Sleep Hygiene- #1 ADHD-Friendly Game Changer

Sleep Hygiene

Sep 9, 2022

Sleep Hygiene- #1 ADHD-Friendly Game Changer

Running out of energy? Focusing on Sleep Hygiene can be a Game Changer

I refer to sleep as one of the “Big Three” foundational pieces we can use every day to better support our ADHD-wired brains. The other two pieces are exercise and diet.

While I have struggled to create good diet and exercise routines, sleep is one of my super powers. I am an amazing sleeper. That may not sound very exciting, but getting an adequate amount of sleep has positively impacted my life for years.

What Exactly is Sleep Hygiene?

Sleep Hygiene refers to the collective steps people take to ensure they are enjoying their best sleep on a regular basis. It is important to keep in mind that this will look different for each individual.

Sleep Hygiene can include:

  • Winding down before bedtime
  • Brushing/flossing your teeth
  • Journaling
  • Meditating
  • Other relaxing rituals

One thing to note: Research shows that 70% of adults with ADHD spend at least one hour trying to fall asleep each night. Sleep problems are common for adults with ADHD.

What Happens When We are Sleep Deprived?

According to the CDC, “Insufficient sleep over time is associated with a greater risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. It can lead to memory and cognitive issues as well.”

One of the main reasons I put fierce boundaries around protecting my sleep is the impact of sleep on memory and cognitive functioning. I need all the help I can get, and sleep is one area I can control with relative ease.

Dr. Abhinav Singh, MD, says, “Sleep loss is linked to memory impairment, poor mood, increased appetite (think obesity and diabetes), and reduced reflexes as well as increased reaction time. Some studies have compared it to being worse than being intoxicated with alcohol.”

If getting sufficient sleep is something you struggle with, you’ll find some strategies below.

Sleep Hygiene Strategies

1. Relaxing Rituals:

    • Journaling (see below for a link to check out my favorite journal)
    • Yoga/Stretching exercises
    • Meditating
    • Breathing exercises

*My favorite Snoopy/Peanuts journal is available at my ADHD-Friendly Shop: https://adhdfriendly.com/adhd-friendly-shop/ *As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

2. Reducing Bedtime Resistance and Revenge Bedtime Procrastination (it’s a thing!)

    • Identify what will “pull” you into bed (as opposed to pushing yourself there) such as:
      • Identify what you can do earlier in the evening (i.e., put on PJs, brush/floss after dinner, etc.) to make it easier to transition to bed when you are tired.
      • Make the bedroom “yummy” with comfy bedding, a clutter-free room, a good book you are looking forward to reading, etc. (Harry Potter, anyone?)

Clutter-free room with comfy bedding

      • Prioritize time for fun/play before bedtime. Revenge Bedtime Procrastination is tied to engaging in activities you didn’t have time for during the day. Prioritizing time for fun before bed can help your behaviors align with your intentions (to go to bed).

3. Sleep Log

If you aren’t sure how much your sleep is impacting your energy, focus, mood, etc., a sleep log is a great way to build awareness. Awareness is key to creating motivation to establish new habits.

4. Sleep Apps

I don’t use a lot of apps to support my sleep, but there are countless apps available that will do just that. Some of the top-rated ones are below. Please note that pricing and platform information were accurate when researched in July, 2022:

  • Relax Melodies: Sleep sounds and melodies you like. (iOS/Android) FREE
  • BetterSleep: Track and improve your sleep. (iOS/Android) $60/year
  • SleepTown: Gamify your sleep routine. (iOS) $1.99

5. Podcasts

  • Boring Books for Bedtime: a woman reads books in a very slow, soft voice

I hope these examples create a spark of interest to explore leveling up your sleep hygiene routine!

Finally, to hear more about this topic, I did a podcast episode focused on sleep hygiene. You can find it at my YouTube Channel: ADHD Friendly Podcast (Episode #47: The One About Sleep Hygiene): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEjCfaR4M3gGWjuQZQUn2Yg/videos

 

Written by Patty Blinderman

To create content focused on leveling the playing field for individuals impacted by ADHD. Patty shares research as well as tried-and-true practices and her own experiences in the hopes that it makes your life a bit more ADHD-friendly!

You might also like….

Is Tip Fatigue Killing Your Desire to Eat Out?

Tip Fatigue can be impacted by ADHD and decision-making. Understanding what’s behind the increase in requests for tips and deciding your plan ahead of time can support you to navigate this changing landscape with more ease.

© 2023 Positive Focus LLC | Privacy Policy