June 26, 2018 at 3:20 am #87039
I have a really hard time winding down for bedtime. I am 22 at the moment, but am 23 this November. I have noticed I just hate sleeping the older I get, yet I value sleep to a great extent. To be clear, I don’t dislike sleep and being refreshed in the morning, I just hate the process of getting to bed and trying to get to sleep because I just don’t simply “feel like it” or “want to,” so oftentimes I stay up until 3:00-4:00 A.M. because of this. I take some Clonazepam at bedtime (but am being tapered off the benzo med), but also Lunesta/Hydroxyzine occassionally. I take melatonin every single night, but I really want to get off that, too.
I just hate bedtime and trying to get to sleep. I have a problem with taking stimulants late. I popped 20 mg Dextroamphetamine tablets at 11:00 P.M. because I was so depressed it was nighttime again (I get depressed the most at nighttime), and just sort of lost my sense of “caring” towards getting good rest.
I honestly am not doing the taking stimulants late because I want to have insomnia, but because my psychiatrist WON”T LET ME CHANGE ANTIDEPRESSANTS. I’ve been taking Zoloft for 9 months, but 8 months before that, and 2 months before that. So, around 19-20 months total “give-or-take.”
I WANT TO TRY WELLBUTRIN, but nobody will ever let me and it’s really upsetting me because I was hoping it would augment the Dextroamphetamine. (Just want a low dose of 75-150 mg SR tablets of Wellbutrin to see, but my God every doctor I see HATES THE IDEA OF ME TRYING WELLBUTRIN yet they give me ALL THE OTHER CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES, but GOD FORBID I EVER TAKE WELLBUTRIN. OH LORDY I TRIED WELLBUTRIN. LORD ALMIGHTY. LOL 🙂
June 27, 2018 at 5:19 pm #87179Penny WilliamsKeymaster
Is it possible that your lack of desire to get to bed is really a lack of desire to get to tomorrow? Some depression that isn’t well treated?
If you don’t feel like your clinician is really listening to you then it’s time to find a new one.
ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism
July 10, 2018 at 5:33 pm #88006
Most certainly that plays a role in being depressed for me. I think you are absolutely correct on that.
July 12, 2018 at 10:45 pm #88258anomalocarisParticipant
This was a huge issue for me, but it’s been solved with a surprisingly simple solution. I have a Kindle Fire HD, but you can use a cell phone if you have one. I go to bed at a reasonable time (when I’m not doing rattlesnake rescue until 2 AM!). Lights out, under the covers, eyes closed, to create a nice bit of sensory deprivation. In that state I listen to either audiobooks, free audiobooks on librivox or more often, I use the free TuneIn app to listen to radio dramas, or podcasts with the screen turned off. Listening in the dark, while lying down and eyes closed is essential — anything else could trigger the brain to be more active. In a state of sensory deprivation, though, my mind drifts off into the story and more often than not, into sleep. In fact I do more TuneIn than books because I found I was getting frustrated at always falling asleep in the middle of the chapter, and then it just keeps playing, so when I wake up I have to find my place again. Half hour radio dramas (scifi oldtime radio is my favorite) are ideal.
- This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by anomalocaris.
June 27, 2018 at 5:25 pm #87181HypoFocuserParticipant
I hate my life solely because I have ADHD and the medicines don’t help enough. I metabolize SO FAST that I might as well just not even take the medicines almost. But then, I obviously wouldn’t be getting any help at all.
June 29, 2018 at 1:08 am #87285strwbryParticipant
Lying in bed for hours, worrying about not being able to sleep is excruciating. So is trying to FORCE your body to rest. I too struggle with sleep, always have. A few things have helped me:
1. No blue lights (phone or computer, tv seems to be okay) for about an hour. I have the “Twighlight” app on my phone to dim the screen.
2. Taking a bath with epsom salts, lavender oil, and vetiver oil. It helps my muscles release the tension of being “on” all day, and the magnesium and oils help my mind relax. I try not to think about sleeping, just relaxing. No pressure, no goals.
3. Having a nightime routine triggers my brain to get ready to sleep. I wash my face, brush my teeth, take supplements, and turn down the thermostat.
4. As soon as I get in the bed, I’ll do something mindless, like a crossword puzzle on my phone (with the twilight app on. it keeps me up if not) or, if I’m still keyed up, watch some home remodeling show. There’s no drama, it’s interesting enough to keep me from thinking too much or worrying, but it’s boring enough that I can doze off if I feel like it.
