|Sleep Problems and ADD|
In some people it is difficult to differentiate the symptoms of sleep deprivation from the symptoms of SCT or ADHD-PI. People who chronically sleep poorly will go through life in a fog. It is impossible to have a normal reaction time, to attend to anything or to remember anything when you are sleep deprived. We know this to be true from studies done on soldiers and pilots. In order to optimally perform, you must get an adequate amount of sleep.
It is imperative that sleep deprivation issues be addressed before any attempt is made to medicate or otherwise treat ADD and SCT symptoms. Sleep problems are best addressed using a sleep hygiene program.
A sleep hygiene program involves a series of steps that should be taken prior to sleep, every night, to ensure that sleep is not disrupted. The University of Maryland recommends the following sleep hygiene steps:
- Set a constant bedtime and an awakening time.
- Do not nap during the day.
- Do not consume alcohol, sugar, spicy food or caffeine within 4 hours of sleep.
- Exercise, but not within 2 hours of sleep.
- Sleep in a comfortable bed and a slightly cool room with as little light and noise and possible.
- Eat a light snack with a high Tryptophan food such as turkey or banana can be helpful right before bed.
- Use a relaxation method prior to sleep. Meditation, yoga or sleep MP3s can help get you into sleep mode.
- Have a pre-sleep ritual such as a bath with Epsom salts and then a time for reading.
A good sleep hygiene program is essential for everyone but it is especially important for children and adults with ADD and SCT. I had classic "sleep onset delay" problems as a child. I would lay awake in my bed until one o'clock in the morning listening to late night talk radio on this little Sony Player (it is amazing the smut your hear on late night radio...). Needless to say, by morning I was a walking zombie.
I was bound and determined that this would not happen to my son. With the help of a good sleep hygiene program and Melatonin, he now sleeps. He recently started using a sleep MP3 that my mother gave him and he needs less Melatonin as a result.
Some people reports that these MP3s work in the same way that Neurofeedback works by changing the brain's arousal level and, in the case of this sleep inducing recording, inducing the brain into the delta wave state that is necessary for deep sleep. I was unable to find studies to substantiate this but it does seem to help him relax and fall asleep My son has the sleep MP3 on his little CD player by his bedside and it plays on a low volume. He reports that it helps him, on many days, fall right to sleep.
I have noticed a big difference in him since we have addressed his sleep problems. He is more alert, more attentive, more productive and less sluggish. If you do not have a sleep hygiene program in place, you should start the new year with a goal of implementing a program to help you or your child sleep. I believe that you will notice an improvement in your SCT and ADD symptoms immediately.
If you have found this post useful, please subscribe to this site by email or RSS feed. I am always thrilled when you use the share buttons or become a follower. Thanks!