"What is sleep hygiene and how does that help ADHD?"
Sleep hygiene is very important for individuals with ADHD. It helps structure the person’s sleep schedule to make it as “clean” as possible. If an adolescent goes to bed with their phone and they are texting and facetiming their friends until the fall asleep, that's going to impact sleep. Kids with ADHD, because they struggle with inhibition, are more likely to do that.
Doing homework late at night and doing it in bed is another habit that I like to clean up. Get the student out of their bed. Their bed should be for sleeping only. Homework should be done in a different space. In fact, getting them out of the bedroom is actually really important because that's where they're more likely to get distracted (e.g., opening up various screens on their computer, except for the one that they should be utilizing).
Cutting off caffeine at the end of the school day is a good rule of thumb. If they are drinking caffeine, that should be cut off at the end of the school day so that is not impacting sleep. Another example is not sleeping with the TV on.
All of those strategies are going to be incredibly important for decreasing sleep problems that individuals with ADHD are more likely to experience. Sleep hygiene is really about cleaning up the sleep routine.
Dr. Radtke-Rounds is a fully licensed clinical psychologist, practicing in Brighton, Michigan. She provides comprehensive psychological evaluations, with a focus on diagnosis and treatment of a variety of neurodevelopmental disorders including ADHD, dyslexia, nonverbal learning disorder, anxiety, and autism spectrum disorder.