Sleep Hacks for ADHD Men
"Sleep is for the weak."
This is a saying constantly thrown around in the field of people preaching a "hustle 24/7" mindset and most certainly one many of us ADHD men have heard plenty of times.
The truth is, this is not just unhelpful advice, it's incredibly misleading. It's dangerous.
And the truth is, sleep is something many of us with ADHD really struggle with. A study came out a few years ago suggesting nearly 75% of adults and kids diagnosed with ADHD tend to have sleep issues, as well.
The good news is that we ADHD men can develop a strong relationship with sleep, and today, I'm going to be sharing some of my favorite tips on getting good sleep for our ADHD brains so that we can feel more like ourselves, focus better, and protect our health more.
Make stimulation hard.
For our dopamine lacking brains, self regulation can be a real obstacle. We can fall in to the category of people who read an article of all the benefits of sleep, feel inspired and then 3 days later, be up at 3 AM watching the latest Netflix horror-flick when we know we have to be up early the next day.
This is a mentally challenging cycle.
One of the most helpful things to do is at least 30 minutes before bed, make not being bored hard. Being ADHD, we struggle with our "in the moment" choices largely because of how quick our brains are. Dr. Russell Barkley would suggest that it's a deficiency of "space in between" when it comes to time in these moments.
Recognizing that my phone brings a lot of stimulation to me and my life, I benefit a lot from putting my phone in a separate but close room before bed, putting it on airplane mode and deleting the apps that'll prevent me from getting sleep all before bed. This makes it really difficult for me to be distracted by something that'll prevent me from getting a goodnight of sleep and has influenced my ability to get to sleep on time tremendously.
I like setting reminders each night on my phone to do this.
2.) Block the blue light.
Blue light from our TV screens, phones and tablets all reduce our melatonin (deep sleep hormone) production when looked at before bed.
I'm a big fan of keeping a natural blue light filter on these screens all throughout the day, and then 1-2 hours before bed, wearing 100% blue light blocking glasses (not just the typical 40% blocking clear ones) is really a game changer and has me getting an average of 2-3 hours of a deep sleep cycle every single night.
I'm a big fan of these glasses, as I love the way they look and allows me to be on a screen if I have to do work later in the day.
This can be really helpful, especially after long days. Journaling can be a great way "let out some steam" for us men, which often keeps us up at night as we with ADHD tend to really hone in on different events that happened to us throughout the day.
I don't have a super scientific study for this one, but I just know it's helped me quite a lot. Bonus is that journaling is a great to be more self aware as you're writing your thoughts.
There's two things I really want you to get from this article - #1.) Sleep is not a bad idea, it's a great one. We, as men, will feel so much better in our day-to-day lives when we develop a healthy relationship with sleep, and our loved ones will appreciate it, too, as we'll be less irritable. #2.) Us men with ADHD can, in fact, develop a healthy relationship with sleep. It may take some time and having several reminders in place, but it's a journey worth taking.
If you're a male with ADHD, be sure to join my FREE ADHD Men's Support Group, as it's a space for us men to connect, share our journeys, build a sense of community and empower one another, as well.