Sleep to Reach Your Full Potential


ADHD & Marriage - Weekly Marriage Tip - May 23, 2012

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“30% of U.S. workers sleep less than six hours per night, according to recent data from the National Sleep Foundation”

- Time Magazine

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Sleep To Reach Your Full Potential

Sleep has an incredible impact on whether or not you are able to use all of your brain optimally, or only access part of it.  And we need much more sleep that we think.  The myth, particularly for those with irregular sleep patterns, is that some of us just need much less sleep than others.  Research shows that in reality, it’s just not so.  In controlled experiments, scientists demonstrated that only a very, very small proportion of folks can do with less sleep (under 5% if I remember correctly) and the rest of us need about 8 hours a night to perform optimally.  Even with just 7 hours of sleep a night – a figure many of us would think was ample – there was a significant and noticeable negative impact on processing speed, time of response and other measurements of mental functioning.  Want more information?  Read this article in the New York Times.

For those of you with ADHD, the news gets worse.  Though many with ADHD suffer significant sleep problems, including a higher than normal incidence of sleep apnea, lack of sleep makes ADHD symptoms WORSE.  Uck.  So it’s particularly important to address lack of sleep if you have ADHD. 

You can do something to reach your full potential – get enough sleep!  Create a calming bedtime routine and a regular schedule around when you go to bed and get up.  For many, putting sleep at the top of the priority list and putting aside nighttime work, email, movies (and video games) is all it takes.  But if you continue to have sleep problems, go see a sleep clinic.  It’s important for your health.

For those in marriages impacted by ADHD
If you or your spouse has ADHD, please join our forum at to ask your questions and learn from others who share your issues.  In addition, you'll find in-depth essays to help you learn how to thrive in a marriage affected by ADHD.
Hope to hear from you there!
Melissa Orlov

© 2011 Melissa Orlov