5. I have found that my ADHD brain loves games. So, every time I bump into a struggle, I find that making it into a game helps me take it less seriously and get it done. Sleeping is no different crazily enough. I downloaded the “Sleep Cycle” app. I turn it on when I’m falling asleep, and in the morning, I check to see how well I slept. I don’t always sleep well, but seeing the immediate results of my sleep habits in the morning gives me a quick boost of dopamine that helps me try again the next night. Plus, if I did sleep well, I’m starting off the day with one accomplishment already done! 🙂
June 29, 2018 at 1:42 pm #87344teachmath615Participant
The information about how to wind down to get to sleep is good. I am in my late fifties and have had sleep problems all of my life. I knew the rules, but would get focused on something else and lose track of time. Then, it didn’t make any difference to take the sleep medicines. Just in the last year, I chose to try the sleep protocol. It’s working more often than not, but I do have to work at it.
I’m a worrier at bedtime, too. A trick that has helped me is if I cannot get my mind to shut down, I get up for 30 minutes and do something creative, even daydreaming, and I turn off the negatives.
I have learned another thing that I didn’t want to believe when I was younger. While some medication is helpful, it’s not going to fix all of my problems. It’s helping with some of the physical, but it won’t do anything unless I choose to have a good attitude towards myself and my life. Life can be hard, and I didn’t want to face that. It can also be wonderful.
July 10, 2018 at 5:35 pm #88007
I also use daydreaming as a means of relaxation. I was told to do that years ago by a man in a hospital whom I was with (without going into further detail of why I was there), but he mentioned to fixate on a spot in the room you’re in, and hyperfocus/hyperfixate your mental energy on that spot until you feel your mind wandering away, but to continually resist any and all temptations to move your attention away from the spot in the room for at least 10-15 minutes. I find myself naturally doing this, and I have not really had to “force” myself to do this for some time because I innately find myself doing sort of a similar thing already, but I’ve always found that technique to be useful for me (especially at bedtime).
June 29, 2018 at 3:51 pm #87372Lilac-Vrt-OlligociParticipant
I used to do sleep cycle, it’s super helpful. But my coping mechanisms for sleep tend to range from listening to music and rocking, the almighty coping mechanism for ADHD people. When I lay down to try to sleep I always put something on my head. Usually a blanket or something. It blots out light and sound, plus it’s a natural anxiety reducer.
Routines also help you go to sleep too. My sleep schedule completely changes when I am on a proper schedule compared to without it. But I think most importantly…
A lot of the time your body just has its own natural cycle. All people have different sleep times, sleep hours, etc. Unless something is drastically different, of course. My natural sleep schedule is pretty much around 12:00AM-9:00AM, sometimes later. Basically I’m a late nighter who requires at least 8-9 hours of sleep.
Just a tip: NEVER drink strong coffee or anything caffeinated after 6 PM. I did that late last night so I could drive home and I am never doing that ever again.
July 5, 2018 at 9:14 am #87611OlyParticipant
Yippee! I’m not alone
I do belong to this category of people (if there exists a category) ..
And about hating sleep (not sleeping enough), I don’t recommend it because I personally experienced mental and physical health issues doing that, so the only thing I suggest you is work out, keep your body at work, ultimately your body forces you to sleep, overall try to get minimum sleep that an average person needs, so that people don’t say that “This guy just killed himself by ignoring the sleep haha let’s hope his soul be rest in peace at least”
There are tons of science-backed tips out there that’ll help you creative an effective sleep routine. But the truth is, what may work for someone else might not work for you. The key here is to experiment with a few different sleep conditions, and see what works best for you.
AISH says, if the bedroom is dark, silent and cold, then it can ensure peace of the sleep. Put the yar plug in the ears to turn around the sound or turn on White Kiz. nvest in a nice, soft comfy pillow and mattress. Keep the screen in the bedroom, wear thick and dark colored clothes or eye mask which will keep you away from the light. The temperature of the room is quite comfortable, and there is a breeze. Make sure the bed and pillow are the overcoats.
So that was my answer, I hope you already got the answer from our folk
July 5, 2018 at 10:20 am #87625JBoomParticipant
I have this problem big time. I enjoy a good night’s sleep, but I don’t like going to sleep because I’m never done with the day. Adderall has helped me sleep better, probably because it wipes me out. I’ve often thought if there were a pill that just gives your body what sleep does, then I wouldn’t need any other medication because I could just stay up all the time and do all the things I want to do. 🙂
I find when I need to force myself to sleep, I have to either turn everything off a suffer through an hour of racing thoughts in silence, or I have to do something that takes a little work. Like reading instead of watching TV, because with reading you have to hold something, you have to actively consume the words, you have think about and process what you’re reading, etc. It’s a little more tiring than just brainlessly laying there consuming TV.
