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Does Adhd Cause Insomnia

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What Are The Statistics About Insomnia

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The statistics about insomnia reveal that this is the most prevalent sleep disorder. The Cleveland Clinic reports that 70 million U.S. adults experience insomnia every year. Acute insomnia is more common than chronic insomnia.

The American Sleep Association says that 30 percent of people report short-term insomnia, and 10 percent report long-term insomnia. The people most at risk for this disorder are women, the elderly, individuals with mental health conditions, those under stress, and people with irregular sleep schedules.

Multiple Sleep Latency Test

The MSLT provides a measure of daytime sleepiness by timing the first signs of sleep during daytime nap periods . The technique is subject to substantial heterogeneity, possibly due to differences in methodology and patient populations among studies . In meta-analyses , the average time taken to fall asleep in MSLTs was statistically significantly shorter in patients with ADHD than in controls, based on two included studies . Both studies also reported that greater proportions of children with ADHD fell asleep during testing than did controls . More recent studies have found no significant differences between children with ADHD and controls in MSLT outcomes , although one of these reported statistically significant inter-test variability in the ADHD group . There is also little agreement among three studies that have investigated the question of whether MSLT results correlate with objective measures of nocturnal sleep in individuals with ADHD .

Inability To Keep A Schedule

We already mentioned that individuals with ADHD are easily distracted and have a difficult time completing assignments and ignoring distractions. Because of this, people with ADHD struggle to keep a healthy sleep schedule or going to bed at the same time each night.

Once in bed, youre more likely to fidget, toss, turn, and experience racing thoughts. As the body and mind come to rest, you may hyperfocus on a certain idea or problem. This can also trigger stress, another common cause of insomnia.

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Treatment Options For Insomnia Caused By Adhd

The first step in treating insomnia caused by ADHD is to get an ADHD diagnosis. Once you do, youll have a better handle on the root cause of your sleep disturbances.

If youre currently taking medication to treat ADHD and are experiencing trouble sleeping, check with your doctor. A change in medication might be in order. If this doesnt work, your doctor may order a sleep study to confirm that another underlying condition isnt causing your sleep trouble.

Once all of these avenues are exhausted, you should know whether or not your sleeplessness is caused by ADHD alone or another external factor. If ADHD is the culprit, there are a few things you can do to help create healthy sleep habits.

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For a diagnosis to be made it involves checking with a doctor to rule out any physical health issues. Afterwards, if the person is believed to have the condition they can get referred to a specialized psychiatrist who is capable of making a clinical diagnosis.

Afterwards, a treatment plan is developed to help them manage their ADHD symptoms.

There are three types of treatment for ADHD. Two forms of treatment involve medication while the third form is psychotherapy.

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Viable Treatment Options For Adults & Children

There is still a lot of research that needs to be done in order to fully understand the connection between sleep disorders and ADHD, but there are many proven treatment options for both conditions and treating one condition may help reduce symptoms of the other.

To improve the health and daily life of ADHD patients, a good first step is getting sleep under control if rest is less than perfect. Better quality sleep can often lessen ADHD-like symptoms. For sleep apnea sufferers, typical treatments are CPAP or oral appliance therapy. Sleep apnea treatment, besides treating the sleep disorder, can improve the severity of ADHD-like symptoms, such as cognition difficulties and trouble focusing.

For children, several ADHD treatment options are available, including behavior therapy, counseling, and medication. For childhood sleep apnea, an CPAP, oral appliance, or surgery may be appropriate. Your doctor can help you figure out the best treatment option for your child.

Insomnia: Causes Symptoms And Treatment

Jill Zwarensteyn Disclaimer – Nothing on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment… Read more here

Insomnia is a sleep disorder in which an individual has trouble falling or staying asleep, resulting in poor sleep quality and duration. Insomnia is one of the most common sleep disorders, affecting as many as 70 million American adults each year, according to Cleveland Clinic. Insomnia can be caused by different factors, such as stress, lifestyle habits, irregular sleep schedules, mental health issues, pain, illness, medications, neurological problems, and other sleep disorders.

There are two types of insomnia, acute and chronic. Acute insomnia is a short-term condition where the individual has trouble sleeping for a few days or weeks. Stress is a common cause of short-term insomnia. The other type of insomnia is chronic. Chronic insomnia is when a person experiences this disorder for a longer period.

Chronic insomnia usually occurs at least three times a week and will continue for three months or longer. Signs of insomnia include difficulty falling asleep, waking up in the middle of the night, trouble falling back asleep, and waking up too early. Insomnia symptoms include daytime fatigue, irritability, depression, impaired memory, and difficulty concentrating.

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How Adhd Causes Sleeplessness

ADHD can pose a number of challenges for anyone trying to get a good night’s sleep.

