Strategies for getting a good night's rest with ADHD

January 22, 2015

Sleep-deprived adults with ADHD may be frustrated by their constant insomnia, but these strategies make it easier to achieve the essential eight hours of shut-eye.

Strategies for getting a good night's rest with ADHD

Adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) find it difficult to stay asleep at night, but if you create a calm, distraction-free bedroom environment, a good night's rest may be easier to achieve.

It's important for adults diagnosed with ADHD to obtain a full eight hours of sleep whenever possible because a night of tossing and turning can make symptoms even worse during the day. Sleep-deprived adults with ADHD may be frustrated by their constant insomnia, but the following strategies make it far easier to achieve those essential eight hours of shut-eye.

Stimulant medications

Some of the common prescriptions among those with ADHD can make it easier to remain focused during the day, but are often accompanied by several bothersome side effects. An inability to fall asleep at night may be the worst of these issues, with sufferers finding themselves wound-up when the stimulants fail to wear off at night. Those struggling with sleeplessness due to prescribed stimulants are advised to check with their doctor to discuss reducing their dosage, taking the medication earlier in the morning or considering a switch to non-stimulant alternatives.


Adults diagnosed with ADHD find it difficult to shut off their minds long enough to fall asleep. Often referred to as initiation insomnia, this problem affects a shocking 70 per cent of adults with ADHD. Adoption of a regular meditation regimen may help those with initiation insomnia learn how to clear their brains of mental clutter, thereby reducing the time required to fall asleep. Regular meditation can also have a therapeutic benefit for ADHD patients in other areas of their life.

Minimize bedroom distractions

Distractions are every bit as problematic for ADHD in the bedroom as they are in the classroom or at work. Sleep-deprived adults with ADHD should keep electronics far away from the bedroom. Unwinding in bed with a book is okay, but watching television in bed will make it significantly more difficult to fall asleep. If you need your phone for use as an alarm clock, placed it across the room from the bed, as opposed to on a nearby nightstand. Ideally, reserve a minimum of half an hour for winding down, with all screens shut off and removed from the bedroom before attempting to fall asleep.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
Close menu