In any event, is does sound like your medication stack is not working for you. If your doctor can’t see that or help you, look into finding another one.
July 9, 2018 at 1:36 pm #87805GratefulParticipant
lol… FYI, I am not laughing at you – I am laughing at me because you sound ‘exactly’ like me when it comes to bedtime and I just happen to be ‘procrastinating’ by responding to your post which caught my attention.
I am not sure why your Doctor won’t give you Wellbutrin but I do know that I have a friend who took it to try and quit smoking and not only did he end up having seizures but it triggered all kinds of things that resulted in him ending his life. I am not saying that to scare you or anything and believe me I have had difficulty with many Doctors in my lifetime especially because I have a higher than average intelligence as well as ask questions a lot which seems to be a no-no for their ego’s or something.
I am 57 years old (so ancient, lol) and I was diagnosed at 55 years old and only after I had quit smoking for a couple of years (later discovering that nicotine acts like Ritalin on the brain). Regardless I do love researching and actually, work in the mental health and addictions field as well as being in recovery from drugs and alcohol myself.
There are times when the Doctor actually does know and has reasons for not prescribing certain medications, sometimes they are not able to articulate why they don’t want to prescribe something themselves and we have no way of knowing if the Doctor ‘passed his exams’ to become a Doctor with a C+ or A+ do we?
Having said that I take Cymbalta and have found it to be absolutely fantastic… the only anti-depressant in my life (and I was diagnosed over 25 years ago – aacckkk…so longer than you have been alive, lol! (I still feel like a kid, more and more actually because now I just feel great, better than I have my entire lifef!) All of the other anti-d’s I have tried have left me feeling flat, like I was watching other people have emotions and I was behind a thick plexiglass wall (sexually I couldn’t have anything close to the fireworks I have now!) I hope that it never stops working, without it I wouldn’t have been able to get off of drugs and have experienced life-threatening years of depression, now I laugh and cry and experience feelings like anyone else. Every single person I know who has tried this has been successful on it and come ‘back’ to life or come ‘to’ life on it, I don’t feel like I have taken anything at all…it just feels real.
I digress, I also take Inderal (propoponol) which is a blood pressure med (60 mg for anxiety) and it stopped a lifetime of anxiety about 8 days in, wow, relief is such a lame word to describe my life now in comparison. Currently, I am going to go up on my Adderall because I am noticing breakthrough behaviors but I tried two other kinds of ADHD meds before I found Adderall actually works for me. I am weaning off of Trazadone for sleep and now take 25 mg a night because I take Cymbalta at night and sleep like a baby. In addition, I am weaning off of Clonazepam (finally) and I am down to .05 mg daily and will start breaking those in half because they are scored once I go up in Adderall. I would strongly recommend you not get attached to any benzo – ever, they are the absolute worst to get off of (my poor Aunt had a 40 year ‘addiction’, awful).
Sleep; I get to having way too much time at night myself because generally during the day I need to be working, lol, like now, so night-time is my fun time. I procrastinate going to sleep myself even though I bought myself a beautiful memory foam mattress topper (my bed is new) and I literally ‘sink’ into it and it feels like heaven so when I finally get there (also lately about 4 or 5 am, lol) I wonder why I didn’t go to bed earlier? So, I am where you are with it but I was working nights so I was thinking that was why since I am readjusting to working from home and trying to get ready to go back to school. I have some fantastic breathing exercises and meditations I plan on moving to my bedroom from chooseheart.com dirkterpstra.ca and I absolutely KNOW they work, I look forward to them.
Good luck and let me know if you find any ‘miracle’ cure for liking to play at night, lol. I hope my post has helped you, I give my Doctor a break now and he appreciates it. 🙂
July 9, 2018 at 2:11 pm #87808smschandaParticipant
Sleep is inherently boring. It’s hard to wind down when there are more interesting things going on in the world, even if those interesting things are just your brain spinning in place or spiraling downwards.
I find for me that playing ‘games’ in my head helps. I imagine a world where I’m in a bomb shelter underground where I have to be completely still AND calm so the enemy doesn’t see that I’m awake. Or I am in a hospital bed, hooked up to a bunch of machines and people are talking about me and they think I’m unconscious but I am awake and I want to hear what they are saying but I need to make sure they don’t realize that I am awake, so I have to be still and calm and keep my breath perfectly regular.
I get that this sounds insane, how can these be peaceful and relaxing? But the guided meditations where you’re relaxing on the beach or whatnot, stress me out or bore me. I can’t keep track because there’s no tension. So instead, I put myself into situations where I need to meditation but where there’s a good reason to do it.
