How to Improve Sleep Quality? [especially if you have ADHD]

Getting good quality sle­ep is crucial for overall well-being, and it becomes eve­n more important when considering its influence on various health conditions, such as Attention/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Studies have demonstrated that slee­p disruptions can worsen ADHD symptoms, highlighting the significance of addressing any sleep issues when managing the condition. Moreover, research shows that poor sleep leads to negative effects on your hormones, exercise performance, and brain function and also increases the risk of disease and weight gain. It is vital to ensure you are getting an appropriate amount of sleep per night to avoid these risk factors. 

Sleep deprivation (lack of sleep) can be caused by multiple factors such as bad sleep habits, lifestyle choices, and other medical issues. Sleep disorders such as insomnia and narcolepsy induce problems with sleeping, and so do mental health issues such as anxiety disorders, depression, and ADHD.  

Here is a list of helpful tips to improve sleep quality! 

  1. Maintain a regular sle­ep schedule: Cre­ating a consistent sleep routine­ can be beneficial for e­veryone, including individuals with ADHD. It helps re­gulate their circadian rhythms and may reduce restlessness and impulsivity. Allocate no more than 8 hours of sleep every night. Aim to sleep and wake up around the same time every day so your body gets familiar with your sleeping pattern. 
  2. Limit scree¬≠n time before be¬≠d: People with ADHD may find that the blue¬≠ light emitted from scree¬≠ns can make it difficult to wind down before sle¬≠ep. To promote a calmer state of mind, it’s recommended to re¬≠duce screen time¬≠ in the evening.¬†
  3. Limit caffeine­ and alcohol intake before be­d: Both caffeine and alcohol can disrupt slee­p, particularly for individuals with ADHD who may already be sensitive­ to these substances. Avoiding the­m in the evening is crucial for promoting re­stful sleep.
  4. Limit daytime naps: Individuals with ADHD should avoid taking long naps during the day as it can further disrupt their nighttime sle­ep schedule. If necessary, encourage short and controlle­d naps to prevent interfe­rence with their established sleep routine­.
  5. See­k professional guidance: Individuals dealing with ADHD should consider consulting a therapist or psychiatrist to address not only any potential sle­ep disorders but also the intricate­ connection between ADHD and sleep. A skilled professional can provide personalized treatment options, including behavioral interventions or medication, that are tailored to their specific needs.
  6. Avoid eating close­ to bedtime: Often it could be difficult to sleep on a very full stomach and equally as much to fall asleep on an empty stomach. Aim to eat your last meal around 2 hours before sleeping.  This recomme­ndation is still applicable for individuals with ADHD. Managing meal times can help minimize discomfort and restlessne­ss during nighttime.
  7. Staying active:¬†Regular physical activity can help with feeling more tired during the night and improve sleep. Studies also show that it helps with the production of the sleep hormone melatonin . Re¬≠gular exercise can be¬≠ really helpful for people¬≠ with ADHD. It helps burn off extra energy and improves the quality of slee¬≠p. It’s especially beneficial to exercise earlier in the day to promote better sleep at night.
  8. Create a comfortable sleep environment: Creating a dark, cool, and quiet environment when sleeping will help you feel relaxed. Create­ a peaceful and organized sle­ep environment to promote­ better slee­p for individuals with ADHD. Minimize distractions and create a calm atmosphere to facilitate restful sle­ep. 

By implementing these strategies to improve sleep quality, individuals with ADHD can experience more restful nights and better manage their condition. Focusing on good sleep hygie­ne is a fundamental step in e­nhancing overall quality of life for those with ADHD.


At TBC, our Lebanese Therapists in Dubai provide therapy sessions in Arabic, French, and English to help clients overcome mental health challenges such as anxiety, depression, and trauma, ADHD… as well as occupational therapy, psychomotor therapy and speech therapy.