ADHD And Sleep Problems: How These Both Are Correlated?

ADHD And Sleep Problems: How These Both Are Correlated?

Constant insomnia can be truly debilitating, and doctors won’t know what to do. A common cause of sleep disorders is ADHD. Experts have ignored the impact of ADHD on sleep for many years, partly because the problem manifests itself with age. Sleep disorders reduce the quality of life. Fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability, and daytime sleepiness are the companions of a sleep-deprived person. In this article, we will look at how ADHD sleep problems are correlated and what to do about it.

Sleep disorder

Insomnia is a sleep disorder characterized by persistent difficulty falling and staying asleep.

People with insomnia often have difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep and may wake up too early in the morning feeling insufficiently rested.

Depending on the duration, insomnia can be divided into 2 types:

  • Situational insomnia: It is usually short-lived and often occurs in response to a specific event, such as stress, a major life change, or a traumatic experience.
  • Chronic insomnia: This type of insomnia lasts at least three nights a week for three months or longer.

ADHD Sleep problems can also be classified based on their cause:

  • Primary insomnia: This type is not associated with any other health condition and is considered a disorder in its own right.
  • Secondary insomnia: This is insomnia that occurs due to another health condition, such as depression or anxiety.

ADHD as a sleep disorder

Key symptoms of sleep problems in adults include:

  1. Difficulty falling asleep
  2. Frequent awakenings during the night
  3. Waking up too early in the morning
  4. Feeling tired after waking up
  5. Daytime nap

There is a complex and bidirectional relationship between attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and sleep problems.

READ MORE: Does depression cause memory loss? Know the top facts!

The link between ADHD and sleep issues

  • 75% of people with ADHD have a delay of an hour and a half in the physiological phase of sleep – signs associated with sleep, such as changes in melatonin levels and movements associated with sleep;
  • Changes in body temperature associated with sleep are also delayed in these patients;
  • Sleep disorders such as restless legs syndrome, sleep apnea, and circadian rhythm disorder (difficulty falling asleep) are commonly associated with ADHD. In turn, these conditions are also associated with changes in the levels of the neurotransmitters dopamine and melatonin, which can be caused by ADHD Sleep problems;
  • People with attention deficit disorder are more alert at night, a characteristic opposite to the general population;
  • Many people with the disorder benefit from melatonin treatments at night or light therapy in the morning, which help reset their circadian rhythm;
  • Recent studies have shown that around 70% of adults with ADHD have hypersensitivity to light, a characteristic also associated with circadian problems;
  • Chronic late sleep leads to chronic sleep deficit, which in turn is associated with problems such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.

Lack of sleep increases family stress

In addition to the damage to the physical and mental health of children and adolescents who sleep poorly, in the specific case of ADHD, there is another aspect. “Many parents arrive at the office with high levels of stress, as they have to deal with all the difficulties of the condition, in addition to the issue of sleep. The biggest challenge for parents is getting the child out of bed early. “

And it’s not just the family that suffers. Continuous sleep deprivation increases irritability, impulsivity, and, of course, inattention. Sleep is essential for memory, the learning process, information retention, and concentration. Therefore, when there are problems sleeping, intervention is needed, both with medication and changes in behavior and habits for the entire family

Both conditions can affect each other

Here are a few key points: Symptom coherence: Some symptoms of ADHD, such as anxiety and impulsivity, can contribute to difficulty falling asleep and maintaining a regular sleep schedule.

The effects of poor sleep, such as difficulty concentrating and irritability, can worsen ADHD symptoms.

Hyperarousal: People with ADHD often experience a state of hyperarousal, where their nervous system is on high alert. This can make it difficult to relax and fall asleep.

Insomnia, in turn, can contribute to increased anxiety, creating a cycle of ADHD and difficulty sleeping.

Impact of executive dysfunction: Some research suggests that the executive dysfunction seen in ADHD may also affect the regulation of sleep-wake cycles.