It’s basically mindfulness exercises, to keep myself calm, still, with even breathing… but with a plot that I find interesting enough to keep me going until I physically relax enough that sleep comes. Generally, within the different scenarios, I use different mindfulness techniques like counting breath or scanning my body or feeling my body sink into the underlying ground or float, part by part.
Maybe I should create a mindfulness app with more interesting scenarios for those of us with brains that need the stimulation within the calming 🙂
July 10, 2018 at 5:32 pm #88005
I could not agree more. I do find sleeping extremely boring. I’m drawn to excitement, stimulation, rushes, thrills, adventure, etc. I relate to your post on so many levels. I would absolutely love to talk to you more if you’d like to PM me. I ask all those I believe I relate to well to PM me so we can chat more and share experiences/thoughts/ideas/etc. I’d truly love to speak to you further. Thanks so much for your reply and time! – JAKE
July 9, 2018 at 3:30 pm #87818WhatWhereParticipant
Even a minimim amount of daily exercise makes me exhausted at the end of the day and helps me fall asleep “early”. Plus, its a great mood lifter. It doesnt have to be alot.
July 10, 2018 at 5:23 pm #87998
I struggle to keep consistent exercise routines/regimens because of exercise-induced asthma. It’s always been a nagging issue for me.
July 9, 2018 at 3:49 pm #87825SethNowakParticipant
If my experience is relevant at all, don’t know. I had a really hard time getting work done and staying focused at the office to the point where I almost lost my job. I suspected it was because I was not getting enough sleep. Dr said not to drink coffee or take stimulant meds in the afternoon or evening. My health overall and mood and ability to function were getting worse, so I knew something big had to change. I stopped taking meds altogether, almost stopping cold-turkey, and almost all my problems are solved. It wasn’t insomnia or ADD, it was the prescriptions I was taking that were supposed to be helping me. The original symptoms I had seem like nothing compared to the destructive side effects.
July 9, 2018 at 3:55 pm #87826jillzak33Participant
I have always had an issue winding down at
Night and trying to realx enough to go to sleep. First of all my doctor said “don’t take Zoloft at night”. So I always take it in the morning. What I also try to do is take achewable 5mg melatonin around 9 pm so I can wind down. I also try to (not watch tv) and read something kind of boring before bed. Zanax has also helped me let go and fall asleep. I worry about the long term use of it though. I know 2 people who are on trazodone so they are able to fall asleep. They say it works great. Just hearing ur dr won’t let u take Zoloft in the morning seems weird. U may want to consider another doctor. Mine let me add well
Butrin no problem to the Zoloft when I struggled last fall. Took it for a few weeks and then felt too peppy so I stopped. Good luck!
July 10, 2018 at 5:24 pm #87999
Cool, we’ve both been on a lot of similar medicines. However, I’ve been on 31 which I doubt many people have tried even close to that many 🙂 I have issues sleeping with Zoloft, too. It’s a more “potent” SSRI, but I like it because it does have some slight dopamine agonist properties, which is why I feel many ADHD’ers tend to gravitate towards Zoloft.
July 9, 2018 at 4:07 pm #87829hrminiParticipant
Hello, I can relate to your problem. My daily routine has been much better due to the following:
•Never drink anything caffeinated after noon–especially if you are on anything like Adderall.
•I take generic Celexa for my antidepressant. Plus, I take an anti-anxiety med right after my dinner.
•Once I’m ready for bed, I then take my Trazodone to sleep.
•After I take my sleep med, I get on my phone and play some kind of mindless game like solitaire or a jigsaw puzzle (with a lot of pieces).
•Or, I play the mindless game until I’m sleepy and then take the Trazodone.
It has worked for me for a long time now. I suggest SOLITAIRE MEGAPACK and JIGSAW PUZZLE EPIC.
Good luck and sweet dreams!
July 9, 2018 at 4:20 pm #87835DanyParticipant
I love this!
“I imagine a world where I’m in a bomb shelter underground where I have to be completely still AND calm so the enemy doesn’t see that I’m awake. Or I am in a hospital bed, hooked up to a bunch of machines and people are talking about me and they think I’m unconscious but I am awake and I want to hear what they are saying but I need to make sure they don’t realize that I am awake, so I have to be still and calm and keep my breath perfectly regular.”
I’m going to try it.
July 9, 2018 at 4:47 pm #87843mimigaussParticipant
Many of the tools I’ve come up with for dealing with ADD are psychological. If your problem includes having difficulty quitting bedtime games, reading, whatever, try this.
