Occasionally, I will provide a recording of my post in order to provide the information in a format that is as accessible to as many people as possible. My goal is always to help you learn and apply the information in whatever way is most useful to you. Toward that end, I have also included a link to a PDF of the transcript. If I can do anything else to help, please let me know
Hello and Welcome! I am Marla Cummins of Cummins Coaching Training. I had such a great response to including audio along with a transcript in my last posting and newsletter. I’m glad that you found it helpful. Please let me know if there is anything else I can do to help you learn and apply the information you hear and read.
When I first thought about the topic of sleep and ADD, I thought that the article would be about, well, sleep. That seems logical, right?
Well, then I thought about it more, and realized that that article should really be about “being awake.” Like any self care issue, you do not attempt to get enough sleep just for the sake of getting enough sleep, of course. The purpose of getting enough sleep is so that you can “be awake to your life” and be able to make the choices that work for you during your waking hours.
I am guessing that you already know how the lack of sleep affects you. If not, take a moment to list the various ways that you are affected when you are sleep deprived. Got it?
So, while I’ll review the connection between ADD and sleep, I will not lecture you. Rather, I’ll present you with questions, which I hope you will answer, to help you decide what you are willing to do to get enough sleep and be awake for your life.
So, here is the review, first.
- Lack of sleep can make your ADD symptoms and co-morbid conditions, like depression, worse. For example, you may already have a compromised ability to process information, focus your attention and manage your emotions, a few of the ADD symptoms. Lack of sleep, of course, can make these only worse.
- Conversely, you know that adequate sleep can help you manage your emotions, attend better and process information to the best of your ability.
- In addition, lack of adequate sleep can lead to a compromised immune system. Being sick certainly makes your ability to function during your waking hours more challenging.
You knew all of that already, though, right? I only point out the above as a reminder…
You may or may not know that your ADD may be part of the reason that you are not getting enough sleep.
- Using electronics, computer or games and, yes, even TV before bed stimulates your brain just when you want to slow down
- Rigorous exercise before bed can also stimulate your brain. Though for some, cardio exercise is helpful.
- Becoming engaged in any activity whether for work or pleasure that stimulates you will make it harder for you to get to sleep.
- Also, if you are taking stimulant medication, the timing of when you take it is important, as taking it too late in the day can interfere with your ability to fall asleep.
Before looking at strategies that can help you fall asleep easier, I have a few questions for you. The answers to these questions may help you to decide to commit to creating new habits that will help you get the sleep you want.
How would it help you to get sufficient sleep? Be as specific as possible when answering this. (For example, when I get enough sleep I can make better parenting decisions, attend to the needs of my daughter and be more patient with her. These are all very important to me.)
What are you willing to do to get enough sleep so that you can operate more mindfully and make the choices that work with your values during your waking hours?
Since everyone operates differently, I’ll offer a few suggestions. Unfortunately, there are no hard and fast rules. You can find many resources that contain suggestions of what may help you fall asleep and sleep soundly through the night. If you find a suggestion that you think may work for you, experiment…
Ok, so here are a few…
- Avoid the use of electronics 1-2 hours before you want to be asleep.
- Listen to white noise or soothing music.
- Avoid caffeine after mid-afternoon.
- Put away your task, whether personal or work related 1-2 hours before it is time for bed
- Create a bed time routine. This is a signal to your brain that it is time to slow down. For example:
*an hour before bed, you make sure all of your chores, such as taking the dog out, are done.
*use the next ½ hour to take complete any self care, such as washing up.
*read something “light” for ½ hour or listen to soothing music
What are you willing to commit to trying today in order to be awake tomorrow?