Difficulties with planning, organizing, and initiating tasks can extend to sleep hygiene.

READ MORE: How does anxiety affect your daily life?

How to Sleep with ADHD

However, this is all theory. Unfortunately, doctors’ hypotheses about the causes of insomnia in ADHD have not yet helped us fall asleep. All recommendations from experts come down to the general rules of sleep hygiene:

  1. Use the bed only for sleep and sex; Don’t work or discuss problems in bed.
  2. Set a consistent bedtime and wake-up time and stick to it.
  3. Avoid daytime naps.

Finally, don’t ignore your body’s signals:

  • If you prefer to sleep in complete silence, try thick soundproof curtains or earplugs.
  • If you need white noise to fall asleep, leave a fan or TV on.
  • If you find it easier to fall asleep on an empty stomach, don’t try to cram dinner into yourself.
  • If you sleep better when you’re full, indulge in a carbohydrate-rich snack.

Two more useful tips:

  1. Go to bed and sleep: Many people with ADHD enjoy working at night: the house is quiet, there are no distractions, and the children are asleep. This is peak productivity; but if you don’t go to bed, you’ll feel exhausted in the morning.
  2. Avoid coffee before bed: Caffeine has interesting interactions with the ADHD body, but you don’t need it right now.

First of all, it should be noted that the first line choice is cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia.

One of the key guidelines for the treatment of insomnia and numerous reviews show that special cognitive-behavioral techniques in the long term provide a more sustainable effect compared to pharmacological support.

It is especially important to work with a specialist if sleep problems are combined with the presence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

What do I do with attention deficit disorder and sleep?

The diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can only be made when the child turns six years of age. Before that, it is possible to evaluate possible traits of the condition.

“Insomnia is an important symptom and should be investigated, regardless of whether or not ADHD is suspected, both in children and adolescents. This is because it is necessary to emphasize that sleep disorders can also be associated with other diagnoses, such as depression, epilepsy, and autism. Therefore, children who do not sleep or have significant changes in their sleep need to be evaluated early.”


Sleep problems are associated with ADHD through a network of mutual influences. If there is such mutual influence, it will be useful to get help from a specialist who knows techniques for working with insomnia and has experience working with ADHD.

The coincidence of sleep, circadian rhythm problems, and ADHD can sometimes make it difficult to identify which problem came first. That’s why you should see a psychiatrist of Renewed Mental Health Group if you suspect your child may have an ADHD Sleep problem. Specifically request a sleep study, which can identify whether your child has sleep apnea.

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Brittany DeGuzman

Associate Marriage and Family Therapist

Hello there! I am an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist (AMFT 146285) at Renewed Mental Health Group, working under the supervision of Carly Rorem, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (119474). I hold a Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, where I gained experience working with both children and adults.

I am here to support you through a range of issues, including grief and loss, relationship challenges, communication breakdowns, and life transitions or career changes. Additionally, I can help with anxiety, depression, and past trauma. My passion lies in assisting individuals who have experienced loss, whether recent or in the past, by helping them define and navigate their unique grieving process. I walk alongside my clients through their grief, offering support and guidance to honor their loved ones.

My therapeutic approach is person-centered, focusing on cultivating a strong therapeutic relationship, which I believe is essential for any journey through mental health and self-discovery. I firmly believe that you are the expert on your own life. In therapy, this means we will work collaboratively, trusting your intuition about what tools and strategies work best for you. If something isn’t working, we’ll find different solutions together. My goal is to provide a judgment-free space where you can authentically express your experiences, feelings, and struggles. I tailor treatment to the individual, incorporating various modalities such as Solution-Focused Therapy (SFT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and other humanistic approaches.

I would be honored to support you on your healing journey, committed to providing a safe and supportive space that fosters healing and growth.

Food is my love language! I enjoy cooking for myself and others, as well as exploring new restaurants. I also love going to the beach, stand-up paddle boarding, and soaking up the sun. My other hobbies include reading, traveling, being in nature, and swimming. 

