Here are four obvious simple words that should come as no surprise: ADHD adults need sleep.
Period. Full Stop.
We know this. Your family, friends, and coworkers know this.
You probably experience this truth on a regular basis and don’t need a research study to confirm that when you’re exhausted, your ADHD symptoms flare out of control. Out. Of. Control.
Yup, if you are lying awake most nights a week with your eyes open staring at the ceiling, you can kiss goodbye any hope of managing your time, staying organized, or feeling successful.
Sounds dramatic, but it’s true.
Now before you throw in the towel and decide to lower your life expectations and live with the constant brain fog, confusion, and exhaustion, there are steps you can take to determine what’s getting in your way of a good night’s sleep.
And the first step – what is your evening routine?
When you were a kid, there was a chance that your parents had a bedtime routine for you. (Although if your parents had ADHD, they may have struggled with this themselves.)
Chances are… You took a soothing bath, put on your comfy footy PJs, had a snack and warm milk, brushed your teeth. Maybe watched a television show, had a book read to you, listened to calming music. Mostly at the same time and in the same process every night so your mind and body knew to slow down, calm down, and shut down for the night.
There is a reason all the parenting books tell you to establish a bedtime routine with your kids from day one: It works.
Kids – their minds and bodies – know what to expect. Doing the same thing in the same order develops a sense of consistency which breeds security and leads to relaxation.
What about now?
Don’t worry. You’re not alone. This is the #1 reason ADHD adults don’t get enough sleep: We don’t have a bedtime routine.
We don’t have the structure or systems in place to get to bed early enough. Or wind down. Or even remember to go to bed.
We don’t develop the consistency that leads to habits that allow our brains to relax and stop processing and reacting.
Here’s the truth: 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 that you can stay up just a little later. Do what you must to get enough sleep.
If you are already exhausted in 2023, I invite you to join the ADHD Success Club right now. Try it for one month (you can cancel anytime).
Your first call will help you establish an evening routine so you can get to bed earlier, break the sleep deficit cycle, and function better during the day. Then we focus on ADHD-friendly diets (learn what foods prevent or interrupt sleep) and the Brain-Gut connection so you can reduce brain fog.
This year, if you do nothing else, eliminate the exhaustion that comes with ADHD sleep problems. You will benefit immensely!