ADHD, Menopause and Insomnia

ADHD, Menopause and Insomnia

Just like so many traits and symptoms ADHD, Menopause and insomnia are also closely linked. Up to 46% of women experience sleep difficulties during perimenopause and 50% of women experience sleep problems after menopause1. And studies suggest that around 50-75% of adults with ADHD experience sleep problems2.

The reasons for each happening are quite different, but if you are peri-menopausal and have ADHD then chances are you’ll suffer at some point.

  • Hot flashes and night sweats: These are the most common culprits behind sleep disruption during menopause. Hot flashes can cause sudden feelings of intense heat, sweating, and a racing heart. They can wake you up at night and make it difficult to fall back asleep.
  • Changes in hormone levels: Declining estrogen levels during menopause can interfere with sleep regulation. Estrogen helps to produce sleep-promoting chemicals in the brain.
  • Other menopausal symptoms: Joint pain, the need to pee a lot, and vaginal dryness can all disrupt sleep.
  • Brain activity regulation: ADHD affects how your brain regulates activity. This can make it difficult to quiet your mind and wind down for sleep.
  • Trouble with schedules: People with ADHD often struggle to stick to routines. This can make it hard to maintain a consistent sleep schedule, which is important for quality sleep.
  • Racing thoughts: The inattentive and hyperactive aspects of ADHD can lead to racing thoughts that make falling asleep challenging.

On top of these factors, some ADHD medications, particularly stimulants, can interfere with sleep.

One factor that can cause insomnia in both those who are menopausal and ADHD is anxiety and depression. Anxiety can make it difficult to fall asleep, while depression can lead to early morning waking and non-restorative sleep.

If you’re experiencing insomnia, there are steps you can take to improve your sleep quality:

  • Practice good sleep hygiene: This includes establishing a regular sleep schedule, creating a relaxing bedtime routine, and ensuring your bedroom is cool, dark, and quiet.
  • Manage hot flashes and night sweats: There are several things you can do to manage hot flashes and night sweats, such as dressing in layers, keeping your bedroom cool, and using a fan. You may also want to talk to your doctor about hormone therapy or other medications.
  • Reduce stress and anxiety: Relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing can help to reduce stress and anxiety, which can improve sleep quality.
  • Consider cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia (CBT-I): CBT-I is a type of therapy that can help to identify and change negative thoughts and behaviours that are keeping you from sleeping well.
  • Relaxation techniques: Practice calming activities before bed, like reading, warm baths, or light stretching.

Since becoming Perimenopausal I have really struggled with my sleep. Not only did I struggle to get to sleep, but I would wake frequently in the night as, well. I found that a really good look at my sleep hygiene worked wonders, but also a couple of products which I can’t live without now:

‘This Works’ Sleep Pillow Spray – This spray has been so effective at relaxing me as I try to get to sleep, I cannot recommend it highly enough. And great for the kids if they are particularly stressed. 99% natural with encapsulated Lavender, Camomile and Vetivert essential oils, shown to help restore normal sleep patterns.

Buy at Sleep Plus pillow Spray 100ml | Restore Sleep Patterns | This Works (This is not a PR product)

This Works Sleep Plus Pillow Spray
NU Mind Stress Support Supplement

NU Mind Stress Support Formula – When my Insomnia was at its worst I had been put on an anti-depressant specifically to help my sleep. It didn’t work! Then I found NU Mind…

NU Mind has partnered with some of the leading experts in their field to bring you free wellness courses, to support you along your journey to wellbeing. And they now have a specific menopause support supplement (I’ve yet to try it!)

Buy at Stress & Anxiety Relief Supplements – Nu Mind Wellness (Affiliate) and quote FAYS20 to get 20% off your first order! (This is not a PR product)

If you’ve tried these tips and you’re still having trouble sleeping, talk to your doctor. They can rule out any other underlying medical conditions that may be contributing to your insomnia and recommend other treatment options.

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Photo Credit: CottonBro Studio

  1. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of menopause ↩︎
  2. ADHD & Sleep – The Sleep Charity ↩︎

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