ADHD and Sleep in Teens

Teenagers already have such a tumultuous relationship with sleep due to the rapid changes that occur physically, mentally and behaviorally during this stage of development. When you consider those that are also dealing with the normal environmental stressors like school pressures and social media, while suffering with ADHD it is no wonder why one of the biggest issues parents complain about is sleep.

Although there is much debate about whether the sleep issues teens have are even more prevalent in teens with ADHD, we do know that with ADHD there are a lot of issues with settling down at bedtime that are not related to other co-existing conditions or sleep disorders.

Here are a few issues that can contribute more highly to those teens that suffer from ADHD:

Stimulants: Whether a teen is using more natural stimulants such as those that are found in caffeinated beverages or in herbal supplements or taking stimulant medications to help with the ADHD, these can directly impact the sleep cycles for kids. The intake of such beverages and supplements should not occur 4 to 6 hours before bedtime. It is always best to limit these items to the morning.

Resistance: Almost all kids have some level of bedtime resistance that is normal, but add in the issue with ADHD kids that may or may not be distractible and focused on various issues in life and there is often a higher level of resistance and struggle. Adding a relaxing bedtime ritual might be beneficial here.

Other Conditions: Often kids with ADHD have such a hard time with anxiety and depression because they aren’t typical or don’t quite fit in with peers that aren’t struggling quite as much. Being cautious to not over look any of these co-existing conditions can make the difference for sleep treatments as well.


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