Dyslexia sleep problems or ADHD sleep problems experienced by our students almost nightly has resulted in the discovery of one magic word. Understanding that word has been the key to my students’ school success and will hopefully help others.
The magic word associated with dyslexia or ADHD sleep problems is … creativity.
Ask any creative person like filmmaker Steven Spielberg or Leonardo da Vinci, and they will most likely agree that night time hours or extreme early morning hours are the most productive hours for someone creative.
How students explain their sleep problems
When I did a close analysis with my students about their dyslexia sleep problems or ADHD sleep problems and their night time behavior, they all agreed. Night time is the most crucial time when one wants to get “the creative juices” flowing.
Some of my students said that as soon as they went to bed and were supposed to fall asleep, they would come up with perfect sentences to write down, with a perfect picture to paint, or with the perfect song to compose.
When I asked my students why they didn’t have the same inspirations during the day, they said that at time night, when all was quiet, their brain would work the best.
Some of the students who experienced dyslexia sleep problems or ADHD sleep problems commented that it seems that the brain worked best for them when their bodies went into night time fasting.
How to deal with dyslexia sleep problems
As part of their health education, all of our students study not only sleep patterns but also eating patterns, and the fact that the body goes into fasting during the night. They also study that “breakfast” means breaking the night time fasting and that the timing and content of their morning meal is crucial to their school performance.
But how do my students deal with dyslexia sleep problems or ADHD sleep problems?
First of all, students learn that while dyslexia sleep problems or ADHD sleep problems might be due to their amazing creativity – which is most active at night – there are other factors that can cause them not to be able to fall asleep.
Of course, drinking a soda (even if it is “no caffeine”) will keep one up. The same applies for coffee or any sugary treat taken too late before bedtime.
Eating too late before going to bed can also contribute to difficulties falling asleep because the body is busy digesting and absolutely not ready to settle down or go into “fasting” mode.
Lastly, our new students who are experiencing dyslexia sleep problems or ADHD sleep problems learn that their difficulty falling asleep might not be caused by their amazing creative mind but by something else – emotional turmoil that keeps them from sleeping.
How our school deals with sleep issues
To assist our students with their dyslexia sleep problems or ADHD sleep problems, we go through a process of elimination. First, eliminate (or at least diminish) emotional turmoil. Next, eliminate any food or drink intake two hours before bedtime. Lastly, ensure that the creative mind can be productive during the day – as much as possible.
Unlike most other schools, our school does allow students to take a nap during the day if it contributes to their school success.
While the students experiencing dyslexia sleep problems or ADHD sleep problems learn to take responsibility for being productive and successful during the school day, our teachers learn that being creative – even when it is sleep time – is part of who our students are.
We highly recommend:
The author of Daily Rituals: How Artists Work describes the habits of almost 200 choreographers, comedians, composers, caricaturists, filmmakers, philosophers, playwrights, painters, poets, scientists, sculptors, and writers.
The daily rituals of numerous famous people – including Charles Darwin, Andy Warhol, John Updike, Twyla Tharp, Benjamin Franklin, William Faulkner, Jane Austen, Anne Rice, Igor Stravinsky, Henri Matisse, Nikola Tesla, Stephen King, Twyla Tharp, Federico Fellini, Ann Beattie, Gustav Mahler, Toni Morrison, and Maya Angelou (among many more) – are presented in a humorous and entertaining way.
“This is a meticulously researched work on the work habits of writers, composers, artists and other creative types. He [the author] pulls this information from existing sources, biographies, autobiographies and personal journals.”
“Mini portions of accomplished artists’ lives and their work habits is the perfect reading for anyone with ADHD, Time Management issues, Procrastination problems, or low self-esteem as regards their work! It has certainly given me an increased boost of emotional energy!”