I don’t know if you pay attention to the time that I usually write my posts – there’s no reason you should – but the fact is, I usually write them late at night. This one will be posted after midnight.
I’ve always been a night owl; I do my best thinking and creating then. I don’t know if it’s an ADD thing or not. I do have trouble getting up in the mornings, which does seem to be an ADD thing, although even that is changing as I get older. I really hate not being able to sleep in the way I used to.
So why am I telling you this, and why do you care? Well, to make a point. I think the chances are pretty good that your ADDer at home is a night owl, too, or would be, given the chance. Maybe now that summer is here, they are indulging that side of themselves a little bit. There’s nothing wrong with that, as long as it doesn’t interfere with anything. Once school starts, though, it can be a problem.
For one thing, there’s the transition between summer and school. The theory is you start going to bed and getting up earlier a week or two before school starts, so by the first day of school, you’re back in the old routine. The reality is that while the good intentions are there, the follow through often isn’t.
The next issue crops up a week or two after school starts – homework. We’ve all been there – a forgotten homework assignment is remembered just before bedtime, homework remembered takes longer than planned, or there was a soccer/football/hockey practice to attend. Whatever the reason, your child ends up staying up later than they should, and getting less sleep than they need to get through the following day.
And it’s not like kids are the only ones – when was the last time you had a solid 8 hours of sleep? Operating on less than 7 or 8 hours of sleep a night can make anyone less effective, especially if you do it consistently. If you happen to have Attention Deficit Disorder, the results can be even more pronounced. Think about it – lack of sleep makes you less attentive and less able to concentrate. If you have those problems to begin with because of ADD or ADHD, they will be multiplied when you add in sleep deprivation.
The obvious solution, of course, is to get more sleep more consistently. There are all sorts of health benefits associated with a good night’s sleep. I know that the kind of lives most of us lead these days don’t always allow for 8 hours a night, but it’s something we really should make an effort to give ourselves and our children. It’s a habit we should teach our children to adopt so that they will grow up knowing the value of a good night’s sleep.
Due to the nature of my husband’s schedule, and the fact that I am self-employed, my night owl tendencies aren’t such a problem. Which is why I can post this at 1:00 am and still be assured of a decent night’s sleep. Sweet dreams.