I like to play games that will sharpen my aging brain. I set my Sleeptime to midnight/ 8 hours to get enough sleep, then set the timer for say, 30 minutes of game playing in the dark (fortunately, games don’t keep me awake). Sometimes I’ll take a pill before starting to play. When the timer goes off, I know that I’m running out of time, not for playing or reading, but for getting the sleep that will sharpen my aging brain! It helps to make plans for the morning so I can’t just tell myself I can sleep later – coffee dates, dr’s appointments, brunch dates.
July 9, 2018 at 4:55 pm #87846rmickeyParticipant
Just to throw this in there:
I am not on any meds and my “normal” time to fall asleep is about 2 -3 am. I wait to go to bed until I get that “falling asleep in the chair” nod off going on.
I have always been a night owl, even way back in high school (I am 47 now).
I do watch YouTube in the living room as almost nightly routine though. Not sure it helps though.
I do find it easier that I be the last one up and awake.
Hope this helps or is at least an interesting point of view.
July 10, 2018 at 5:26 pm #88001
25-75 mg of Dextroamphetamine (generic Dex) you mean? Dang, that’s a lot of stimulant man to get my doctor to agree with. That may be helpful for me, but I am almost certain there’s no way I would ever sleep on 100 mg or more, but I’m sure it would be helpful if I needed a lot of prolonged focus and attention on certain days. Are there doctors that have really prescribed 100-200 mg of Dextroamphetamine/Dexedrine (generic or brand name)? Dang!
July 9, 2018 at 6:06 pm #87853bbennettfnpParticipant
I am 75 and sleep is a big issue for me too. I can be falling asleep in front of tv, get upstairs and by the time I brush my teeth I am fully awake. I keep the fan on and room is cool. There is light present but I use sleep mask. Medications don’t work. Typically I get up, go downstairs for a half cup of cocoa and a piece of peanut butter toast. When I lay down I can usually fall asleep.
I used to be on anti-depressants but they really didn’t help. For me the depression came from failing and not knowing why. Once diagnosis of ADHD gave me a reason and my coach helped me find alternative methods for approaching life the depression was “cured”. Not suggesting that this will work for any one else,however.
July 9, 2018 at 7:09 pm #87857copingthrivingParticipant
I have had the same problem forever, and it was made worse when I started with ritalin a few months ago. I think it’s a multi-part cure, including a lot of self-talk and reminding oneself of priorities (not the easiest thing for an ADHD brain obvs!) and repeating behaviour changes over and over. But a MAJOR help for me has been marijuana used medicinally – the stuff with high-cannabinoid (CBD) and low-THC (the psychedelic part). You have to be careful not to get into something interesting like the internet or a book once you’ve taken it, but it really slows down my mind and stops my need to keep doing, doing, doing out of habit… relaxes my body, slows my breathing. It was a revelation to discover how much it can help, as I’d stayed away from pot my entire adult life. BUT MAKE SURE YOU DON’T USE HIGH THC CONTENT POT… it keeps me awake like nobody’s business. Also you can get high-CBD oil that is even more physically relaxing and has less get-you-high potential. Hope this helps.
July 9, 2018 at 10:40 pm #87872Anne1964Participant
I have liver disease which makes your sleep cycle crazy, having days and nights mixed up. I have learned to lay in the dark in bed and watch some dumb reruns on TV. Takes my mind off any anxiety. I quit stressing over sleeping and realize as long as my body is resting I am ok. Stressing over not sleeping makes it worse. I am not a big fan of night time either. I cant take anything for sleep due to liver issues so I just gotta make due. Most nights i don’t make it through 1 rerun.
July 9, 2018 at 10:40 pm #87873donsenseParticipant
Well this a different protocol but it worked for me, perhaps because i was exhausted.
Initially at your age I was a smoker and used caffeine mostly in soda but also coffee mornings hot chocolate during the day and tea at Dinner. However I drank coke and pepsi at all hours. I am guessing 8 to 10 combined drinks a day.
At bedtime however i followed a pattern of eating cornflakes w/ sugar added and many years later Sliced bananas.
We had two bby girls at that time and i was the Breadwinner as it was called in those days but evenings were spent driving a cab after my regular office job til midnight. Paying for a new home required this for another year or two.
Didnt know i was ADHD but the caffeine and nicotine were self medicating and when i stopped them before i went to bed Sleep was instantaneous. Most nights i could not remember my head hitting the pillow.
