Guest Expert

ADHD Identity is Connected to Sleep Management

"I don't know anyone with ADHD who doesn't have trouble with sleep," says Guest Expert Dr. Roberto Olivardia, kicking things right into gear for this week’s podcast. Along with eating and general impulsivity, sleep is a top complaint Olivardia hears from parents of the kids he works with.

It’s important to know that it’s not kids being difficult that causes the problems. Research shows that, for many with ADHD, their circadian rhythm can actually be offset, which makes it hard to fall asleep.

Olivardia explains that, since sleep is a fundamental issue for people with ADHD – it is how they’re wired that causes the problems -- the next step is choosing to manage it (or not).

And that starts with the kids, themselves. It’s important to help kids understand who they are, beyond a label of ADHD. They need to understand what that really means for them, and how it affects their behaviors. This way, they can buy into new strategies.

“A lot of parents come to us after years of trying to force-feed strategies onto their kids and they’re not working. They’re frustrated and the kids are tired of hearing, ‘You have ADHD,’” says Elaine. Even in the early stages of coaching, “kids at this point have already decided, ‘I don’t want to hear you anymore.’”

Think about it. As adults, we need to have an understanding of something before we agree to jump in and do it. It’s the same way for kids - especially adolescents - who are in this period of trying to establish their own identity and independence. It’s not going to work to just say, “Do this because I said so.”

In this podcast, Olivardia explains strategies for achieving a mutual understanding with your child to achieve normal sleep routines, all beginning with simple acknowledgement. Tune in for helpful tips regarding ADHD and sleep, and rest easy knowing there are solutions you can apply.

And remember, ADHD and Sleep are like peanut butter and oatmeal – they don't always go together, but under just the right circumstances, they're a perfect match.

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