Reply To: Never been able to sleep

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#127717
Calibizaro
Participant

As another suggested above, meditation in conjunction with other habits and tactics can be extremely helpful. The more agitated I am, the more my mind races, and the harder it is for me to shut down and go to sleep.

Before I was diagnosed with ADHD, I was in a pretty bad place mentally and emotionally. I had been struggling all of my life… just trying to be “normal” and wondering what was wrong with me or how could other people make it look so easy. Eventually, in my mid-30’s, it finally became too much of a struggle and I stopped sleeping for the most part and started having panic attacks once a week. From stress, anxiety, and lack of sleep, I also had constant headaches… all while trying to work full-time.

Three and a half years later, I’m much much better. I always struggled with insomnia as well (racing mind), that also got worse with age. Sometimes I would tame it for awhile, but it was always there. Now I get much more regular sleep than I ever did in my teens and 20’s and early 30’s. I’m usually in bed by 11:00 PM, with some leeway until 12:30 AM, which still gives me a solid 6 hours of sleep which is my minimum to function without being tired… 7 hours is better.

I achieved this over time, starting with my anti-anxiety med (citalopram)at night and bupropion (anti-depressant) in the morning. I’ve since been off the bupropion for almost a year. After a year of counseling and having my anxiety under more control, it felt like the bupropion simply didn’t really do anything anymore. It also took a lot of self-discipline training to stop screen usage late at night, and follow a relaxing ritual. I highly recommend taking a warm bath close to bedtime, and using a generous handful of lavender scented Epsom salts… lavender helps calm the senses and the salts and warm water relax the muscles. Just because you are a dude, doesn’t mean you can’t rock an awesome spa bath. 😉 I buy Dr. Teal’s Epsom salt bath from Walmart. It also helped me when I strained my shoulder. You can choose plain Epsom salt or a different scent, but don’t go for anything strong and harsh like eucalyptus…. those are usually “wake-up” smells… including citrus.

Sometimes drinking some hot tea like “Sleepy Time Vanilla” (my fiance’s favorite) or lavender chamomile (my favorite) helps too. Sometimes I will use Vick’s Pure Zzz’s Melatonin chews. They work great, just don’t use them for too long or else their effectiveness wanes. Start with one chew, and go to two chews if one isn’t enough. I can usually take them like that for about a week, then I will taper off. Now I use them occasionally when I’m feeling more stressed than usual. I still go to counseling once a week. If you don’t see a therapist already, I strongly encourage you to seek one who has experience helping adults with ADHD. It helps to talk about your problems and worries, but they also help with behavioral training and suggestions…. especially on how to calm a racing mind… one of the biggest issues people with ADHD deal with our entire lives. You may want to also see someone for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) in addition to a therapist. I suggest both, unless the therapist is licensed to do both, because CBT is usually short-term, and you may still need long term psychological counseling. We deal with a LOT of emotional baggage when we don’t get diagnosed with ADHD until well into adulthood.

I’m not surprised that you are able to sleep when on your vyvanse. Unfortunately, my anxiety runs far too high still for me to take a stimulant drug. I end up being able to focus but end up paying for it with more anxiety. Have you tried doing two smaller doses instead of just one big dose? One dose in the morning to get through most of the work day, and another in the late afternoon to last through the evening? I remember that being an option for me. Maybe try that in conjunction with behavioral changes to improve your ability to sleep.