When you’re exhausted your ADHD symptoms flare out of control. Kiss any hope of managing your time or staying organized good-bye. Your chances of success fade.
I’m not that concerned about the occasional night of too little sleep. That happens to everybody.
One night of bad sleep means you need to be nicer to yourself the next day. Lower your expectations of what you can do. Accept the brain fog. Sneak a cat nap in the afternoon and get to bed earlier the next night.
The massive long-term ADHD sleep challenge I worry about is the long-term sleep deficit. Chronic lack of sleep impacts probably 80% of the people I coach. ADHD adults need enough sleep or their symptoms flash to uncontrollable levels. Lack of sleep makes it nearly impossible solve other ADHD issues. Erasing that sleep deficit becomes focus #1.
The #1 Reason ADHD Adults Don’t Get Enough Sleep
But, the biggest ADHD sleep culprit is lack of structure. I find most people simply don’t have the systems in place to get to bed early enough.
Often clients have too much to do. Making up for being distracted and wasting time during the day. Sometimes they forget to go to bed. Busy watching a movie or playing computer games, remembering to go to bed is the last thing on their minds. Often they don’t want to go to bed. So, they convince themselves they can stay up.
Through ADHD coaching most of my clients are able to break the sleep deficit cycle and get to bed earlier. I have them set alarms and reminders. They learn to create nighttime routines. We hook bedtime to other habits so they remember to go to bed.
It’s like a miracle when the sleep deficit is controlled. With enough sleep my clients are much more able to function during the day. They begin to plan and follow-through. They learn to take the tiny daily steps needed to take control of their out-of-control worlds.
If you want to live an easier life pay attention to this. ADHD Adults need enough sleep. Exhaustion isn’t an option. Rein in your impulses, build a scaffolding of support, stop falling for your own lies. Do what you must to get enough sleep.