ADHD and Sleep: Tips for Improved Sleep and Enhanced Focus

Noah Warren
September 19, 2023

For individuals with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), obtaining quality sleep can be a significant challenge. Disturbed sleep patterns can lead to difficulties with focus, attention, and overall well-being. Understanding the link between ADHD and sleep is crucial for developing strategies to improve sleep quality and enhance daytime functioning.

In this blog post, we will explore the relationship between ADHD and sleep, discuss common sleep issues experienced by individuals with ADHD, and provide practical tips to promote better sleep and improved focus.

ADHD and sleep

The Connection Between ADHD and Sleep: Unraveling the Complex Relationship

The relationship between ADHD and sleep is multifaceted. Research suggests that approximately 50-70% of individuals with ADHD experience sleep problems, including difficulties with falling asleep, staying asleep, and waking up feeling refreshed. The underlying mechanisms linking ADHD and sleep disturbances are not yet fully understood, but it is believed that overlapping neurobiological factors contribute to these challenges.

Common Sleep Issues in ADHD: Understanding the Patterns

Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome

Many individuals with ADHD may have a natural inclination towards late bedtimes and struggle with waking up early. Their internal biological clock tends to be shifted, making it difficult to fall asleep at a conventional time.

Restless Sleep

Restlessness, tossing and turning, and frequent awakenings throughout the night are common in individuals with ADHD. These disrupted sleep patterns can lead to daytime fatigue and impaired cognitive functioning.

Sleep-Onset Insomnia

Trouble falling asleep, often due to racing thoughts or an overactive mind, is a common sleep issue experienced by individuals with ADHD. Difficulty winding down at night can result in prolonged sleep latency and subsequent sleep deprivation.

Tips for Achieving Better Sleep and Enhanced Focus

Establish a Consistent Sleep Routine

Consistency is key when it comes to sleep. Establishing a regular sleep schedule, including consistent bedtimes and wake-up times, helps regulate the body's internal clock and promote better sleep quality.

Create a Soothing Bedtime Routine

Engaging in relaxing activities before bedtime can help signal to the body that it's time to wind down. Activities such as reading a book, taking a warm bath, or practicing relaxation techniques can facilitate a smooth transition into sleep.

Optimize the Sleep Environment

Create a sleep-friendly environment by ensuring the bedroom is cool, dark, and quiet. Removing electronics from the bedroom and using blackout curtains or white noise machines can help minimize distractions and promote better sleep.

Manage Stimulant Intake

Stimulants like caffeine and nicotine can negatively impact sleep quality. Limiting their consumption, especially in the evening, can help improve sleep onset and reduce restlessness during the night.

Consider Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I)

CBT-I is a therapeutic approach specifically designed to address insomnia and improve sleep quality. Working with a qualified therapist trained in CBT-I techniques can help individuals with ADHD develop effective strategies for overcoming sleep difficulties.


Sleep disruptions can significantly impact the daily lives of individuals with ADHD, exacerbating symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. By understanding the relationship between ADHD and sleep, and implementing practical tips to improve sleep hygiene, individuals can experience better sleep quality, enhanced focus, and improved overall well-being.

A consistent sleep routine, a soothing bedtime routine, an optimized sleep environment, mindful stimulant management, and the consideration of CBT-I can all contribute to unlocking restful nights and better daytime functioning.

Remember, each person's experience with ADHD and sleep is unique. It is essential to approach sleep management with patience and self-compassion, seeking professional advice and support when needed. Through a holistic approach to sleep hygiene, individuals can cultivate the foundation for a well-rested and balanced life.

Need help with ADHD management? Roots Mental Wellness can help. Contact us today.

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Noah Warren
Director of Business Development