7. “If the stimulant disrupts your sleep, we will have to switch you to a nonstimulant.”
The causes of sleep problems among adults with ADD/ADHD are multi-faceted, and poorly understood by most physicians. Increasingly, research is pointing to neurophysiological differences in circadian rhythm, the inner biological clock that tells us when to go to sleep. Yet there are other ADHD-related obstacles to sleep, such as being unable to “put the brakes on” a chatty brain.
In evaluating a stimulant’s apparent adverse effect on sleep, it’s important to pay attention to timing. Perhaps sleep problems are caused by the rebound from the medication’s wearing off. In that case, you should try taking the medication earlier in the day. Some people with ADD/ADHD sleep better on a stimulant; such medications stop “brain noise” and increase focus on going to sleep and staying asleep.