The Cambridge Dictionary describes insomnia as ‘the condition of being unable to sleep over a period of time’. Such a simple definition for such a complicated and life-effecting condition!

As with so many of these glossary entries, rare would be the person, of any neurotype, who is a complete stranger to insomnia. But, you guessed it, an inability to sleep well is a chronic problem for many neurodivergent people. An article from the Every Mind website states that over 50% of neurodivergent children have one or more sleep problems, even more if that child is also an ADHDer. So this is a problem for us, right from a young age. As if we don’t know that.

I recently lent my weighted blanket to a neighbour of mine, whose neurodivergent young son is having terrible sleep problems that are affecting the whole family. They’re all exhausted and the lack of sleep just makes their son’s days even harder to manage. The blanket is helping, but of course it is not going to solve the problem permanently.

Insomnia is a permanent companion for me. Worse during periods of greater stress or change but I’ve never been a good sleeper, not even as a child. It’s, yet again, the absence of that (yet to be invented) oblivion switch that I have craved for as long as I’ve known what the word oblivion means, that dictates the absence of sleep for me. How to switch that wretched mind off? So hard. I’m not alone, and nor are you. And I suppose that’s some comfort in the middle of the night, when the rest of the world is sleeping.

There are so many reasons why sleep eludes us. One possible reason is a lack of melatonin ← click here to go to that glossary page.

I’ll add to this post when I research more on the very evident connections between autism, ADHD and sleep.