6 Reasons ADHD Won’t Let You Go To Bed
Okay, if I’m quite honest, I was that pesky kid keeping everyone else from hitting the sack. You probably were, too.
As we talked about in last week’s ADHD Success, not getting enough sleep makes ADHD worse. This is a huge, tangled problem. Even sleep deprived people without ADHD get inattentive, hyperactive, and impulsive. Imagine what exhaustion does to those of us who start out inattentive, impulsive, and hyperactive.
It’s indeed ugly.
Just for ducks, I dug through the intake forms of my last 25 ADHD coaching clients. You guessed it! Only two women and no men consistently got more than seven hours of sleep a night.
We’ve got some work to do! How am I ever going to get to retire if you people go on keeping me in business? (Just kidding. I love my work and have no desire to retire.)
Our first challenge? Figuring out why your ADHD won’t let you go to bed!
Six Reasons Your ADHD Won’t Let You Go To Bed
There are a bunch of reason people with ADHD are sleep deprived. I cover them in fascinating detail in my ADHD Success Club group coaching program.
All the reasons people with ADHD don’t get enough sleep are all important.
But, here’s the good news. Most ADHD adults can make tons of headway by solving just one problem. Getting to bed at a reasonable hour.
Here you go. Six reasons your ADHD won’t let you go to bed.
- They forget to go to bed. Playing on the phone, watching videos on the computer, or some such other distraction they literally don’t remember to stop what they’re doing and hit the sack.
- Finally. The rest of the world is asleep and it’s quiet enough to focus. We are so easily distracted. This is how I made it through college. I’d set my alarm for the middle of the night and get up to study while those noisy, distracting people slept. Really, it was the only way I could focus.
- Lots of ADHD folks are night owls. They start to wake up when it gets dark. Going to bed early feels unnatural. If you can figure out a gig where you can sleep all day and stay up all night and still be able to function, go for it. Reality is, most life happens during the day. So you’ve got to go to bed at a reasonable hour.
- Going to bed involves handling details. Putting the house to bed. Brushing your teeth. Letting out the dogs. Some people avoid the overwhelm of all the details and decide it’s easier to stay up past bedtime.
- Once in bed, ADHD brains can be too restless to fall asleep. Racing thoughts. Ruminating about what happened during the day. Pondering what might happen tomorrow. Some people avoid going to bed to avoid tossing and turning.
- They don’t know when to go to bed. Magical thinking sets in and they think they can stay up until 1 AM and get up for work at 6 AM. We don’t always think things through. That’s normal for ADHD. Figure out a realistic time you need to get up in the morning and count backwards. When you hit 8, that’s your target bedtime.
- Are you reading this past your bedtime? Busted!! Shut down your screen and get your ADHD brain to bed!
Please take this seriously. What’s going on with you? Why won’t your ADHD let you go to bed?