5 decades later after the 3 pituatary disasters Hyper Thyroid Hypo Glycemia and ADHD and the reason for my low blood pressure sticky heart valve repaired, i am now just like you and stay up til 2 or 3 am . I drink decaffe use sweeteners not sugar, my thyroid was nuked, levothyroxine, and take venlafaxine for serotonin norepinephrine/dopamine.
I am wondering if the original undrugged formula with lots of cafeine, sugar, work and life related exercise was better.
July 10, 2018 at 5:27 pm #88002
Wow! Please PM me. I have had so many similar experiences to what you’ve described. I’d love to talk to you more! Your past history sounds like a mirror image of mine!
July 9, 2018 at 10:43 pm #87874donsenseParticipant
July 9, 2018 at 11:36 pm #87880Ravenslock1Participant
Wow! SOOOO Many great suggestions! (and you’ll have quiet a time trialling which ones work for you!) Here’s a few of mine:
*I agree with everyone who has mentioned NO BLUE LIGHT SCREENS for at least an hour before ‘bed-time’. If you factor in a good ‘bed-time’ routine, that should take up most of the hour…(prep. next day’s lunch, shower, brush teeth, lay out next day’s clothes, check your diary/planner/’launchpad’, etc) **NEVER underestimate a regular, repetitive night routine!!**
*As much as I hate it, I get a MUCH better quality sleep when I’ve eaten a well-rounded dinner, at least 2 hours before bed, AND when I don’t drink any alcohol or caffeine from then on.
*One of my MUSTS is an ipad/iphone app called ‘isleep easy’ (produced by mediationoasis.com). Their various guided audios are awesome! And if you need more variety, then check out the meditationoasis.com podcasts! (Mary Maddux’s voice is very relaxing!)
*On more difficult nights, I rely on my “SleepStream2” app and earbuds/soft headphones; I select the tinnitus masker, with pink noise, and that blocks out almost everything external.
*I have 4 very different pillows that I rotate through, depending on whether it’s neck/shoulder pain that’s floated its way to to top of the ‘priority pile’ (when it comes to what is keeping me awake the most at that exact moment). The pain-pillow is a highly shaped ‘neck’ support pillow. One is simple memory foam. One is slightly shaped for neck support, for ‘normal’ nights; and one is good old ‘crumbed foam’, for snuggly nights, when I want to fluff it up, punch a divot in the centre, and snuggle down with the doona. (It’s purely a ‘mood’ pillow!)
Hope that all helps.
July 10, 2018 at 5:28 pm #88003
I’ve heard of the blue light screens thing. I totally suck at avoiding devices. I look at them until the second I go to bed. It’s so habitual, that I constantly have to tell myself to put the device(s) down, but I always seem to fall victim to using the device, but with the brightness as low as I can have it so that I can still see and use the device.
July 9, 2018 at 11:44 pm #87882One More ThingParticipant
In my case, when I sleep I sleep well (95% of the time), but… like many of you, my difficulties are #1 getting to bed, #2 getting to sleep.
I live alone, so the following might not be of much help to some people.
For #1: I’ll do something mildly creative for a set period of time or until I feel at least a little bit tired. For example: making a to-do list for tomorrow or for the week or month, make progress on very small DIY projects, jot down (“brain dump”) some ideas for future projects, write texts, clean or rearrange my desk, etc. I try to avoid TV, computer, tablet, phone… it’s not easy!
For #2: The ADD/ADHD brain wants to stay active all the time, right? Mine sure does! So I give it something to “chew on” that does not involve the body or muscles: audio recordings of various types, played from a tablet, phone, or CD. Between 25-45 min is usually long enough. I use small speakers because I could not get used to earbuds. I did not try under-pillow speakers or headbands; not sure about having electronic devices close to my head for many hours at a time.
This is what I listen to:
– Natural ambient noise such as ocean waves, rain, bubbly stream, trees in the wind, etc.
– White noise* or other man-made sounds without a “beat”. Regular music did not work for me.
– Self-hypnosis program. Some don’t have a “wake-up” ending; but even if they do, I’m often asleep by then.
– Very carefully selected ASMR video (converted to audio-only). There’s a lot of ASMR videos on Y**T*** (good and mostly bad), so I’m very picky.
– Short (10-12 min) podcast on a subject I find interesting, automatically followed by something else from this list
One more thing: I also use a dawn/sunset simulation lamp/alarm clock. Like the name implies, it brightens or dims the lamp gradually on a preset duration.
