Sleep Connection with Adult ADHD Diagnosis

Research data has shown that approximately 75% of adults with ADHD also have sleep issues that impact achieving regular circadian sleep patterns. While all issues related to ADHD may not be associated with circadian sleep patterns, there is extensive evidence indicating that adults with ADHD do tend to display problems with their sleep cycle.

ADHD and Sleep Connection Phase

A disturbance in the natural sleep cycle or circadian system may be physiologically connected to ADHD as well as having links to other mental health issues like depression or bipolar disorder. Some relevant symptoms and behaviors which indicate a connection between adult ADHD and circadian or sleep rhythm include:

  • Those with ADHD often have great alertness in the evening (opposite of the general population)
  • Sleep-related disorders associated with adult ADHD include restless leg syndrome, sleep apnea, and delayed sleep phase syndrome
  • Changes in the level of sleep hormone melatonin delayed by 1.5 hours from those without a diagnosis of ADHD
  • Changes in sleep-related movement patterns are delayed
  • Core body temperatures associated with sleep are delayed which corresponds to the delay of melatonin changes
  • Approximately 70% of those diagnosed with adult ADHD show over-sensitivity to light, with many needing to wear sunglasses during the day; this light sensitivity may be associated with a circadian shift

Sleep Disorders Associated with ADHD

The symptoms of ADHD and medication used to treat the disorder often interrupt the person’s sleep and result in related sleep connection disorders such as insomnia. Some of the most common sleep problems associated with ADHD include:

  • Difficulty falling asleep at night
  • Difficulty waking up in the morning
  • Sleep-disordered breathing and sleep apnea
  • Interrupted sleep (waking during the night)
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Restless legs syndrome or periodic limb movement disorder
  • Delayed sleep-phase disorder

Adult ADHD Sleep Rhythm Treatment Options 

If sleep connection issues are impacting your daily life and ability to function it may be time to talk with a mental health professional about treatment choices. Call Dr. Hege for a comprehensive mental health evaluation to determine all adult ADHD treatment options, including medication and adjunct therapies, available for your individual needs.


About Darvin Hege

Dr. Darvin Hege has 25 years of experience dealing with adult patients who have adhd, bipolar disorders, drug addictions, panic attacks, depression, stress, and other mental health disorders. He offers evening and weekend office hours at his Atlanta, GA practice. Call today at 770 458-0007 for an evaluation for relief of your psychiatric disorders and for help deciding the most effective and safest treatment.

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