Sleep deprivation and ADHD are inextricably linked to each other. As any parent of a child with ADHD knows only too well, sleep is a crucial part of maintaining the child’s well-being. Unfortunately, as research has shown, ADHD makes sleep more difficult – and the following lack of sleep can increase the ADHD symptoms.
In fact, some scientists link daytime hyperactive behavior to the fact that since a child with ADHD cannot doze off during the day (to compensate for not sleeping enough during the night), they balance the sleep deprivation with increased activity.
Sleep deprivation is a serious issue for children all throughout the United States. Studies show that a vast majority of all children do not get the recommended amount of sleep. As a matter of fact, only 8% of students sleep the 8-10 they are supposed to. The frightening truth is that, while there is a number of factors behind this lack of sleep, some of the most significant ones are related to biology more so than any controllable variable. Limiting screen time, keeping a consistent bedtime all week long, a healthy lifestyle, and limiting stress (such as only doing homework at specific hours) can all help a child get more sleep, but a teenage brain is naturally inclined to sleep and wake up later. With that in mind, it is especially important that a child not spend hours upon hours looking at their phone in bed – sleeping six hours a night and driving to school every morning can have severe consequences.
Worse with ADHD
For a child with ADHD, all the aforementioned dangers are heightened. Sleep deprivation is not healthy for anyone, but a child with ADHD can experience a severe increase in symptoms from lack of sleep. Moreover, the increased symptoms can often make it harder for a child with ADHD to fall asleep the following night – which, in turn, causes a vicious cycle.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, consistent exercise and regular sleep can mitigate the effects of ADHD. Breaking a vicious cycle is never easy, but slowly shifting it and keeping a healthy routine can prove to be the breaking point in your child’s success.
Seven Stars Can Help
If you have a 13 to 18-year-old son of daughter struggling with emotional and behavioral issues as a result of their neurodevelopmental disorder, Seven Stars might be able to help. Call us, at 844-601-1167, today for more information on our adventure therapy program and how we can help.