* White noise is known to help cognitive functions in people with ADD/ADHD. Who knew? (Don’t ask me, Google it)
July 10, 2018 at 1:48 am #87885AussieMumParticipant
My son has suffered from insomnia for a year. He’s 18 now. I started taking him to the chiropractor 4 weeks ago, and now he sleeps normally 6 nights out of 7, whereas he rarely slept at night before. He is also much happier (as you can imagine). He has also cut out (mostly) gluten from his diet, is eating way better, and has also realised that his weed habit is part of the problem (he was using that as a solution to not sleeping, but he said the sleep quality was bad). It is like a miracle and worth a try
July 10, 2018 at 2:01 am #87886jdkd2007Participant
I currently take Wellbutrin and have been for about 8 years now. When I was first diagnosed with ADD, I was started on Concerta but my anxiety went through the roof. As I have learned from switching Dr’s is that ADD meds in adults can worsen the anxiety symptoms. I even tried going off but I noticed within 2 weeks my anxiety coming back. Have you looked into taking melatonin? When i get off track and start staying up late I take it about an hour before I want to go to bed and it helps. It usually takes about a week to get back on track.
July 10, 2018 at 9:45 am #87896amycweiseParticipant
Find a NEW doctor. Consider a brain scan to measure and participate in a sleep study. You are very young and currently the medical consensus is that the brain is still growing and developing until the age of 25. You may want to curb your reliance on prescription meds and consider lifestyle changes. Major changes but begin with very small changes step by step. Look into your past as far back as you can with the help of your family. What were your sleep patterns when you were an infant? A toddler? A young child? A tween? A teenager? Sometimes sleep disruptions are biological. Sometimes there is a change to the brain from trauma-physical or emotional. Or even from a virus. Research. Investigate yourself. There is an unlimited amount of information and support available to you. Stop looking to instant changes in the way you feel with prescription meds. You are stronger than those meds. You have a unique and inovative approach to life. Get to know who you are, what makes you happy, what makes you feel “in the zone”, and tailor your lifestyle to who you are. You will find yourself focused more on what you are doing and where you are going in life and stop focusing on every area of your life that isn’t working the way everyone else’s life is. You are young. You will make mistakes, get hurt, be disappointed. Those challenges make us all grow and direct our lives in better ways. Maybe your current challenge will make you better at a profession you choose and definitely will help you be a better person in relationships with others. Your empathy is growing for yourself and others.Research yourself. Research your challenges. Keep reaching out to others. Good Luck and God Bless!
July 10, 2018 at 9:55 am #87897katielroseParticipant
I take welbutrin, but if I take it in the evening, I am more likely to have insomnia than when I take it in the morning. I work out in the evening (running or bicycling) which clears my head for the evening and leaves me tired, though for a lot of people evening exercise leaves them wound up so ymmv. Magnesium daily (supplement, oil or Epsom salt bath – user’s choice) always helps me with sleep. And if my mind is still racing I either do a body scan meditation or stream-of-consciousness journaling/writing (with the lights turned low so I can’t see what I’m writing/edit as I go – it doesn’t have to be legible, it just has to be out of your head).
July 10, 2018 at 11:58 am #87816jimmytrimbleParticipant
I get the impression you’re like I was after I was first diagnosed: very focused on the relationship between medication and sleep, to the exclusion of many other factor.
Beyond paying more attention to sleep hygiene like others have suggested above, my best advice is to consider whether you’ve been 100% honest with your psychiatrist — and, thus, whether she/he has all the information they need to guide your treatment (adjust your medications).
Have you taken all of your prescriptions exactly as directed, and kept a detailed journal of symptoms and effects?
Also, are you following other advice about diet, exercise, sleep routines?
Unless you are also an MD or APRN (I’m not), you’re likely relying on anecdotal evidence and amateur advice that causes many people to stop working with their prescribing doctor and start working against them.
Personally, in 3 months on Wellbutrin, I never got more than 2 hours of sleep without waking up to the worst nightmares I could imagine.
Point is, everyone is different and if you’re trying to manipulate your psychiatrist into giving you the drugs you think you need, you’re likely doing more harm than good.
If you truly don’t believe your psychiatrist is listening to you after taking other steps, then you can seek a second opinion. But be prepared: you may like what you hear from another provider even less.
July 10, 2018 at 4:20 pm #87984seringettiParticipant
I can relate to what you are going through. It is horrible. Very hard to function especially if you have to go to work the next day. You are not really living, you are just existing from one day to the next.