Those with ADHD can have trouble keeping a schedule. It’s important in general to have a good schedule and try to get in the bed at the same time every night. Therefore, if someone has a disorder that stops them from following a regiment, then they will struggle to get the amount of hours they need.

Medication is also another issue because most of the medications used to treat ADHD are stimulants. Stimulants can increase the activity of the brain at a time when the brain should be winding down for bed.

There is alo an impact of the other disorders associated with ADHD that can impact sleep. Individuals with ADHD also have anxiety, depression, mood disorders or substance abuse problems that can add to the insomnia.

Why Are People With Adhd More Likely To Have Insomnia

ADHD & Insomnia


The medication used to treat ADHD is, in the majority of cases, a stimulant medication. Like the name implies, stimulant medication will stimulate whoever takes it. Coffee also stimulates people because it contains a stimulant drug everyone knows by name: caffeine. You would not take caffeine to help you go to bed, would you? So, by that same logic, ADHD stimulant medication probably does not help people sleep, especially when taken at bedtime.

ADHD-Related Stress

Theres also the stress of having ADHD and often feeling misunderstood or alone. Whether it be a child or an adult, ADHD can make your life slightly more stressful than most. Once you learn to cope with your ADHD, the stress disappears or at least becomes manageable.

Dopamine-Seeking Desire

Because people with ADHD have a shortage of dopamine, many of their actions are motivated by their bodys desire to get more dopamine. However, it is a subconscious desire. Nobody lays in bed at night thinking, I need more dopamine!.

If one of the following applies to an activity, it is likely someone with ADHD will try to perform or be involved in that activity:

  • Its challenging
  • Its interesting

Anything That Increases Dopamine Levels in the Brain

As you have just learned from this article, certain activities and ADHD stimulant medication can increase dopamine levels. Because dopamine is what motivates someone to do something, it also indirectly motivates someone to not sleep.

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Results In Relation To The Presence Of Insomnia Disorder

Sociodemographic, clinical, and psychometric variables are presented in Table 1 according to the presence of insomnia disorder. Regarding the bivariate analysis, there were no differences in sociodemographic features except for employment characteristics . No significant differences were found on IQ between patients with insomnia disorder and those without that disorder and neither also when family psychiatric records were compared. Any medical record and high body index mass were related to a higher prevalence of insomnia disorder. Regarding specific medical comorbidities, due to the small sample size, some medical diseases could not be statistically analyzed. However, it was observed that the group with insomnia disorder had a higher prevalence of pain syndrome compared with the group without insomnia disorder but a lower prevalence rate regarding diabetes mellitus and arterial hypertension . No differences were found regarding other comorbidities, including cardiac, endocrine, gastrointestinal, respiratory, and neurological diseases. Similarly, several pharmacological treatments for those medical diseases were not analyzed because of small size. In any case, non-opioid analgesics were more used in patients with insomnia disorder , while a fewer use of antihypertensive and oral antidiabetic medications was observed. No differences were found for other medication categories for medical conditions and psychiatric disorders .

What Are Other Causes Of Insomnia

Now with a clearer picture of insomnia in general, lets talk more about the causes of insomnia. Due to its prevalence and how many people can suffer from insomnia, the causes of insomnia can vary greatly. As weve already mentioned, short-term insomnia can result from small changes in your schedule such as traveling. The causes dont stop there, though.

Other causes of insomnia can include such things as chronic pain or allergies. Additionally, other sleep conditions such as sleep apnea can possibly lead to insomnia. Furthermore, another connection between ADHD and insomnia can include depression. A persons mental state and feelings can lead to sleeplessness and insomnia. Anxiety, also prevalent with ADHD, can also cause insomnia.

Since the causes of insomnia really can be so varied, in order to address it well, you need to consider several avenues of where the underlying issues might be coming from. In some cases, the most obvious causes might not in fact be the most significant. If you struggle with insomnia, you should take a full life inventory. Consider everything from your routine to what you eat to your mental state. Factors from many realms of life might be contributing elements to your sleeplessness.

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Who Is At Risk For Insomnia

Insomnia is common. It affects women more often than men. You can get it at any age, but older adults are more likely to have it. You are also at higher risk of insomnia if you:

  • Have a lot of stress
  • Are depressed or have other emotional distress, such as divorce or death of a spouse
  • Have a lower income
  • Have an inactive lifestyle
  • Are African American research shows that African Americans take longer to fall asleep, dont sleep as well, and have more sleep-related breathing problems than whites.

What Other Problems Can Insomnia Cause

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Insomnia can cause daytime sleepiness and a lack of energy. It also can make you feel anxious, depressed, or irritable. You may have trouble focusing on tasks, paying attention, learning, and remembering. Insomnia also can cause other serious problems. For example, it could make you may feel drowsy while driving. This could cause you get into a car accident.

