You lie in bed tossing and turning, trying to sleep, but your brain will not shut down… you are not alone! Many people with ADHD have trouble falling asleep. ADHD symptoms- hyperactivity, lack of focus, losing track of time- do not promote a healthy sleep cycle. Besides practicing good sleep hygiene, what are some more options to help you get better quality sleep?
1. Find out how much sleep you’re actually getting.
Use smartphone apps like SleepBot Tracker Log and Sleep Cycle or pen and paper to help you track how much sleep you’re getting.
Maybe you are struggling to stay awake during the day, but you think you are getting to bed early enough. This may not be the case if you are losing track of time and not getting to bed as early as you think. Tracking your sleep can give you the data you need to rearrange your schedule and make room for more sleep.
2. Organize your thoughts before bed.
If you suffer from “brain chatter,” consider writing your thoughts down before sleeping, so your brain does not have to linger on so many. You could also try a white noise machine to block out distracting thoughts, or a few minutes of meditation could help quiet the mind before sleep.
3. Work on your internal clock.
Getting a good dose of light in the morning and dimming the lights in the evening, can help promote a better sleep cycle. Using a light box- shining the light indirectly toward your eyes for about 30 minutes in the morning- can help, especially during the winter months. Your internal clock might be off, and using light-therapy can help tweak it so you get to bed earlier.