Say Goodnight to Restless Evenings

ADDitude readers share their creative, effective tricks for getting a better night's sleep with attention deficit disorder.

ADDitude asked: What is your best trick for getting to sleep every night?

Melatonin and a meditation exercise. I think about a leaf, then I imagine the tree it's on, what the weather is, and the sounds I would hear near it. -Jen, Massachusetts

My trick is giving everyone else melatonin. -Anne, Minnesota

Wake up on time, work all day, exercise, have dinner, stay busy afterward, then relax and read. In other words, wear myself out and keep my stress levels low by being as productive as possible. If that doesn’t work, I resort to taking Ambien. -Kari, North Carolina

I talk to my husband. If there is something that makes my brain whirl, I don’t take it to bed with me. -Lisa, Canada

I read a couple chapters of a book almost every night. It slows down my brain. -A.M., Montana

Before bed, think of 10 things you are grateful for. -Cate, Australia

I go for short walks. This tires me, and I fall asleep quickly. -Mary, Massachusetts

Waking up at the same time every day, no matter what time I went to bed, creates a predictable sleep pattern. If I can’t fall asleep, taking my ADD medication at night will sometimes remedy the problem. -Christopher, Ohio

I’m sleepy every night. The trick is to stay asleep. I haven’t mastered that yet. -Debi, Texas

Taking a lukewarm shower and wearing a soft sleep mask does the trick. -Deborah, Tennessee

No caffeine during the day, and making the bedroom dark and cool when it’s time to go to bed. -Gail, Texas

Reading in bed. A better question would be: "What is your best trick for remembering that it is time to go to bed?" -Mary Kay, Illinois

I write down all my thoughts to get them out of my head. -An ADDitude Reader

Drinking hot chocolate and listening to Deepak Chopra. -Candace, Maryland

I listen to a guided relaxation CD every night while I lie in bed and do tension-releasing stretches. -Heather, Missouri

GABA, a natural supplement, works like a charm. I take it in the morning to balance my stress and mood, and, again, before bed to help me unwind and sleep peacefully. In my experience, it works much better than melatonin. -Jenny, Minnesota

Getting into bed knowing that the tasks I didn’t complete will be there tomorrow. -Lynn, Italy

For the last 21 years, I have slept with a box fan on every night. The whirring sound drowns out all the noises that keep me from dozing off, and the breeze is soothing. I even take a fan with me on trips. -Melinda, Missouri


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