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Addressing The Childs Needs Before Bed

Children sometimes use tactics to delay going to sleep. These can include asking to go to the bathroom or asking for food or a glass of water. Addressing these types of needs before bed, as part of a routine, can make it easier to spot and stop these delay tactics.

Before a child needs to go to sleep, try:

  • making sure that they have had enough to eat avoiding products with caffeine, such as chocolate or cola
  • placing a cup of water near their bed
  • taking them to the bathroom
  • helping the child learn to use the bathroom on their own at night

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Whats The Relationship Between Insomnia And Aging

The relationship between insomnia and aging is that the older you get, the greater your chances are of developing insomnia. There are several reasons for this.

First, older peoples sleep architecture undergoes changes that include longer sleep latency, decreased sleep duration, less deep sleep, and more disturbed rest. Older individuals are also more likely to have health complications that affect their rest.

Is Insomnia Common During Pregnancy

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Yes, insomnia is common during pregnancy. The American Pregnancy Association reports that about 78 percent of pregnant women experience insomnia. Insomnia symptoms are more likely to occur during the first and third trimesters.

The causes of insomnia during pregnancy include discomfort, heartburn, urinating more often, anxiety, intense dreams, hormonal changes, and restless legs syndrome . Pregnancy and insomnia may be linked, but there are ways to help. Expectant mothers can adjust sleep positions, find ways to relax before bed, make the bedroom as comfortable as possible, and exercise during the day.

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What Are The Causes Of Insomnia

The causes of insomnia include stress, lifestyle habits, irregular sleep schedules, mental health issues, pain, illness, medications, neurological problems, and other sleep disorders. We list these causes in detail below.

A mattress may also help or worsen insomnia. If your bed is not comfortable or supportive, this could make it harder for you to sleep well. You should find a mattress that complements you and your sleep style. You need to consider factors such as your sleep position, preferences, comfort needs, and body type. The right mattress could help alleviate insomnia.

What To Do Next

Are you an adult with ADHD who still struggles to manage your condition? Or, do you have a child diagnosed with ADHD who isnt responding to treatment? If so, then a sleep disorder like sleep apnea may be a factor.

To learn more about sleep conditions that may be affecting you, you can schedule a free consultation at Sleep Better Georgia by. For many, this is the first step toward better rest, better focus, a calmer mind, and a happier life.

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What Are The Risks And Complications Of Insomnia

The risks and complications of insomnia include worse job or school performance, increased risk for accidents, bad personal and professional relationships, long-term health problems, and less physical energy.

  • Worse Job or School Performance: Insomnia can diminish job or school performance. A lack of sleep can impair your ability to learn new information, make it harder to concentrate, and elevate your risk of errors. These factors can cause you to do worse in your academic or professional career.
  • Higher Risk for Accidents: Sleep deprivation associated with insomnia can cause you to feel tired during the day, increasing the risk of motor vehicle accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports 697 drowsy-driving deaths in 2019.
  • Bad Personal and Professional Relationships: Insomnia can cause you to exhibit more negative moods, which may harm your personal and professional relationships. Insomnia in kids could impair their social skills with peers as well.
  • Long-Term Health Problems: Chronic insomnia can lead to long-term health problems. Long-term complications associated with insomnia include hypertension, heart attacks, strokes, obesity, and diabetes.
  • Less Physical Energy: Not getting enough rest due to insomnia can reduce physical energy during the day. Less energy may mean you avoid working out or attending social outings with friends or family.
  • How Are Adhd And Insomnia Connected

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    Now to the main aspect we all want to discuss: exactly how are ADHD and insomnia connected? For starters, they both predominantly focus on how your brain functions. Many people with ADHD have trouble settling their mind. Thoughts constantly race from one thing to another without a break. This difficulty with turning off makes it difficult to go to sleep at night, which can lead to insomnia.

    Additionally, another possible connection may lie with the stimulants many people use to manage their ADHD. Stimulants can include anything from coffee to caffeine pills to prescription medication. While these things can help to mitigate some of the effects of ADHD, they also can lead to sleep problems. We all know on some level that caffeine limits our ability to sleep. Stimulants like caffeine can help ADHD, but their continual use can also possibly lead to insomnia and similar sleep issues.

    Finally, as weve already mentioned, general health and life practices can impact both ADHD and insomnia. If you have a poor diet, you more than likely might have issues with both your ADHD and insomnia. The better we take care of ourselves in general, the better we can help to address both conditions. This means considering everything from diet to exercise to even how much and when we use electronic screens.

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    How Does Adhd Cause Insomnia

    Whens the last time you went to bed on time? For the average adult, getting the sleep you need is not easy. For children, sleep is something they do when they feel like it. Forcing them to go to sleep usually does not go well. The twist? Even people without ADHD will have trouble sleeping. So, when you add ADHD into the mix, this is when you notice a strong connection between insomnia and ADHD. This article will explain why that connection exists and what you can do about it.

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