Sleeping difficulties are one of the comorbid conditions that Adults with ADHD can experience. While Insomnia is the most well known sleeping difficulty, the other common ones are Teeth Grinding, Sleep Apnea and Restless Leg Syndrome.
Having sleep problems is a double whammy when you have ADHD because lack of sleep results in ADHD symptoms, such as, difficulty concentrating, poor memory, distraction and disorganization. If you have or suspect you have a sleep disorder, it is important to treat it so that you can minimize its effects on your life and your ADHD.
Teeth Grinding or Bruxism (From the Greek word brygmós “gnashing of teeth”)
The short term effects of teeth grinding can include headaches, aching jaws, sore facial muscles, earaches and stiff or tight shoulders. While long-term effects can include: tooth sensitivity, worn or cracked teeth, infections or dental abscesses, pain and stiffness of the jaw. If you recognize yourself as a tooth grinder, visit your dentist who will fit your with a mouth guard.
Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA)
There are 2 types of sleep Apnoea:
This is where during sleep the soft tissues and muscles of the throat relax so much they block air for 10 seconds or more and your breathing is interrupted.
This is where the air is reduced by 50% (or more) for 10 seconds or more while you sleep.
Problems breathing while you sleep mean you move from a deep sleep to a lighter sleep or wake up completely. Because everyone needs a certain amount of deep sleep per night, if you aren’t getting enough you will feel fatigued in the morning. As well as, short term problems, such as reduced attention there are long term problems such as heart attack, stroke and type 2 diabetes. Visit your
doctor ASAP. You will be prescribed a CPAP, which is a breathing machine that maintains your airway.
Restless legs syndrome (RLS)
This common condition results in an overpowering desire to move your legs. It might be accompanied by a crawling feeling on your legs. While the exact cause isn’t known, it’s thought to be due to low levels of dopamine, or an underlying health condition, such as, an iron deficiency. Visit your doctor and they will be able to assess you. Your treatment will depend on their findings.
Whatever your sleep problems, get them checked out ASAP. You will feel like a new person after a good nights sleep.