Common Sleep Disorders Connected With ADHD


One of the most overlook aspects of Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the sleeping disturbances caused about by the condition. Recent research confirms that it doesn’t go away during bedtime.

For both adults and children with ADHD, the mere thought of quickly falling asleep, maintaining sleep and then, waking up fast and rejuvenate from rest is nothing but a dream. No scientific evidence enlists ADHD as one of the causes of sleep disorders. Studies are focused on the sleeping disturbances caused by intake of medications that increase brain activities aside from ADHD as its leading cause. However, persons with ADHD know for the fact that their condition is connected with the occurrence of problems is getting sleep.  People who experience such call it “perverse sleep.” It is a condition where they are in dire need to go to sleep yet cannot do so and vice versa.

According to recent studies, there are four common sleep disorders connected with ADHD: initiation insomnia, restless sleep, difficulty waking up and intrusive sleep.


Initiation insomnia

75% of ADHD population, particularly the adult group, reported experiencing the inability to settle down their minds to go to sleep. A lot of them stated that they are like night owls who receive spurts of energy at night while others claimed that they felt tired all day, but as soon they hit the bed, their mind is bombarded with myriads of ideas, thoughts, worries, and anxiety. Their exact term is racing thoughts which often prompted experts to misdiagnosis them with bipolar mood disease when in fact, it is nothing but a state of anxiety of ADHD. Based on statistics, before sexual maturity, 10 to 15 percent of children with ADHD have difficulty going to sleep. This is twice the rate in comparison to children and adolescent without ADHD. The rate significantly increases with age reporting to about 50% of individuals with ADHD have problems falling asleep almost daily by the age of 12.5 years and by the age of 30, nearly 80 percent spends more than an hour trying to fall asleep at night.

Restless sleep

Individuals who were able to fall sleep usually are quite restless during their sleep. They are agitated and can easily awaken even by small noises. Often, their partners choose to sleep elsewhere since the individual with ADHD can sometimes, kick or punch in bed. Individuals who are restless sleepers reported feeling tired and not refresh after a night’s rest.

Difficulty waking

Individuals reported experiencing intermittent sleep interruption until 4 am in the morning and then they fall into a deep sleep, like that of a comatose person. They can sleep through alarms and attempts of others to wake them up. This type of sleepers is irritable to the point of even being belligerent when awakened until ready. Many are somewhat drowsy until noon.


Intrusive Sleep

Intrusive sleep occurs when the person with ADHD is no longer interested in a particular activity that makes the nervous system to disengage and searches for something more stimulating experiences. At times, this disconnection is abrupt in which it can induce extreme drowsiness and sleep.  

If you have sleeping problems early on, a visit to your doctor is essential to determine any underlying cause and possible treatment.