Does Mindfulness Help Social Anxiety?

Sleep and ADHD

What is ADHD?

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that impacts attention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. These symptoms influence how a person performs at work and school and interacts with others. ADHD is a life-time condition and is often discovered by assessment during childhood. Therapeutic work and lifestyle modifications can significantly reduce the interference of symptoms in every day life.

According to the Sleep Foundation, up to 50% of people ADHD experience a sleep problem and sleep less than their neurotypical counterparts. Moreover, University Hospital Southampton reported that 3-6% of children have ADHD in the UK, and out of this population, 75% find it chalelnging to go to sleep at bedtime, wake up in the night or wake up too early in the morning.

Sleep and ADHD

For people living with ADHD, getting enough quality sleep can be a persistent problem in their lives. However, symptoms of ADHD can hinder the promise of a deep slumber and make the experience of going to bed each night stressful or anxiety provoking. Many adults with ADHD may have noticed a problem with their sleep from childhood as it is common for children and adolescents with ADHD to get fewer hours of quality sleep and are more susceptible to nightmares.  

Sleep problems differ with the type of ADHD a person is living with. For example, those with an inattentive subtype are more likely to go to bed later, while those with a hyperactive subtype may experience more disruptive sleep or even insomnia. Symptoms of ADHD also overlap with those of sleep deprivation (e.g, memory loss, lack of focus, increased anxiety), which can result in an amplified experience of symptom experience.  

Why is a good bedtime routine important?

Routine is helpful for all adults and children, not just for those with ADHD symptoms. Some benefits of a good bedtime routine are:

  • Predictability around bedtime can reduce anxiety
  • Routine encourages self-regulation
  • Encourages the use of healthy habits
  • Builds confidence around sleep
  • Improves psychological, emotional and behavioral functioning


There are also multiple health and wellbeing benefits to setting up a bedtime routine to ensure high-quality sleep.

  • Enhances cognitive performance
  • Reduces the likelihood of future cardiac problems
  • Supports immunohealth
  • Consolidates memory
  • Reduces anxiety and depression
  • Facilitates bone growth and development (especially in children)
  • Boosts daily energy and alertness


Now you know the benefits of a good night’s sleep, let’s move on to setting up your bedtime routine.


Top 7 Tips for Setting up a Bedtime Routine for Adults with ADHD

  1. Keep your sleeping space clean, cosy, and comfortable – an inviting sleeping space can help ease the mind into sleep. Keep the room temperature around 16 degrees Centigrade, as this is the optimal temperature for sleep.
  2. Do not expose yourself to any blue light an hour before you wish to sleep – blue light suppresses melatonin, the sleep hormone that brings on sleep.
  3. If you do not fall asleep within 15 minutes, get out of bed and read until you feel sleepy again – this will help condition the brain to fall asleep within 15-20 minutes of hitting the pillow.
  4. Have a bath or warm shower before bed – the body naturally drops in temperature as we fall asleep. A warm bath before bed mimics this process, encouraging the body to rest.
  5. Write down a to-do list or journal any worries in a notebook before bed – this will help declutter your mind of persistent problematic thoughts.
  6. Bodyscans or other meditative practices are great for unwinding the body and mind – meditation is a proven technique for settling the mind and body for a peaceful night’s rest.
  7. Maintaining a healthy, balanced lifestyle – exercising and getting enough sunlight will promote hormone production to help reduce anxiety and promote sleep.

It is important to note that achieving a consistent bedtime routine takes commitment and can cause some discomfort to start. However, over time you will see positive changes from implementing a good bedtime routine into your life. Start slowly and add more tips to your routine as you develop confidence.

At Psymplicity Healthcare we offer ADHD assessments, in addition to diagnosis and specialised treatment plans for ADHD and other conditions. If you have recognise that you or a loved one is struggling with ADHD symptoms, do not hesitate to get in touch with one of our experts.

Contact us now to speak with one of our ADHD specialists and begin a personalised treatment plan.

Anxiety can be a challenging condition to live with, often having a significant impact on your mental, emotional and even physical wellbeing. If you are suffering from anxiety, and you feel that you are unable to control your fears and worries to an extent that it is preventing you from performing your daily, normal tasks, you could benefit from trying mindfulness techniques such as meditation, which has proven to be effective in reducing stress and anxiety.

What Is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the ability to be completely present, fully aware of where you are, and completely invested in what you are doing. It lets you be free from external distractions and focus your complete undivided attention on the task at hand. By training yourself to be mindful, you will be able to prevent obstructive thoughts and be one hundred percent present in the current moment.

How Can Mindfulness Help Me Deal With Anxiety?

If you are suffering from anxiety, one of the biggest struggles you are facing is your ability to control your emotions. Intense fears caused by certain events or persistent worries that are largely disproportionate to the underlying cause can make you extremely anxious, affecting your ability to regulate your emotions.

Meditation research has shown that following a consistent mindfulness programme over a period of time helps the brain to reprogram its neural pathways, thereby enabling you to be in better control of your emotions. It helps you become more aware of your feelings and thoughts, without being compelled to react to them.

How Can You Achieve Mindfulness?

Like most practices, mindfulness requires dedicated, focus, and consistent practice. Specialists recommend mindfulness techniques be practised every day, as the more regularly you train your mind, the more aware you become of the thoughts, emotions, physical reactions and world around you. You can start your journey towards mindfulness by following these steps:

Be mindful of one thing at a time

When you start trying to focus your mind, it is very easy to get pulled in multiple directions, with your mind switching from one thought to another constantly. Since you cannot be mindful of multiple thoughts at the same time, start by focusing on just one thing at a time. This could be either a task that you are working on, or a mild body ache, but try to focus and be fully aware of that particular element for a prolonged period of time.

Spend More Time Alone

While it can be difficult to find some ‘me time’ when you have a busy schedule, take a few minutes from your day to be by yourself. Pulling away from social interactions and being by yourself can help your mind to slow down the electrical impulses generated by your brainwaves and in-turn helping with social anxiety. This will help you to gain more control over your thoughts.


The next step towards achieving mindfulness, and undoubtedly the most important one, is meditation. Start by spending a few minutes every day meditating and gradually increase this to a minimum of 20 minutes, before extending to 40 minutes or more. Ensure you stick to a routine – find a comfortable location that you can use daily, find the best time of the day for you to try and relax, and let your family know that you cannot be disturbed during this time. Find a calming meditation script that helps you to clear the clutter from your mind, and reduce your stress levels.

Here are some useful mindfulness and meditation resources that could help including a video on guided mindfulness meditation.

By investing time in yourself and achieving mindfulness, you can better manage your anxiety and lead a happy, healthy life free from the constant fear and worry that anxiety can cause.

Anna Tank

Anna Tank

Anna is an Assistant Psychologist specializing in CAMHS.

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