8 tips for sleep problems caused by ADD, ADHD or HSP
Do you have ADD/ADHD or HSP and difficulty falling asleep?
Many ADDs and ADHDs, as well as Highly Sensitive people (HSP) are familiar with it. The familiar sleep problems. You're tossing and turning in bed, your brain is still a chaos of thoughts and getting to sleep seems impossible.
Below, I give you 8 tips that will help you fall asleep easier and thus wake up fitter. In the long run, these tips will restore your natural sleep rhythm. Not only will this help you fall asleep more easily, giving you a better night's sleep and waking up fitter, but it is also a lot healthier for you and you will feel much better and clearer during the day.
8 Tips to sleep easier with ADD, ADHD or HSP
Try not to eat too much after your dinner. Certainly no fatty bites and (white) sugars. The body has to process all this, making it difficult for it to relax and unwind.
Try to smoke less and drink no coffee in the evening. These substances like nicotine and caffeine make it difficult to fall asleep. Coffee is even recommended not to drink it after 2pm in the afternoon for better sleep. If you really can't resist, definitely don't drink coffee after 6pm. Rather take a green tea instead.
Make sure you do not exert yourself for at least 1 hour, preferably 2 hours, before going to bed. Rather, take a bath or read a book. Watching TV can also already have a negative impact on your sleep.
Do not sit at a PC or laptop after 23:00. Preferably not after 10pm. At least try not to do this at least one hour before going to bed. Computer screens emit a lot of (blue) light, making the brain think it is still light. As a result, the melatonin substances that are supposed to make you tired are not produced. This will eventually disrupt your natural sleep rhythm. If you really can't resist, turn on a night filter on your screen at least one hour before going to bed. Windows 10 and many smartphones have this option built in by default and you can set the times automatically. If not, you can always install an app for this, such as blue light filter.
Empty your brain before bed. What I mean by this is that it makes a lot of sense to write down all your thoughts before going to bed. Like appointments, ideas, worries, things you still have to do etc. This clears your head enormously and your brain can relax more easily that way. As long as you don't write it down, it will keep going round and round in your head and your mind will not be able to relax.
Before going to bed, listen to soothing music or do a meditation exercise or even better, listen to Binaural Beats. These are special audio tones. I do this myself and it works great. This clears your brain and relaxes it, making it easy to fall asleep. More on this Binaural Beats and to listen to them yourself read here.
Make sure your bedroom is properly dark. No (white) light from outside or from alarm clocks or anything like that. A coloured soft lamp can work nicely for falling asleep, though.
Try to go to bed at the same times every day. This restores the natural sleep rhythm which will eventually make you naturally tired when you go to bed.
Want more tips and good methods to sleep easier and wake up feeling well rested. Then check out Perfect sleep in 7 steps. Many people have already been helped to better sleep quickly with this.
> Fast track to better sleep with Perfect Sleep in 7 Steps
Hope the tips are of some use to you!
Do you have any good sleep tips of your own? Let us hear from you in the comments below.
Want to read more tips on how to better deal with your ADD, ADHD or HSP in general?
Then click on the link below:
I sleep better when I go outside early in the morning and go for a walk. If I don't feel like it, I sometimes sit in front of my daylight lamp. A lamp that simulates daylight. Also, don't worry if you can't sleep.
I have made aggravation blankets for my daughters with ass and add and adhd.
You can also buy those like this but then they are hugely expensive.
Both experience it as relaxing and their heads become calmer.
Sleeping is much easier then.
Thanks for the tip!
I have never heard of this type of blanket but I will look it up immediately.
What useful tips are written here. I have had ADHD for many years and can hardly fall asleep because of it. For that, I use melatonin from Eazzysleep. Good quality and very cheap. I use 3 mg regular. With that, I fall asleep well. Sometimes I can't sleep through and then I use the time released.
All these tips are very true, valuable and supportive in good preparation to sleep.
An additional option for the very moment when you turn off the lamp and 'may' go to sleep is a 5-minute 'mindfulness exercise' called body scan.
1) Lie down in your favourite sleeping position.
2) Briefly and contemplatively go over for yourself what you are all busy in your head or what is on your mind at the moment.
3) Then briefly ask yourself how you feel about this. Anything goes.
