The Top 5 Ways to Overcome These Sleep Stealers

Stretching In Bed

Most people know that ADD/ADHD can cause symptoms of distractibility, impulsivity, inattentiveness, hyperactivity and irritability. But did you know that ADD/ADHD can also affect your sleep? When you fail to get quality sleep, it can impact your performance at school, work and in life. Losing sleep comes with a host of health concerns and can make your symptoms even worse.

In our hectic, 24-7 society, we could just as easily ask “what doesn’t cause sleep deprivation?” There are seemingly endless reasons why millions of us are missing out on a good night’s sleep.

Here is a list of some of the most common factors:

1. A warm room.
2. Light in the bedroom.
3. Noise.
4. Gadgets by the bed.
5. Going to bed worried or angry.
6. Medications: Many medications including asthma medications, antihistamines, cough medicines, anticonvulsants, stimulants, such as Adderall or Concerta prescribed for ADHD, and many others disturb sleep.
7. Caffeine: Too much caffeine from coffee, tea, chocolate, or some herbal preparations — especially when consumed later in the day or at night — can disrupt sleep.
8. Alcohol, nicotine, and marijuana: Although these compounds initially induce sleepiness for some people, they have the reverse effect as they wear off, which is why you may wake up several hours after you go to sleep.
9. Restless Legs Syndrome: A nighttime jerking or pedaling motion of the legs that drives a person’s bed partner crazy (as well as the person who has it).
10. Women’s issues: Pregnancy, PMS, menopause, and perimenopause cause fluctuations in hormone levels that can disrupt the sleep cycle.
11. Thyroid conditions.
12. Congestive heart failure.
13. Chronic pain conditions.
14. Untreated or undertreated psychiatric conditions such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, or anxiety.
15. Alzheimer’s disease: Dementia patients “sundown” or rev up at night and wander.
16. Chronic gastrointestinal problems, such as reflux.
17. Men’s issues: Benign prostatic hypertrophy causes many trips to the bathroom at night, which interrupts slumber.
18. Snoring: It can wake you or your sleep mate, or everyone in the house, if it’s loud.
19. Sleep apnea: With this condition, you stop breathing for short periods of time throughout the night, which robs you of restful sleep and leaves you feeling sluggish, inattentive, and forgetful throughout the day.
20. Shift work: Nurses, firefighters, security personnel, customer service representatives, truck drivers, airline pilots, and many others toil by night and sleep by day. Or, at least, they try to sleep. Shift workers are especially vulnerable to irregular sleep patterns, which leads to excessive sleepiness, reduced productivity, irritability, and mood problems.
21. Stressful events: The death of a loved one, divorce, a major deadline at work, or an upcoming test can cause temporary sleep loss.
22. Jet lag: International travel across time zones wreaks havoc with sleep cycles.

How many of the above sleep issues are causing problems in your life? Are your habits or conditions making it difficult for you to turn your brain off at night? Do you fail to get quality sleep on a consistent basis?

Being sleep deprived is a bigger problem than you might think and can have a devastating impact on your health. Getting less than 6 hours of sleep each night has been associated with lower overall brain activity and can adversely affect your productivity, physical safety, and weight. Inadequate sleep not only increases your risk of developing psychiatric disorders such as ADD/ADHD, anxiety, and depression, but can also lead to serious health issues like diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

Even though they’ve become the standard method of managing the symptoms of ADD/ADHD, medications aren’t the only solution.

Here are some natural strategies for how to avoid the sleep stealers in your life:

Adjust Your Sleep Position

Sleeping on your back tends to make snoring worse because the tongue slides toward the back of the throat. Sleeping on your side with a pillow that keeps your head slightly elevated is usually recommended to reduce snoring and the symptoms of sleep apnea.

Don’t Take Naps

This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make if you have trouble sleeping. Daytime naps will make the nighttime sleep cycle disruption worse.

Avoid Substances

Another reason people get lower-quality sleep following alcohol is that it blocks REM sleep, which is often considered the most restorative type of sleep. With less REM sleep, you’re likely to wake up feeling groggy and unfocused.

Maintain a Regular Sleep Schedule

Go to bed at the same time each night and wake up (regardless of how much sleep you got the night before) at the same time each day, including on weekends.

Create a Restful Environment

Make sure your bedroom is comfortable. Adjust the temperature so that your room isn’t too hot or cold. Also, keep your room as dark as possible while sleeping.

