Sleep is one of those amazing things that our bodies do in order to keep us healthy. There are varying arguments among researchers as to how much sleep humans need per day in order to function. I’m not so much concerned with what researchers believe is the right amount of required sleep because I already know how many hours my body needs in order for my mind to function fully. That magic number is 9hrs. Yup, 9hrs. It seems like a lot of time to spend sleeping, but over the past couple of years that has been the magic number.
It is not uncommon for people with ADHD to encounter issues with sleep deprivation. There are problems falling asleep, staying asleep, and getting quality sleep while sleeping. When we include those who also have restless leg syndrome, sleep apnea, or narcolepsy, sleep deprivation sounds like an understatement. All these sleep problems result in people with ADHD spending the day on the verge of snapping at people or almost daydreaming one’s self to sleep. Lack of sleep leads to issues with not being able to think clearly, memory problems, and emotional sensitivity. None of this sounds like the makings of a pleasant and productive work day.
“The relationship between sleep and ADHD is not a new one. At one time, sleep disturbances were included in the diagnostic criteria for ADHD, but due to a lack of demonstrable evidence, sleep disturbances were removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, when its Third Revised Edition was published in 1980.14” (Help4adhd.org)
Try to maintain a consistent time for going to bed during weekdays.
If you have a lot on your mind, try doing some simple meditation or mindfulness techniques to allow your mind and body to be ready for sleep.
Ear plugs are helpful if you are a light sleeper.
If you co-sleep with your children, consider having them sleep in their own bed. (If this is causing sleep issues for you.)
Check the temperature in your room, if it’s too hot or too cool, adjust it or sleep with bedding that make you warmer or cooler.
Avoid taking any stimulant medication late in the afternoon.
“Pray” is not a cliche, this is an action that makes a huge difference in our lives. Prayer will help those with a mind full of thoughts slow down. There was a reason why the early Jewish community practiced night time prayer; it was to ease their minds and allow them to sleep. Those in antiquity were vulnerable to night time attacks from others, wild animals, the elements, and more. They knew that if they did not hand their worries over to God each night, they would get no sleep and be unproductive during the daytime. Prayer eases the mind.
We (North Americans) are not facing threats to our lives that others around the world still encounter during the night time, our battle is of the mind. We can do something about our sleepless nights. It won’t be an overnight change, it will take some time. The mind is set in its ways, and often there is a lot of trial and error before we find peace.
Each night, hand over your troubles to God in prayer and let His presence and promises provide you with restful sleep.
Here is a night time from the United States Navy that I hope will be of some help to you.
PRAYER BEFORE SLEEP
Dear God, as I lay me down to sleep,
relax the tension of my body;
calm the restlessness of my mind;
still the thoughts which worry and perplex me.
Help me to rest myself and all my problems in your
strong and loving arms.
Let your Spirit speak to my mind and heart while I am asleep, so that, when I wake up in the morning,
I may find that I have received in the night-time,
light for my way;
strength for my tasks;
peace for my worries;
forgiveness for my sins.
Grant me sleep tonight, and tomorrow power to live.