DR. Barrios

Board-Certified Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist

Dr. Carlos Barrios is a Board-Certified Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist with over two decades of experience in mental health care. His expertise in telepsychiatry has allowed him to serve patients across California and beyond. In his practice, Dr Barrios integrates metabolic and functional methodologies, focusing on guiding patients toward medication independence and emphasizing the connection between physical and mental health.

Outside of his professional life, Dr Barrios is passionate about kettlebell training, which helps him maintain my physical and mental wellness. He cherishes visiting his family in Guatemala, to reconnecting with his cultural roots and rejuvenating his spirit. Dr Barrios is also deeply involved in transcendental meditation and rucking, practices that not only provide him with tranquility but also keep him grounded and connected to nature. These hobbies reflect his commitment to a holistic approach to health, both personally and professionally.

Keelan Aponte

Associate Marriage and Family Therapist

Keelan Aponte is a dedicated Associate Marriage and Family Therapist at Renewed Mental Health Group, under the supervision of Carly Rorem, LMFT #119474. With a solid foundation in psychology from the University of California, Riverside, and a Master’s degree in Marital and Family Therapy from Loma Linda University, Keelan brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to his practice.

His clinical journey has seen him working directly with children, young adults, and families, offering support to individuals facing challenges such as anxiety, depression, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Keelan’s experience spans diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, religious affiliations, cultural identities, genders, and sexual orientations, reflecting his deep appreciation for the uniqueness of each individual.

Keelan is committed to fostering cultural competence in his therapeutic approach, ensuring that every client feels heard and respected. He creates a nurturing environment where clients can freely express their thoughts and emotions without fear of judgment, recognizing the importance of validating personal experiences.

While proficient in various therapeutic modalities, Keelan’s passion lies in Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT), which resonates deeply with his personal philosophy. He believes in the inherent potential for change within each individual and focuses on exploring the meanings we attach to our thoughts, behaviors, and experiences. By shifting the focus towards solutions and empowering clients to discover their own strengths, Keelan facilitates the creation of new, positive patterns in their lives.

In collaboration with his clients, Keelan embarks on a journey of self-discovery and transformation, guiding them towards a brighter, more fulfilling future. He firmly believes that every individual possesses the resilience and inner wisdom to overcome life’s challenges, drawing strength from past triumphs and embracing the possibility of new beginnings.

Mark Youssef

Associate Marriage and Family Therapist

Hi there! I am so glad you are here. I am an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist at Renewed Mental Health Group
(AMFT# 142301) under the supervision of Carly Rorem, Licensed Marriage, and Family Therapist (119474). I received my Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology, with an Emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from Azusa Pacific University. 

In my spare time, I enjoy doing outdoor activities like going to the beach, snorkeling, watching sunsets, and capturing moments through photography. I also cherish moments spent with loved ones and enjoy exploring new coffee shops.

In therapy, we often uncover wounds that haven’t fully healed. As these wounds resurface, therapy begins the gradual process of healing. Your bravery in seeking help is commendable, and I’m honored to support you on this journey. Together, we’ll navigate the complexities you face, uncovering insights along the way. You will be met here with compassion and support. I will walk alongside your journey with warmth and acceptance.

My passion lies in working and being committed to creating a safe space for diverse individuals: including teens and their families, adults, LGBTQ + individuals and clients of all backgrounds and identities who are facing challenges such as anxiety, depression, family conflicts, self-esteem issues, PTSD, OCD, OCPD, and ADHD. 

I typically approach my clients as a person-centered therapist through an attachment lens, providing unconditional positive regard, empathy, and compassion within a safe and nonjudgmental space. Maintaining authenticity and humanity in my interactions with my clients is key, as I strive to provide a secure emotional connection. Alongside this, I incorporate various therapeutic modalities, drawing from different clinical approaches such as CBT, humanistic therapies, SFT, and psychodynamic approaches to meet each individual’s needs. 