4) Next, try focusing your attention and feeling on your body moving from the bottom upwards. Try to bring your attention and feeling to your toes, then to your feet, knees and so on upwards.
Good chance you won't get to your head because you will already be asleep ;-)
Straying is not a problem and is normal. Just establish and bring attention back.
I teach this to my children too and this often works for them.
In addition, I had deliberately put 'may sleep' in apostrophes above. When you 'must' sleep yourself, it puts quite a bit of pressure on yourself or children. It is reinforcing and can even cause anxiety about going to sleep.
I substitute the word 'should' for 'may' sleep. And 'but' for 'and'. Let it happen to you. If it doesn't work out, no big deal. It will happen to you automatically 'and' will just take a little longer.
We are often too strict with ourselves in what we have to do. It is nice when you can embrace the phase between going to sleep and actually sleeping a bit more by accepting how it is.
The above body scan and mindset can help give yourself a bit more flexibility psychologically...
Well, goodnight then.... ;-)
I recently joined your page because we suspect our six-year-old son has ADHD, in addition to sensory integration disorder anyway. A set ritual is very important, including book reading. We brushed him for a while and still do so occasionally. But just a leg/foot massage he liked too. Lately, he has been asking for a "turtle massage": a firm massage over head, back, arms and legs with his turtle cuddly toy and this makes him a lot calmer. Apparently scents can also have a calming effect, such as lavender, but I haven't tried that yet because he is very sensitive to smell and suppose it works against him....
I go to bed with our 8-year-old son for a while in the evening and we talk about all kinds of things. Often enough, he falls asleep right after that. Maybe it's the attention that works or the fact that he can tell everything in peace and quiet without his sister (5 years old) being there. I do the same with her even though she does not have ADHD, at least I don't have that feeling with her yet.
What also helps is to take a shower before bed, rinse off the day.
But a fixed ritual indeed also gives peace of mind by letting him know what is going to happen. The planning board is ideal for this. He sometimes wants to deviate from the appointments we make, especially now that the weather is so nice and he wants to stay up longer, and then I can point him to the planning board and sometimes it is fine.
How good of you to do that every night. I think it gives your son a lot of peace because it allows him to talk about everything. Otherwise it just keeps swirling around in the little head making it hard to fall asleep.
Thanks for your response.
Should you be looking for audio books, at the adapted reading counter ( ip meant for the blind and visually impaired) they have an awful lot of recorded books. If you are a member, for a small fee you can download the books in no time.
Unfortunately, I work in shifts. Regularity does not exist at all. So my medication use is always at different times. Now also running again in full swing. I also use melatonin but it has little effect. Can anyone recommend a particular brand?
Soon I'll just try the site's tunes haha.
You know what it is too? When your medication hasn't worn off yet, falling asleep is also a problem. At least with me it was.
I myself have that I listen to music and on the iPod nano some more Patience, I only think about that and not anything else, but then I also have melatonin, but that is also going out more and more.
I find that I sleep better when I have a run in the afternoon at around 16/17.
Lovely outdoors with my favo music.
I also have melatonin.
And especially don't start worrying if sleeping doesn't work out so much. ( only annoying if you have a busy day the next day)
Many of these tips are true but I don't live alone, have a tough job, a husband working shifts, a son working in hospitality and another son attending secondary school and our eldest son also has ADHD. I myself sleep 6 to 7 hours with melatonin a great remedy for me and I try to avoid stress but in our family life, this is difficult to know how to balance this.
Well I'll tell you even better. The mallet is the first 'play' I heard. That's really a radio play. But I get the 'books' from the library. So those are the books but read aloud. Sometimes by the author himself or by, say, a well-known Dutchman. Unfortunately, the books are quite scarce. But I still find it an invention.
Which is really the solution for me.... audiobooks! I lie down but am entertained.
Must add that I also have melatonin and that helps a lot too.
But in terms of restlessness and 'needing' to lie down to 'need' to sleep, this is really beyond a solution.
I put the books on my phone and earbuds in and listen.
Maybe someone will benefit from this.
Thanks for your response! I think my father listens to that too. Do you mean radio plays like "The Mauler", for example? My father listens to that. Regards Jochem.