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Glad you won’t go back to benadryl. I wish people would stop using it as a sleep aid! Yes it makes you drowsy and helps you sleep but it does not allow you to get proper sleep. Bendryl disrupts the brain waves that occur while sleeping, these are the brain waves that your brain needs to recover from the day. That’s why people generally wake up from a benadryl induced sleep in a fog or still tired.

I have been through many medications to help me sleep. I do not tolerate them well. I mentioned seroquel because it was so effective for me. Also, it needs to be a very low dose to induce sleep without agitation. If you had a bad experience with it, I wouldnt go back to it. You could also try Remeron (mirtazipine). I caution you on that one since it stays in your system for so long. It helped me sleep but I was in a daze for over a week after taking it for just 2 days. I don’t blame you for not wanting to take benzos either. They make me feel funky.

For me, the two things that help me sleep are 1} limit screen time in the evening and 2} therapy. I started with CBT but I am now in ERP (exposure response prevention). It took me about 5 years to find a really good therapist that works for me (I think 4 of them and spent about a year with each trying to make it work). Also, keep a notebook and pen at your bedside. When my head is busy at night, it helps to write it all down. Part of my anxiety keeping me awake is worrying about stuff I will forget. Writing it down relieves that anxiety and helps me put it down and park those thoughts for later.

I have never tried Vyvanse. I take Adderall XR 2 x 20 mg (40 mg) which fairly equivalent to your 80mg dose of Vyvanse. I had problems with the roller coaster of Adderall XR too. I handle this in a couple ways. You really need to know your body, how the medication affects you, and how other circumstances change how you feel while on medication to do #2 and #3 below.

1. I take the Adderall XR in a split dose. I start with the first 20 mg after I wake up. I eat breakfast and then take the second 20 mg after breakfast and about 45-60 min after the first 20 mg. This allows the first dose to hit your system and the second dose is delayed a little by time and by the addition of food. Food does not change the overall effectiveness of the drug but it does slow down how quickly it is absorbed. This delay on the second dose keeps the drug concentration from getting too high too quickly at any point in the day.

2. I titrate my dose when I am not “feeling right”. I keep a bottle of immediate release Adderall 20 mg tablet (the kind you take 2x a day). If am off, sometimes I take the immediate release in the morning and nothing in the afternoon. Sometimes I’ll take the dose in the morning and half dose or 3/4 dose in the afternoon. Sometimes I’ll take one 20 mg XR and half immediate release tab in the morning and take half tablet in afternoon if needed. This dose titration is tricky but you really need to know your body and how it responds. Because of the delay of drug availability in your body from the Vyvanse, you cannot titrate you Vyvanse dose as easily. I developed this system with the help of my psychiatrist but I am also a pharmaceutical research scientist and one of my specialties is to determine the dose of a drug for the prescribing information.

3. Mydayis is Adderall. Think if it as Adderall XR with an extra kick at the end (like taking 3 doses in a day). Honestly, I don’t want that 3rd kick in the day, I would have more difficulty sleeping at night. I start my work day at 6 am and the Adderall XR is generally wearing off around 3 pm. If I need another kick for a long day, I just take one or a half of an immediate release Adderall 20 mg tablet. Once again the advantage of having XR and non-XR in your cabinet.

4. strategically space your coffee (or caffeinated drinks) throughout the day if you need it. Don’t pile it on top of the stimulants when they peak.

5. If you can help it at all, do not take your stimulants every day. Give your body a break. Generally I only take my stimulants on work days or on days at home when I really need to focus. If you live in a state that only allows a 30 day supply, skipping days will allow you to get a little ahead in your cabinet so that after a few months you will be able to skip a prescription for the XR and have the doc write a 30 day supply for the immediate release tablets. My cycle allows me to get the immediate release once or twice a year and XR on the rest of the months. Then you don’t run into any insurance issues either.

6. Really limit your sugar intake throughout the day and eliminate corn syrup from your diet. It helps with the ups and downs and you will feel better overall.

I hope this is helpful and be patient. It really takes a long time to figure out the best doses and right drug for you. Don’t go about this alone. Make sure your team works well for you (Psychiatrist and Psychologist). Those relationships are so important for support and can really help.

Best of luck.