I am fluent in English and Arabic, facilitating effective communication with clients of diverse linguistics background, and possess experience in working with individuals aged 17 and above. 

I would be honored to accompany you through your emotional pain, help you navigate your thoughts, and support you in healing that pain. I will be here with you and for you on your journey towards self-acceptance and growth, collaboratively working together towards your personal goals. My objective? Empower you to live authentically. Let’s embark on this transformative journey together!

Nalleli Garrido

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP

Nalleli Garrido, PMHNP-BC is a Board Certified Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. Nalleli graduated from California State University, Long Beach. Nalleli has over 7+ years of experience working with underserved communities with diverse mental health diagnoses. She loves to navigate new hobbies first hand in order to ensure patients gain meaningful coping skills. Her priority is to help patients take control of their mental health through patient education, psychotherapy and medication management.

Nalleli Garrido has experience working with various populations across the lifespan and her areas of focus include: Depression, Anxiety, Adjustment Disorder, Bipolar disorder, ADHD, and PTSD. Nalleli has experience working with incarcerated patients at several county jails, various acute and in-patient settings, and community mental health services.

Patients enjoy Nalleli’s empathetic care and her focus on identifying self-care measures to assist in therapeutic regimens. She strives to develop individualized care plans alongside client’s desired

Carly Rorem

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Carly Rorem is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist at Renewed Mental Health Group. She graduated with her Bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2015 from Biola University. She returned and received her Master of Art in Marriage and Family Therapy from Hope International University in 2017.

You may be navigating the complex terrain of depression, anxiety, or trauma, facing significant life changes, or seeking enhancement in your relationships. They seek a nonjudgmental, supportive partner in their therapeutic journey who passionately believes in their capacity for change and healing. Together, we’ll strive for resilience, understanding, and a path forward tailored to their unique goals and needs.

As a marriage and family therapist, I offer guidance to strengthen relationships, providing a nonjudgmental, supportive space for healing and connection. I am dedicated to supporting your grown with a nonjudgmental, empathetic approach. Let’s navigate your challenges together in a safe and supportive space.

Brittlin Fagundes

Associate Marriage and Family Therapist

Brittlin Fagundes is an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist at Renewed Mental Health Group. She graduated with her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Sonoma State University. Brittlin then returned to her hometown of San Diego, California, where she received her Master of Arts in Clinical Counseling from Point Loma Nazarene University.

In her spare time, Brittlin enjoys being outdoors, spending time with her family and friends, playing and watching sports, and listening to music. Brittlin finds these activities very therapeutic, as they allow her to clear her mind and reflect and provide her pure happiness. Brittlin works with her clients to find their hobbies and interests, which can be great coping and grounding skills for needy individuals.

Brittlin has experience with various ages and populations- children, adolescents, adults and elderly, groups, LGBTQ+ individuals and families of all different socioeconomic statuses. In addition, Brittlin has worked with various diagnoses such as anxiety, depression, addiction, Bipolar Disorder, schizophrenia, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Brittlin takes pride in her ability to have a personable relationship with her clients, as she finds it vital for them to feel comfortable in her presence.

Brittlin understands that everyone carries a unique story with extraordinary hardships and stressors. She is dedicated to creating a safe and supportive environment where her clients can overcome obstacles and work toward positive change. Brittlin believes therapy should be a collaborative process that fosters personal growth and healing. Overall, Brittlin strives to use various therapeutic techniques to empower her clients to overcome their obstacles, working towards self- discovery.

Carissa Mendez-Munder

Associate Clinical Social Worker

Carissa Mendez-Munder is a Mental Health Therapist at Renewed mental Health group. Carissa is a Registered Associate Clinical Social Worker with the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. Carissa graduated with her master’s in clinical social work from Baylor University.

