Lack of sleep impacts brain function. Let’s toss in a case of ADD and we’ve just established a recipe for disaster! In homer Simpson’s case, no amount of sleep will help his cause. Fortunately, people are are a little more capable of improving than a cartoon character. Sleep is needed to regenerate certain parts of the body, especially the brain. Just think about how groggy and lethargic you feel when you don’t get enough sleep. It can impact a person’s behavior. Our brains are different from other organs and muscles, which can regenerate and bounce back with some down time, food and hydration. But the brain needs a good old fashion siesta.
The effects of sleep deprivation on behavior have been tested with relation activity in different sections of the brain, there is a never ending resource of information online to Google. However, I like to break things down into real life experiences, I think it allows people to understand and keeps the attention and interest at a higher level than being bored to death with the dull medical run on articles we can read. So let’s get real. When I don’t get my minimum 6 hours of sleep a night (8 hours ideally), I can feel and see a difference. I don’t think as quickly, my organization falls from my scheduled pace of events and I start to procrastinate. Those are real effects that anyone with ADD could likely relate to. I’ve learned the hard way, that my body and brain has time limits. If I’m in bed between 10PM – 11PM, I get the sleep I need to function and keep my brain working for me. If I am up before 6AM, I usually don’t have what it takes to sustain that brain power for an entire day. That’s just me, everyone is different. We all need to understand what kind of sleep we need in order to get the most out of our brains capabilities.