Daily Disposition: Am I Suffering from ADHD or Sleep Apnea?

Woman in bed holding her face with her hands with an alarm clock showing it's early a.m.

Sleep apnea is a medical condition that affects millions of people every night and can severely impair their daily quality of life. If your nighttime cycle is interrupted, you’re more likely to experience fatigue, challenges remaining focused, and increased irritability during the day. In many cases, these symptoms overlap with indicators of ADHD, or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, making it harder to diagnose the actual issue to resolve it. Keep reading to learn more about the connection between ADHD and sleep apnea to help determine what therapy would be most effective for you!

How Does ADHD Resemble Sleep Disorders?

Did you know that people with ADHD often have a harder time falling and staying asleep? Individuals who have predominantly inattentive symptoms are more likely to have a later bedtime while those with hyperactive-impulsive diagnoses are more likely to suffer insomnia. Either way, ADHD interrupts your regular circadian rhythm, or internal clock, that is responsible for a consistent sleep cycle.

As a result, patients with ADHD often experience problems at work and school due to sleep deprivation. They’re more likely to exhibit restlessness, exhaustion, and difficulties paying attention. These behaviors are often mistaken for mood disorders, so the underlying sleeping condition remains undiagnosed. That means despite their ADHD treatments, their daytime difficulties persist.

How Can Sleep Apnea Therapy Help?

Because a lack of sleep exacerbates people’s ADHD symptoms, experts are optimistic that helping them sleep will reduce them. In fact, preliminary studies have indicated that behavioral sleep interventions can improve patients’ daily functioning, behavior, and working memory.

You might sleep better if you try:

  • Avoiding sugar, caffeine, and alcohol consumption a few hours before bedtime.
  • Turning off screens an hour before your nighttime routine.
  • Not engaging in stimulating activities requiring hyperfocus in the evening.
  • Ensuring that you go to bed and wake up at the same time every day to encourage a more regular sleep cycle.

If you’re unsure whether you’re coping with ADHD, sleep apnea, or both, it’s time to get help. A sleep study will reveal if you’re having a problem breathing at night which could be causing your symptoms. If so, the solution could be as simple as a CPAP machine to give you the oxygen you need to rest peacefully through the night. Regardless of whether you have ADHD, it’ll help you get quality rest that improves your mood and brain functioning the next day.

It can be challenging to navigate every day with sleep deprivation and ADHD, but fortunately, the right sleep apnea therapy can improve your daily quality of life!

About the Practice

At Pelican Landing Dental, you and the entire family benefit from a team of dental experts who provide a full range of services, including sleep apnea therapy. They provide a sleep apnea screening free of charge so you can then be properly evaluated by a physician for medical and insurance purposes. Their dedicated staff has solutions to help with your sleep deprivation, no matter the cause. You’re welcome to request an appointment on the website or by contacting the office at (239) 766-6311.