Carissa’s education and work experience have allowed her to work with a diverse clientele ranging from 4 to 100 years old and across all economic and cultural backgrounds. Carissa has offered individual, group, and family counseling in both English and Spanish for these diverse caseloads. Carissa has provided counseling, emotional and communication skills groups, and grief and anger management groups at the elementary, middle, and high school ages. Carissa works most commonly with diagnoses of Anxiety, Depression, Anger management, life-stage struggles, adjustment disorders, ADHD, family conflict (including non-traditional family arrangements, LGBTQIA+ youth), prolonged grief, and PTSD.

Carissa’s experience has given her more perspective on how external influences, systems, and traumatic experiences in a person’s life can affect their overall health and well-being. Carissa works with her clients using a strengths-based perspective and person-centered approaches to counseling to sharpen tools, skills, and any other client strengths. Carissa works to create a “toolkit” with her clients to better work with these external influences. Carissa believes that every person can change and has the tools to do so. Her role as a therapist is to draw attention to these tools and strengths and help the client find their motivations. Carissa believes in a person’s inherent worth and dignity and their right to live a fulfilling life. Carissa takes pride in seeing her clients achieve their therapy goals and grow their confidence and self-determination. Carissa offers a safe space for her clients for in-person or telehealth sessions and is currently accepting new patients.

Taryn A. Joyce


Taryn is a board-certified psychiatric nurse practitioner with 6+ years of experience in mental health care. Taryn earned her Masters’ of Science in Nursing degree from California State University, Long Beach. Taryn specializes in ADHD, anxiety disorders, depression/mood disorders, schizophrenia, PTSD, and personality disorders. Taryn utilizes a patient-centered approach emphasizing collaboration and empowerment, ensuring each individual receives personalized care tailored to their unique needs.

Taryn has years of experience in inpatient and outpatient mental health settings, most recently in the community mental health setting, serving clients from various backgrounds, ethnicities, cultures, genders, and socioeconomic statuses. As a committed advocate, Taryn brings a blend of expertise in psychiatric nursing, evidence-based interventions, and a compassionate approach to foster positive outcomes. Taryn looks forward to partnering with you on your journey to mental wellness.

Alice Kim


Alice Kim is a board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. Alice has many years of experience in psychiatry in acute inpatient and outpatient settings.

She believes that mental health is essential but is often a forgotten or invisible part of healthcare.She wants to be an advocate and caregiver for the vulnerable population in a compassionate, empathetic, and nonjudgmental approach.

Alice has made it her life’s passion to utilize her skills to help others aware of their illness and offer patients and their families quality care, support, and guidance during a time of difficulty.

Alice Kim 은 이사회 인증을 받은 정신과 정신 건강 간호사 실무자입니다.

앨리스는 급성기 입원환자 및 외래에서 수년간 정신과에서 근무한 경험이 있다.

그녀는 정신 건강은 필수적이지만, 종종 의료에서 잊혀지거나 보이지 않는 부분이라고 믿는다. 그녀는 연민적이고, 공감적이며, 비판적이지 않은 접근으로 취약한 사람들을 옹호하고 돌보는 사람이 되기를 원한다. Alice는 자신의 기술을 활용하여 다른 사람들이 자신의 질병을 인지하도록 돕고, 환자와 가족의 간병, 지원 및 어려운 시기에 안내를 제공하는 것을 자신의 삶의 열정으로 삼았습니다.

Alice는 2개 국어를 구사하며 한국어에 능통하기 때문에 한국어로 말하는 환자에게 도움이 될 수 있는데, 이는 혼란을 없애고 환자 만족을 제공하며 양질의 의료 서비스를 제공하는 데 도움이 되기 때문입니다.

Cristian Cuevas


Cristian Cuevas, PMHNP-BC, is a highly skilled board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner with over seven years of experience in inpatient psychiatry and mental health.

A California State University Long Beach graduate, Cristian also earned recognition as a board-certified psychiatric mental health registered nurse. With a wealth of expertise in adult psychiatric care across the lifespan, Cristian has successfully diagnosed and treated a diverse range of mental health disorders.

Additionally, his specialized experience in child and adolescent inpatient populations further enhances his ability to provide comprehensive and compassionate mental health care.