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ADHD, Holidays, and Bedtime

Holidays bedtimesSleep is important for all of us - but it is especially important for individuals with ADHD.

However, Science Daily reports that about 75% of children and adults with ADHD also struggle with sleep problems.

With so many special events and excitement abound, sleep can become even more difficult around the holidays.

This week’s holiday challenge is to make sleep a priority. We will provide you with some tips to help both you and your children!

Let’s take a moment to review some of the benefits of sleep:

Sleep:

  • Boosts Your Immune System
  • Helps You Maintain a Healthy Weight
  •  Helps You Regulate Your Emotions
  •  Reduces Stress and Improves Your Mood
  •  Helps You be More Focused
  •  Improves Your Communication Skills
  •  Improves Your Memory
  •  Keeps Your Heart and Your Mind Healthy

HERE ARE SOME TIPS TO HELP YOU GET ENOUGH SLEEP THIS HOLIDAY SEASON:

Exercise:

Continue your exercise routine (we talked about that last week). Physical activity during the day will actually help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.

Think of some holiday time activities that can help you stay active during the day: build a snowman, go to an arena to skate, plan to go skiing, or simply turn on some holiday music and dance!

Stick with Your Normal Bedtime:

As much as possible, try to keep on track with your normal bedtime. Sometimes holiday activities will keep you out and a late bedtime cannot be avoided. That ok, but be sure to get back on track the next day!

Schedule sleep as an activity on your digital calendar with a reminder alarm, so you go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.

Think through you schedule before committing:

When planning your calendar, keep your sleep schedule in mind and remember it’s okay to say NO to invitations sometimes.

Consider not scheduling two late evenings back to back. Give everyone at least one day in between to rest and recover. Remember it’s okay for your kids to stay with a babysitter sometimes in order to make certain they get their sleep. And it’s always okay to leave an event early to help stick to the bedtime schedule.

Unplug and Avoid Screen Time at Least an Hour Before Bed:

Unplugging will help you unwind and inspire a calm transition into sleep. Also remember that the blue light emitted from phones, tablets, or TVs can interfere with sleep.

Instead of surfing the internet or texting before bed, shut down all screens and read some holiday stories or poems together.

Practice Mindfulness Before Bed.

Try these Mindfulness techniques before bedtime. These two mindfulness practices are great for both adults and children.

#1: Breathe and be aware

Bring your focus to your breathing. Notice how it feels and focus on your chest as it rises and falls with each breath. If your mind starts to wander, acknowledge the thoughts and let them pass like clouds, then gently bring yourself back to focusing on your breath.

#2: Body scan and muscle relaxation

Start a body scan at your toes and simply recognize how they feel without judgment. Briefly tense each muscle and then relax. Slowly work your way up to your legs, stomach, arms, back, shoulders, and face. You will find yourself sinking into your mattress before you know it.

We know the holidays are a hectic time and it's easy to skip some sleep here and there in order to make certain you can fit everything in. However, that is not a good idea.

Making sure you and your family get enough sleep is the one thing you should do this month to take care of yourself and reduce your stress.

Adequate sleep can truly make this season more joyful.