Can ADHD Cause Sleep Problems


ADHD is a condition that begins in childhood, and the common symptoms are impulsivity, hyperactivity, and lack of attention. It is present in 5% of children and could interfere with how they function at school or how they interact socially. In some cases, the disorder continues even when one is already an adult. Recently, people became more open about this condition, and naturally, they would like to know more. Because of concern and out of curiosity, they ask, can ADHD cause sleep problems?

An estimated 25% to 50% of people with ADHD may experience sleeping problems, including insomnia. Doctors are now more proactive in treating sleeping disorders, especially for people with ADHD. They understand that it improves the quality of life, not just for the patients but also for the entire family.  

Relation of ADHD and Quality Sleep

When a person with ADHD reaches puberty, they are more likely to sleep for a shorter time. In other cases, they tend to sleep more than the required hours. Either way, it could cause sleeping disorders. Likewise, having nightmares are quite common for children with the condition. As the patient grows older, more sleep problems could be encountered.

According to experts, ADHD sleep problems can be associated with the delayed circadian rhythm and late melatonin production. Others are prescribed with stimulant medication as part of their treatment for ADHD. This could sometimes help them get better sleep. But the effect isn’t the same for all. For others, it can lead to further sleeping problems.

Take note that even if a person is not hyperactive during the day, they might be having racing thoughts. This could also affect and interfere with their sleeping. If sleeping problems are not addressed, it could be more severe and may lead to insomnia. This is especially true if a patient experiences stress. 

You may also notice that many people with ADHD experience daytime sleepiness. This is an apparent result of not having quality sleep during the night.

Can ADHD Cause Sleep Problems - Tip Top Sleep

ADHD Symptoms and Sleep Deprivation Symptoms

Just so you know, the symptoms of ADHD and sleep deprivation could be similar. It includes being forgetful, difficulty concentrating, and being hyperactive, to name a few. It can be challenging to determine if these issues are because of ADHD or because of sleep issues. Misdiagnoses could happen, and that is why it is essential to screen the patients for sleep problems before even providing medications specifically for ADHD.

How Lack of Sleep Can Affect People with ADHD

As most of us are aware of, lack of sleep can affect the quality of our lives. And for people with ADHD, it could even cause depression, hyperactivity, anxiety, and even higher BMI. When not treated, a person could be more susceptible to other physical health problems.

It could also affect one’s productivity at work or at school. Since they are likely to experience daytime sleepiness, others may judge them without considering that it is also part of their condition.

If this happens, it is not only the patient with ADHD who suffers. Even their family members and primary caregivers will have a hard time.

Sleep Disorders for People with ADHD

Apart from insomnia, people with ADHD could experience other sleep disorders. It includes circadian rhythm sleep disorder, sleep-disordered breathing, restless legs syndrome, and narcolepsy.

We couldn’t emphasize enough how important it is for doctors to diagnose a sleeping disorder for patients with ADHD. Treating this is essential in managing the condition.

Sleeping Tips for ADHD Patients

Having a bedtime routine and knowing the best sleeping practices can be beneficial for ADHD patients. You can use the quick guide below.

  • Limit or avoid screentime one hour before bedtime
  • Stay away from sugar, caffeine, or any alcoholic drinks before bedtime
  • Dedicate the bed for sleeping and having sex only, and not for other activities
  • Avoid activities that will require hyperfocus, especially in the evening
  • Start exercising in the morning, and expose yourself to sunlight
  • Use relaxation technique or use a journal
  • Make the room conducive for sleeping 
  • Have a healthy night routine such as spending time with pets, having a nice warm bath, or reading a good book

For children, it may be best to have a rewards-based system. In addition, the primary caregiver or parents should frequently check their kids if they have quality rest at night.

Here’s a fun video where you can learn tips on how to sleep with ADHD. We personally recommend the channel too. If you want to know more about ADHD, don’t forget to hit subscribe.

Best Products

What are the best items that ADHD patients could use to improve their sleep? If you are looking for some, we have a quick list for you.

Smart Queen Cooling Weighted Blankets Adult 

Can ADHD Cause Sleep Problems - Tip Top Sleep

Check the latest price on Amazon.  

Weighted blankets are known to improve the quality of your sleep as it simulates the feeling of someone hugging you. This specific brand promises to reduce tossing and turning by 95%. It uses a 7-layer structure which prevents the beads from leaking out. If you are not satisfied with your order, you can return it – no questions asked. That’s how confident they are with their cooling weighted blankets. It’s so great, one of its users bought three! Some even didn’t realize that they could sleep well, not until they used the weighted blanket.

Prime Natural Essential Oil Blend 

Can ADHD Cause Sleep Problems - Tip Top Sleep

Check the latest price on Amazon.

Essential oils are known to help you feel more relaxed and calm. With this product, you only need four to five drops to your diffuser, and you are all set. They use unfiltered oil, and you can be sure of its quality. Those who are suffering from insomnia and other sleep disorders highly recommend Prime Natural Essential Oil Blend.

Conclusion, Can ADHD Cause Sleep Problems

It certainly can.

People with ADHD should be checked if they are suffering from sleep disorders. It is crucial that the doctor understands the condition holistically to provide the right solutions. Treating ADHD alone might not improve sleeping patterns and may require different medical attention.

By Michelle D.

Meet Michelle, founder of Tip Top Sleep, a website dedicated to helping you achieve the best sleep possible. With over 50 years of combined experience in the realm of sleep, Michelle and her team provide easy-to-follow tips and strategies to help you feel better, function better, and live better through optimal sleep. Let us help you prioritize your sleep and discover the power of a good night's rest.