Brain Fog, ADHD and Sleep

I wish I could sleep… but my ADHD kicks in and well basically, one sheep, two sheep, cow, turtle, duck, Ol McDonald had a farm…

“I am having an ADHD Day…”

There are some days that you are so productive and you champion through everything like superwoman with laser focus and unbound energy. Then there are those days you are NOT and nothing seems to get done.

What makes these days so extreme?

Sleep Deprivation is a huge factor for someone with ADHD……

You toss, you turn, you stare at the numbers slowly changing on your clock.

Get up. Drink a glass of water.

Lay down. Stare at the ceiling. Turn on some soothing music.

Get up. Pace around.

Fall asleep minutes before the alarm goes off, shattering what sleep you did get.

Drag yourself to the kitchen, gulp coffee, head to work.

But you can’t focus. Your brain is so foggy even a lighthouse couldn’t warn you away from danger.

And the worst part?

You know tonight’s probably going to be the same which in turn causes anxiety making you more awake and unable to relax into a deep sleep.

A Common Complaint

ADHD is widely known to be associated with disturbed or disordered sleep. It’s the number one most common complaint by people who have ADHD; up to 80% of adults are estimated to suffer from sleep disorders.

You may find it takes you a long time to fall asleep; then, when you do, you sleep only for short periods.

A growing body of research shows that ADHD may fall into the category of what’s called Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorders, defined as when people “are unable to go to sleep and awaken at the times commonly required for work and school as well as social needs.”

Which all adds up to foggy brain, perpetual grogginess, and even nodding off during the day.

Drugs Don’t Help. Or Do They?

That stimulant drug you were prescribed for your ADHD may be contributing to your disordered sleep by winding you up before bedtime.

Or not, because some of them, paradoxically, calm people with ADHD by alleviating their symptoms.

Practices For a Better Night’s Rest and Brighter Day

Feeling frustrated yet? Although the links between ADHD and sleep disorders are complex, there are some steps you can take to get clear about how to address your sleep problems.

Here is a list you can use:

  • Exercise daily
  • Set and maintain a regular bedtime and waking time schedule (yes, even on weekends)
  • Avoid caffeine after midday
  • Avoid nicotine and alcohol close to bedtime
  • Keep your bedroom dark, quiet, and cool
  • Use a fan or humidifier to create soothing white noise
  • Make your bedroom an electronics-free zone
  • Wear a sleep mask to block out light
  • Stop eating several hours before bedtime
  • Establish a relaxing routine at the end of your day. This signals you it’s time to wind down.

When you use these practices, you’re taking positive steps toward improving your sleep, especially your ability to progress to the deep levels that repair the day’s wear and tear. reducing or even eliminating your brain fog, and increasing your energy.

Sleep isn’t passive. Ongoing sleep issues can adversely affect your health.

It’s a Complicated Relationship

To further add to the complexity, the relationship between ADHD and sleep disorders is a little chicken-and-egg. Which came first? Research has shown that while ADHD may cause sleep problems, sleep problems may in turn cause or even mimic ADHD.

One thing is clear: sleep problems can severely impact your ADHD symptoms, and vice versa.

Productive Days ahead

Now you know why you’ve had your head in the clouds!

Scarcely able to add two plus two and get four. Straining to keep your eyes open through the day. Falling into bed exhausted but wired, willing sleep to come while you stare into the darkness. Worried you might get fired from your job.

Let’s face it: sleep has profound implications for your health, life and career.

And now that you have this information, you can take action to improve your sleep.

You’ll clear the fog from your brain and be able to think more clearly. Feel more energetic and more optimistic having more of those super productive days where everything flows and you feel accomplished!

Raz Coaching specializes in helping people with executive function challenges associated with ADHD, PTSD, Stress, TBI’s and ASD find careers they will love and land them. Read more at www.razcoaching.com/about Or sign up for the weekly blog or purchase my new book Happiness+Passion+Purpose.