extreme difficulty awakening in the morning

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    • #69405

      My daughter age 15 with ADHD and anxiety has increasing difficulty awakening in the morning. This is not normal slowness getting started or “not being a morning person”-it is worse than that. After numerous attempts to wake her up, it is like she is in a trance. She lashes out with negative comments and won’t budge for at least an hour. She is very irrational during this time. She said she feels as if there are only negative thoughts in her head and she has no energy or motivation at all and doesn’t care about consequences such as missing her first class. However, once she gets up on her own time (after 9 am) and going after a couple of hours, energy and positive feelings seem to start to pop into her mind. She will start singing and pick up steam. She said she feels this is biological and not under her control. She does not stay up late and puts electronics away in a box for the night. She generally gets at least 9 hours sleep. We have tried juice or protein shake in bed, a”sunrise light”, setting the alarm extra early (this just causes anger and going right back to bed). She is not on any meds-won’t take any. This does seem to be a biological clock/circadian rhythm type issue.

    • #69413

      Have you tried Melatonin?

    • #69449

      My husband & 2 of my kids have struggled with this on and off (all 5 of us are diagnosed ADHD – various subtypes). Intuniv is a non-stimulant that helps with the “fight or flight” response. It’s helped with the aggression & irritability in 2 of my kids & my husband.

      It made me feel terrible!p- sluggish & foggy. My provider suggested yesterday that I try it again, but the short-acting version to see if that’s better (Tenex is the brand name).

      Your daughter is 15- old enough to understand how her behavior impacts herself & others and old enough to weigh the benefits of making a change to have a better quality of life over struggling.

      You might want to make confirm the reason she struggles to wake up isn’t because she’s up all night on her phone or other devices. That’s been an issue in our home. Good luck to you!

    • #69494
      Penny Williams

      This could be depression. It can cause what feels like a physical inability to get out of bed and get going, and it can definitely cause mood swings. An individual with ADHD is 3 times more likely to also have depression. I would consider this possibility.

      What is Depression?

      I would also have a conversation with her about school. Is there something bothersome to her happening first thing in the morning? Anxiety can rear it’s head in many forms, including compulsive avoidance.

      After that, it could be time to discuss a sleep study with her doctor. If she’s not achieving any quality sleep, it could be quite debilitating.

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #74969

      Hi jac64. You posted sometime ago but I have had the exact same thing in the morning with my son since he was 13. He is 16 now. It is like he is under a general anaesthetic but able to react angrily if really pushed. He does not register any alarms including one for the deaf and a sunrise one. He us very angry and aggressive but has no memory of any interactions. I have come to believe he really does not remember.

      He has had extreme difficulty falling asleep for years but has melatonin for that now. It works but unfortunately does not cure the waking problems.

      I find people don’t understand the extent of this problem. It might be depression but I have had a friend with depression and her inability to get up and go was not the same as literally not being able to be woken up by anything?
      I wish I had an answer! Is there anyone else out there who has experienced this? I can’t find any advice on the internet.

      • #75148

        I have difficulty waking up in the morning for as long as I can remember. I tend to be a very angry, negative and depressed person in the morning.I feel like a zombie and as if I’m not really there. Sometimes I don’t remember what I did. Things that happened in the morning or afternoon can be cloudy in my memory. Seriously, I don’t know how I manage to go out, not get hit by a car, finished school and college and then keep a job for almost 4 years since my brain is not fully awake the whole time. I feel better later in the day but I don’t feel full alertness until 2 or 3am. To understand this, I went to a neurologist a few years ago. He told me to wear a actigraphy watch that monitors my sleep patterns and circadian rhythm for about a month and I kept a sleep log. When I went back to him, he extract the data and told me I have delayed sleep phase disorder. My biological clock doesn’t follow the typical 9-5, it is delayed when compared to the typical schedule. Even if I wake up early and keep myself physically and mentally busy, I cannot fall asleep at night until close to the morning. I tried many times to not sleep for over 24 hours and thought “I will fall asleep quickly tonight” but I cannot. This experiment never worked. I cannot shut off my brain at night even if I continue without sleep for over 24 hours but my brain does naturally get sleepy during morning hours. Melotonin did not work for me. Since I have to go to work now, I take sonata and valerian root to force my brain to go to sleep no later than 3am on weekdays. My brain is very stubborn so it’s not always effective. I accepted my biological clock and I don’t force it so much to follow 9-5 as I used to. There is negative to not following the typical schedule but the positive part is I am very creative at night. I’m an artist and poet so night time is beneficial to us since we can really concentrate without sounds and other stimulus from the environment.

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