People with ADHD commonly have significant sleep issues, and couples impacted by ADHD often have radically different sleep schedules, with the ADHD partners being night owls and sometimes sporadic sleepers, and exhausted non-ADHD partners often falling into bed at a very early hour. Here’s how ADHD-impacted couples can do much better in this area.
I posted recently about bed times and got several questions about how to get bedtimes aligned better. I work with couples on this issue with great regularity - those with ADHD often go to bed late, while exhausted non-ADHD partners often go to bed early. Couples miss out on good time to connect when they hit the bedroom at different times. Here are some ideas to help:
Many non-ADHD partners want to connect at night with a meaningful "goodnight, honey," a kiss and hug or with some sexual intimacy. Yet disappointment follows when their partner is too distracted or too tired to shine the spotlight of their attention in the non-ADHD partner's direction. (Conversely, I sometimes hear complaints from ADHD partners who say that the demands of their non-ADHD partner to come to bed at a certain time are obnoxious...but that's for a different post.) What to do?
There has been some significant conversation around sleep disorders and ADHD here lately. Research suggests that sleep disorders and ADHD can go hand-in-hand. In fact, there is even some conversation about whether or not some people with ADHD actually suffer from Sleep Apnea, the symptoms of which are similiar to those of ADHD (hyperactivity in children, distractibility in adults). So here is a link (NOTE: original link has been broken. Go to the treatment/sleep area of this website.)
Do you find yourself uptight about whether or not your spouse’s sleeping schedule matches yours? Does going to bed at night together put you on edge? Are you unsure how to communicate about how close you want to be (or don’t want to be)? You may be suffering from an experience similar to the one my husband and I had.