After going to many doctors I finally met a doctor who suggested that I try seroquel. Right away I rejected this medication because of all the scary side effects I had read about. Mainly prescribed for people with Schizophrenia & I was not Schizophrenic. Never the less the doctor went to tell me that he had treated many patients with this medication & most of them had very little to no adverse side effects, especially if taken before bedtime. It has a short half life & is not addictive. Most of the adverse side effects came from patients who take very high doses. If you should experience adverse side effects you can drop the medication without any problem. Don’t have to worry about withdrawal. Another good thing about this medication is it doesn’t lose its effectiveness. You usually don’t have to keep increasing the dose in order for it to work.
Under these conditions I agreed to give it a try. The first night I took it I went into a deep refreshing sleep. I was so happy. Ten years later I am still taking this medication at the same dose & feel great.
Well that’s my story. It may not work for you, but maybe it will. Your choice. Check it out with your doctor.
Two other suggestions:
Don’t try the generic brand they don’t work. At least for me it didn’t.
Very low doses of 25 to 75 mg usually don’t work. You may have to go anywhere from 100 to 200 mg. or more. We are all different. You need to find the right dose for you.
July 10, 2018 at 5:30 pm #88004
I am positively overwhelmed by all the kind + considerate replies I’ve gotten. Never before have I seen such a supportive ADHD community that actively cares and takes the time to write personalized responses to such great depths. I truly appreciate all of you and your advice/tips/comments/ideas/suggestions/etc. no matter how big or small they may be. I am extremely grateful for you all.
July 11, 2018 at 6:17 am #88024niel.malanParticipant
I have the same problem, and last year it got really bad.
I think there is something deeper involved than just not liking going to sleep. I didn’t get sleepy at all, and despite my best intentions I’d take the laptop to bed and get the light out at 3 a.m. (and then wake up at 11 a.m., detesting myself.)
Since I’ve been taking medication, it’s been easier. For a 6 a.m. wake-up, which I’m aiming for, I need to get the light out at 10 p.m., but it’s usually 11 p.m. I take a warm shower at 9 p.m., which helps with relaxing and gets my feet warm. (When can’t fall asleep, my feet are cold. I haven’t figured out if there’s a cause-and-effect, but doesn’t hurt to avoid cold feet at bedtime.)
To do this, I actually set alarms that tells me when to go to bed. I know it’s common advice, but it does make a difference. I use both gentle alarm tones on my mobile phone and an app called SplenDo, which reads the reminders one put into it – it lets me be creative with
wording (“Come to bed darling, I have something waiting for you” 😉 ) and it doesn’t require silencing.
When I do go to bed I take some reading, my Bullet Journal, and a cryptic crossword puzzle.
As I read I might remember things to do, and that goes to my BuJo, so that I don’t start a milling thought about it. The same goes for other stray ideas. When I’m tired of reading I turn to the crossword. The moments before sleep are mind-expanding, so I solve more clues during this time.
I think at least part of the problem is that the bodymind has a ‘completion counter’. It keeps track of the things one completes in a day, and keeps one awake until enough things have been completed. Of course the ADD mind doesn’t care about things being completed, so the counter never gets to an “enough for today” threshold. What I do now is to complete minor things (tidying, cleaning) during my breaks, which satisfy the ‘completion counter’ (which doesn’t care about importance or quality).
I haven’t had the light out after midnight now for a few months, and I’m still working on getting it earlier. I don’t have a foolproof scheme yet.
July 11, 2018 at 1:02 pm #88082AAMParticipant
I had similar issue but opposite I wakeup at 2 or 3am and cannot sleep again and I treaded every night my sleep as knew I will wakeup when everyone else is sleep and cannot go back to sleep. I tried all other medicine and all had temp solution. then I read somewhere about jogging helping the sleep, doing it in the evening before sleep and have nice hot shower. I tried and it worked miracles & now I sleep like a baby and thanks GOD im off those tablets. it has worked for me I dont know if it can work for you but is worthy trying, oh another thing I now started jogging also in the morning before going to work and that has helped my day life too. so try it and see if it helps, anything that takes you off those anti depressant or melatonin is worthy
March 11, 2019 at 11:06 pm #110851BlueKarrouParticipant
Clonidine. Clonidine. Clonidine. It actually makes me feel sleepy. I hate going to sleep. It seems to take forever and I can only think of all the “things I gotta do” instead of focusing on how important sleep is and how much better I feel with a full nights sleep. I never knew this about myself until I started taking clonidine, but I LOVE to go to sleep when I am actually SLEEPY. It’s such a wonderful feeling to surrender to sleepiness as opposed to trying to force your stubborn ADHD brain to turn off. I never realized how much anxiety I had over sleep until I started taking clonidine and all the sleep anxiety went away. Now the only trick left is to TAKE THE DARN THING ON TIME. That part I still have to force. Hahaha, always something, never nothing 😉
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