I think you have two inter-related problems. If I’m right, the good news is that they can be fixed. Before I even got to the line in your letter where you speculated about ADHD, I was already thinking that ADHD might be an issue. Spacing out or feeling sleepy when overwhelmed is a common behavior in kids with learning disabilities. I don’t know if the problem is ADHD or something else. I do know that the first thing I would do if you came to see me would be to refer you for testing to see if a learning disability is at the root of your problems in school.
Secondly: You yourself said that your sleep cycle is very erratic. This is not good. Sleep deprivation results in problems with memory and concentration — issues you also talk about in your letter. I urge you to request a sleep study to see why you are having such difficulty getting to sleep.
If part of the problem is that you are staying up to play video games, then you need to change your playing time. Screen time stimulates the brain and makes it hard to fall asleep. Turn off all screens (phone, computer, tablet, whatever) at least an hour before bedtime (say 9:00 p.m.) and do something more restful like taking a warm bath or listening to calming music. There are lots of sites on the Internet that will give you more tips on how to readjust your sleep cycles.
If you are not successful on your own, please see a sleep specialist to get further support to normalize your sleep. Your health — and your schooling — depend on it.
I’m very glad you wrote to us now while you are a teen instead of waiting a few more years. Treating these difficulties now will position you to be a more successful adult.
I wish you well.