ADHD and Sleep Issues - Can Melatonin Help?

Updated: Aug 13, 2019

melatonin and ADHD and sleep
originally written for and published on


You know those painful mornings when you roll out of bed after a restless night’s sleep? Maybe you were stressed out from work, up all night with a sick child, or worrying about the endless possibilities of life. If you’ve ever gone without your daily dose of REM sleep, chances are likely that you felt irritable, drowsy, or a bit disorganized the next day. Did you know that these symptoms of sleep deprivation can mimic those of ADHD? Mood changes, daytime sleepiness, difficulty concentrating, poor planning, and disorganization are all symptoms of sleep deprivation...and ADHD!

When you add sleep issues to ADHD, the effects on kids are compounded. The JAMA Network reports that “up to 50% of parents of children with ADHD report difficulties with their children’s sleep.”¹ The National Resource Center on ADHD reports these sleep disturbances to be two to three times more likely in kids with ADHD than kids without². Common sleep complaints are: insomnia, excessive daytime sleepiness, and variability in sleep schedule.¹

Our bodies go through a period of rebooting when we sleep each night. We pass through Rapid Eye Movement (REM) and Non-REM cycles every 90-110 minutes. Our Sleep-Wake patterns (Circadian Rhythms) are essential to falling asleep and waking in a regular timeframe. It is during this normal sleep cycle that our bodies and brains process the events of the day and refresh for a new day! If your child is experiencing sleep disruptions, the effects can disrupt his day and well-being.