If you’re not getting enough sleep, or if you’re not feeling refreshed after sleep, Amen Clinics can help. Since sleep disorders often occur alongside other physical and mental health conditions, such as ADD/ADHD, anxiety and depression, we seek to understand each patient’s individual challenges. We want to learn more about your unique situation so that we can provide a personalized solution.

Dealing with a condition like ADD/ADHD can be challenging, especially when symptoms are compounded by sleep issues. Our goal is to help you achieve and maintain peaceful sleep without the use of sleeping pills or sedatives. One of the best ways we can accomplish that is with the use of brain SPECT imaging.

Our Full Evaluation of your biological, psychological, social, and spiritual history, coupled with two brain SPECT imaging scans, cognitive testing, and a clinical assessment is designed to address your specific needs and offer customized treatment options.

To learn more about how we can help improve the quality of your sleep, call us today at 888-288-9834 or visit us online to schedule a visit.


  1. Undiagnosed adrenal fatigue or hypoadrenia can by a major factor in poor sleep and even sleeplessness. Hypoadrenia can feel like mental illness, on top of the lack of sleep. Hypoadrenia has been labeled since the 1880’s, but few people in our stressed out culture are ever properly diagnosed.

    Comment by Jennifer Goetz — August 1, 2018 @ 7:15 AM

  2. In this article you say ADHD can be caused by lack of sleep. I haven’t heard that to be accurate. ADHD by diagnosis, first appears in childhood, can be manifested in adulthood, but is not known to be connected with sleep disorder. Is there research on this?

    Comment by Dr. Susan Carey — August 1, 2018 @ 7:54 AM

  3. Is there any way to have Rem sleep when I have sleep apnea? My number of interruptions are consistently under 10.

    Comment by Vivienne Osvkarek — August 1, 2018 @ 11:34 AM

  4. I do not understand why you do not accept insurance? If this is a medically necessary procedure then why? Do you give tax ID plus procedure codes and CPT codes and whatever is needed in order to submit yourself so your insurance will pay?

    Comment by Rita Hilty — August 1, 2018 @ 2:09 PM

  5. I do not want a phone call. Please enail me your answer.

    Comment by Rita Hilty — August 1, 2018 @ 2:10 PM

  6. Thank you Rita, we will reach out to you via email.

    Comment by Amen Clinics — August 1, 2018 @ 2:56 PM

  7. Please read that paragraph again. It says “ADD/ADHD can also affect your sleep.” Not that lack of sleep causes ADHD. Big difference.

    Comment by Connie Battiste — August 1, 2018 @ 5:50 PM

  8. Yes, there are many studies that point to sleep deprivation as either causing or worsening ADHD.

    Comment by Leslie Balfaqih — August 2, 2018 @ 3:53 AM

  9. Thanks for sharing these tips. I’ll try to manage my sleep problem first using this information. Gonna get in touch with your clinic soon. 🙂

    Comment by Sarah Cummings — August 5, 2018 @ 4:06 PM

  10. Dr. Amen I have list my sleep since more than a year. I’m fed up of myself. I’ve got OCD and am on SSRIs like Escitalopram. I’m also on Clonazepam and Quitiapin.

    If I tell my psychiatrist about my sleep problem, he only tells to increase Quitiapin double or triple the dose of 50mg.

    Please help me. Im in India and at present reading your book MAKING A GOOD BRAIN GREAT which I bought from

    Comment by Ritcha — September 5, 2018 @ 12:38 PM

  11. I was wondering that same thing. Would you please answer the insurance and Cpt code question? Is there a way to submit my own paperwork? Thanks

    Comment by Debbie Atlee — September 7, 2018 @ 7:16 PM

  12. Hello Debbie, we are a fee-for-service clinic but we do work with our patients to get insurance coverage by providing CPT Insurance codes as well as putting patients in touch with our insurance specialist.

    Comment by Amen Clinics — September 10, 2018 @ 7:52 AM

  13. My loved one has ADD, sleep apnea and snores! He also somestimes likes. 2 or 3 drinks at nite. He is a hopeless case? When the best time to take adderol.? Please send suggestions and sources for help!
    During the day he is tired and can easily fall asleep ! He wakes up 3 times a nite to go to urinate He is pre diabetic. I am fearful for his life I need something for him to read to make him realize he must get help!!!

    Comment by Jean Newby — November 25, 2018 @ 8:35 AM

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

Contact Us