Are you searching for information and advice about biohacking ADHD? If yes, you’re not alone. Millions of Americans have sought out non-medical solutions for this widespread condition. In fact, people have been biohacking ADHD since the early part of the 20th century, using various biohacks to varying degrees of success. If you or a loved one is searching for a way to help your ADHD via biohacking, read on. We’ve got the top 7 things you need to know below.
1- ADHD Is Not Well Understood
Here’s a fact; like many human ailments, researchers, scientists, and doctors don’t have a solid explanation for ADHD nor a specific solution. They do know a few things about the condition, though, including:
- Children and adults can suffer from ADHD symptoms.
- ADHD exists on a spectrum. For some, the symptoms are mild and almost imperceptible. For others, however, they can be almost crippling.
- Some people who have ADHD don’t display the typical ADHD symptoms.
- Contrary to a popular misconception, ADHD is not caused by handheld devices, TV, or other modern distractions.
2- ADHD Cases Haven’t Increased, the Technology to Detect It has Improved
Many people today are under the impression the sudden rise of ADHD is primarily due to a rampant and rapid increase in technology. As we mentioned earlier, though, that’s untrue, but one thing technology has done is improve a doctor’s ability to determine if someone has ADHD.
Also, as more information about ADHD has been discovered over the last few decades, the definition of the condition has changed. Indeed, some subtle but essential changes to the meaning of ADHD in the 1980s led to increased clarity about the disorder, what it involves, why it occurs, what the typical symptoms are, and so forth.
With better diagnostic tools and a more refined definition, it was inevitable that more diagnoses of ADHD would be the result. In short, just as many people have ADHD today as they ever have, but today more cases are recognized and diagnosed by doctors than ever before.
3- Biohacking ADHD Was First Seen in 1936
Although it wasn’t called biohacking at the time, the parameters and methods used to treat ADHD in 1936 fit the definition of biohacking perfectly. Back then, they were using powerful stimulants along with mental stimulation, which increased the production of the “feel-good” hormone, dopamine, in a patient’s brain.
They found back then that dopamine has the effect of helping someone suffering from ADHD to focus, pay attention, and accomplish some type of effort towards a specific goal. (Amazing what this hormone can do, isn’t it?)
4- Many People Biohack Their ADHD Using Gamification Techniques
Knowing that dopamine can be a powerful biohack for ADHD, many people with the condition involve themselves in activities that increase the production of the hormone in their brain.
For some, gaming and anything that has the qualities of gaming, called gamification, can help control their ADHD symptoms very nicely. For example, some biohack their ADHD by playing specific video games that are typically well-structured and offer heavy or intense competition. They also give themselves a precise and short amount of time to play. By doing so, they can take advantage of the dopamine rush caused by playing the video game and use it to focus on the day, or the task, at hand. It might sound unusual, but they say the results are phenomenal for those who practice this technique.
Others perform activities that, while not games per se, have gamification qualities. For example, some write to-do lists for themselves, time themselves while performing activities, or otherwise turn a daily routine into something more challenging and exciting. And, again, they put the resulting extra dopamine to work controlling their ADHD symptoms while accomplishing whatever project, task, or goal they have in front of them.
5- Mindfulness Meditation is a Powerful ADHD Biohack
Mindfulness meditation, a type of meditation where you actively observe your thoughts and feelings on a moment-by-moment basis while meditating, has been shown to help reduce ADHD symptoms significantly. Today more than 1/3 of adults in the United States with ADHD use mindfulness meditation.
The one drawback with mindfulness meditation is that, for it to work, it needs to be practiced. Many people who have ADHD have a problem keeping their lives structured and sticking to a schedule. However, to get results from mindfulness meditation, a schedule, even if rudimentary, is needed.
6- Getting Proper Rest Can Reduce ADHD Symptoms
One interesting fact about people who have ADHD is that many of them also have sleep disorders. Even worse is that one condition makes the other condition worse and vice versa. Research, however, has shown that an extra 30 minutes of deep, restful sleep per night can be the difference between a restless and impulsive person and one who is focused and able to stick to a task or assignment.
For parents with children who have ADHD, there are several things that you can do to help your child sleep better and reduce their ADHD symptoms. They include:
- Have your child go to bed at the same time seven days a week.
- Keep their bedroom cool and as dark as possible at night.
- Use “white noise” to help calm the thoughts and impulses in their head.
- Create a ritual with your child to help them wind down at the end of the day before going to bed.
- 30 minutes to an hour before bedtime, have your children put all screens and devices aside.
7- Omega-3 Fatty Acids Have Shown Promise
Research over the last few years has shown a connection between omega-3 fatty acids and ADHD. The link is that people with ADHD have a lower amount of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood.
While you won’t find many doctors recommending omega-3 supplements as a treatment for ADHD, studies have shown that eating a balanced diet and reducing highly processed foods with high amounts of sugar can significantly reduce ADHD symptoms, especially in children.
During our research, we saw a lot of connections between ADHD and dopamine. More specifically, activities that increase the brain’s production of the hormone. From the research we’ve seen, that seems to be one of the best ways to reduce ADHD symptoms, especially in children and adults. For children, less sugar, improved sleep, and activities with gamification features seem to work very well.