Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or “ADHD” is a medical condition that affects brain development. People who suffer from ADHD often have trouble sitting still, focusing on one task, controlling their impulses, and difficulty sleeping. It is one of the most widespread conditions affecting children but can last into adulthood too.
Living with ADHD can feel exhausting. Constantly fighting your symptoms may mean that you overcompensate at home and work, leaving little time to relax. Additionally, this can lead to adverse consequences that trap you in a destructive cycle of worsening symptoms due to lack of rest – which then leads to increased difficulty switching off and falling asleep.
The key to managing any medical condition is to focus on your overall health and wellbeing. In this article, we’ll look at three proven benefits of sleep and relaxation that will help you manage your ADHD.
3 Proven Benefits of Sleep and Relaxation for People With ADHD
1. Reduces Hyperactivity
As someone who is well-rested, you will experience better brain function. While this won’t cure your ADHD, you should find that it will help you be more present and attentive during your daily tasks. Having enough sleep greatly impacts your ability to focus, and therefore you may notice that your urge to fidget is reduced.
A study undertaken in the 1990s found that those who slept less than 7.7 hours a night were more prone to hyperactivity and impulsive behavior than those who slept for a longer period. Since hyperactivity is one of the symptoms of ADHD, getting a decent night’s rest can help you to manage this.
2. Calms Worry & Anger
Relaxation can mean different things for different people. It could mean a long hot bath for one person or a brisk walk in nature for another. Whatever helps you to relax, the fact is, relaxation has been proven to help manage ADHD. A relaxed and rested person is going to be less prone to experiencing stress, anxiety, and hyperactivity.
According to Dr. John Ratey from Harvard Medical School, mindfulness, which is a relaxation technique, can help to break what he calls the “loop of worry and anger” that many with ADHD often experience. For children, in particular, practicing deep breathing exercises can help them to let go of the causes of worry and anger.
In addition, mindfulness and relaxation techniques undertaken in group settings have proven to be useful in combating anxiety, restlessness, and stress which is often associated with ADHD.
3. Improves Ability to Focus
Adults and children who suffer from ADHD usually experience an inability to focus on anything meaningful for lengthy periods. However, there is compelling research that suggests that meditation as a relaxation technique can help ADHD sufferers to improve concentration levels. For more sleep related research and insights, a recommended resource is Sleep.Report.
This is because meditation forces you to be in the moment, and calls on you to focus on your thoughts and feelings, as well as on your breathing. With practice, this can lead to improved focus while undertaking other day-to-day tasks. This can include holding a conversation with another person, sitting through dinner or studying for an exam – all of which ADHD sufferers can struggle with.
If you suffer from ADHD, taking time out to relax and get sufficient sleep is a simple, yet effective, way to help you manage your condition. While your impulses may make sitting down and being quiet feel extremely difficult at first, it’s important to recognize that, with practice, you can learn to disconnect and control these urges.
Therefore, sleeping and relaxing should be seen as an important part of managing your ADHD. If you commit to incorporating relaxing moments into your day, you will notice an improvement in your overall productivity, as well as reduced stress levels for both yourself and your family.