remain asleep.
  • Irritability and stress, causing challenges in interpersonal relationships and coping mechanisms.

It is often hard to distinguish what symptoms are brought on by ADHD and those resulting from lack of sleep. The connections stem from impaired alertness and response to regulation circuits in the brain. There is an interruption in the natural circadian rhythm, the natural twenty-four-hour sleep/wakefulness cycle that allows the body to restore and replenish itself.

ADHD medications demonstrate their own sleep-related interruptions, similar to those who experience problems due to illicit drug use. These complications include anxiety, depression, and further substance abuse. (Learn more about the connection between drug abuse and sleep disorders here.)

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) holds promising help in the battle to restore productive sleep. This method brings together elements of education, sleep control, and cognitive restructuring. Improvements in overall functioning encourage patients to improve their sleep patterns for good. When seeking help in ending the devastating cycle of ADHD and sleep deprivation, turn to the professionals of Reliable MD. We understand the vital role sleep plays in your overall health and offer innovative methods for achieving the rest you deserve. Make an appointment with a Reliable MD specialist today.

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