Bizarre Fixations Interrupting Sleep

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    • #104798

      Last night I was shopping for purses before going to sleep.

      I dreamed and dreamed about choosing the right purse. When I was half awake, my brain would not quit picturing and analyzing handbags. It was totally ridiculous. It would be one thing if I just dreamt about purses, but the fixation was so strong, that it affected my sleep. It was like my unconscious brain was stuck and my conscious brain kept waking me up to say, “Hey, don’t you think it’s weird that you can’t stop thinking about purses”. I feel like I had a bizarre, fitful sleep.

      This isn’t the first time this has happened either. It seems to happen with things I hyperfocused on during the day, but it is sometimes completely random. Even a word gets stuck there.

      Is there such a thing as hyperfocus while sleeping? Anyone else experienced this? Is it even an ADD thing at all?

    • #104816

      I wouldn’t call it hyperfocus per se, but I’ve been there, numerous times. I just put it simply as ADHD being a 24/7 disorder. Just because we’re sleeping, doesn’t mean we don’t still have ADHD.
      ADHD impacts every aspect of our lives, including sleep. One night you may feel as if you got the most peaceful sleep you’ve ever had (because you did). Another night may be full of tossing and turning to the point where you & the covers end up on the floor when you wake up (I’m joking, but this did happen to me once when I was younger lol).
      Anyway, our brains crave arousal & stimulation like an addiction. So anything that sparks that arousal is going to get us going, and it’s HARD to control.
      We all have our own triggers that our ADHD is susceptible to, because they’re stimulating & exciting. Like for me, it’s music. I’m always up for a good song, plus my phone is LOADED with music. At night, I could either be up for a long time just listening to music, or my brain could have me dancing to it in my dreams while I’m asleep, lol. So I have to avoid listening to any of my music before I go to bed (if I have a long day waiting or me the next day), because I have to get to sleep early that night.
      Our ADHD brains are going 1000 miles a minute most of the time, even while the situation may not call for it (like sleeping). This is GREAT during the day, as we have our daily lives to attend to all day, and we have multiple things going on at once. We’re like machines then, but our brains can’t wind down when we want them to. I equate it to getting a child to go to sleep when they want to stay up all night. It’s annoying on the nights when you know you both have to get up early in the morning, but on nights where neither of you have to wake up early the next morning for any reason, it’s not a problem, because you can afford to sleep in. If that makes sense.

      -Kendall Boults Jr.

    • #104899

      Yeah, my brain does that too. But I tend to fixate on work or relationships, so my dreams are usually intensely emotional. I’ll wake up feeling like whatever I was dreaming happened, even though it seems unrelated to my life, and it’s hard to shake throughout the day.

    • #105198

      What a pain it is. My fix is to get up, no matter the time, and read. I often find my self reading for a couple of hours then heading right off to sleep. You need to find that switch to turn off the current “behavior”, the reset button.

    • #105215

      Absolutely! It happens all the time. When I am going through a particularly stressful time like with work and I keep replaying conversations I write it all down in a notebook by my bed. I read some where your mind goes on replay before sleep because you want to remember it and think you will forget it for some reason. I hate the way Ambien makes me feel, so I take Meletonin sometimes when I can’t sleep.

    • #105293

      I think perseverate would be a better term. We can’t get our minds to move onto the next thing. When we sleep there are not external distractions to catch our attention and help us get unstuck. One thing that has helped me is to pick something really boring to focus my attention on. For example I count backwards from 100 and don’t let my mind think of anything else. Because it is a boring task the goal is to be asleep before I reach 1. As soon as the pervasive thought creeps back in I push it out and continue counting. If this still doesn’t help, I may read something which again distracts me from the original thought. (but not on a screen.)

    • #105424
      Ella C

      Oh my word I’m not the only one. I had the same thing happen to me just the other day but with backpacks instead.

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