Sleep Strategies for Adults With ADD and ADHD

sleeping womanEveryone and every “body” is unique. Finding the right combination of approaches is the key in discovering how to get to sleep if you have ADHD/ADD!

Adults with ADHD often deal with several sleep issues. These include:

  • difficulty falling asleep at night,
  • struggling to wake up in the morning and
  • trouble remaining alert during the day.
  • Many also struggle with sleep-related disorders such as restless leg syndrome, sleep apnea, and narcolepsy.

Circadian rhythm or sleep-wake cycle

One key factor in figuring out how to get to sleep, wake up refreshed, and remain alert during the day, is the Circadian rhythm or sleep-wake cycle.

Over an approximately 24-hour period, two hormones engage in a dance that regulates our alertness and produces sleep.

Cortisol is the hormone that creates alertness and wakefulness.

Its level should peak during the middle of the day. However, for individuals with ADHD, cortisol levels peak later in the day. This can cause individuals with ADHD to have more energy in the evening when the body should be preparing for sleep.

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Diet As a Non-medical Treatment for Adult ADHD

protein foods 3“The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.”
― Ann Wigmore, natural food advocate

My mom was a nutritionist, so I grew up learning about “eating healthy.” Of course back when I was a child, the ideas about what constituted healthy eating were a lot different than they are today! But nutrition is still one of my interests!

One of the most important things you can do for your brain, and your life is to make informed choices about your diet. Taking charge of your diet is one of the most potent non-medical treatments for ADHD available to you!

ADHD doesn’t come in “one size fits all” so you need to carefully monitor your reactions so you know which foods are giving you more energy, mental clarity, and peace of mind and which are making you foggy-headed, depressed, and miserable.

Make strategic decisions about protein

Most people who have ADHD find that they reap the following benefits when they make careful choices about their consumption of protein – they

  • think more clearly
  • have more energy
  • are able to focus for longer periods, and
  • follow-through more effectively and consistently

Why is this? One of the brain chemicals responsible for attention, concentration and controlling movements of the body is the neurotransmitter, dopamine. Having more dopamine available in the brain diminishes the symptoms of ADHD. What does this have to do with protein?! Dopamine is manufactured from protein!

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