It’s almost 1:00AM on Sunday night/Monday morning and I work at 8:00AM…and, like most nights, sleep isn’t coming easily. I stumbled across this gem just a few days ago and, with the whole Groundhog Day post, I thought I’d take this opportunity to make an example out of my struggle with insomnia. A lot of people with ADHD face sleep issues at some point, so I thought maybe you guys could relate. Either way, you can at least laugh with me.
Backstory? I’m pretty sure I was born with insomnia. When I was a baby, there was a saying about me, “You wake her, you take her,” because I never slept. My mom would put me down for a 20 minute nap and come back to crooked pictures on the wall, a ripped up diaper and me wide awake, staring back at her. I was apparently born with ADHD, too.
The issue has persisted, despite my million attempts to fix it. I have tried just about everything and I will continue to try. That’s not to say that there aren’t days…er…nights when I just say screw it…because there are.
But the point of this post is to show you how much my 11 year old self suffered with the same sleepless nights that I do now. While I can definitely laugh at it, I feel a little sad about it, too. I think the biggest thing that gets me is the final item on the list, “Try,” and how enthusiastically I underlined it. Even then, I felt responsible for my insomnia, like I should’ve been able to will myself to sleep or something. I know I was beating myself up over it…and that makes me a little sad.
Guess I’ll put my computer away now, so I can give this sleep thing a solid effort…again…ha ha
Sleep troubles I totally understand. Since my ADD diagnosis I have found a couple of things which can help.
1 – I have discovered that a good fast walk in the evening (Mornings too, if I’m rested) really help burn off the anxieties and relax me.
2 – The other thing will sound weird to most people, but I take Adderall three times a day. 5:00am, 10:00am and 5:00pm Each dose is 20mg. In the early post ADD DX days I took the last dose around 2:30pm. I usually had trouble sleeping at night, but when I pushed the last dose later I had a much easier time going to bed at 10 or 10:30pm.
The Adderall left in my system at bedtime helps keep my brain from going into “Slide Show” mode of all the things I worry about or need to do. The Slide Show causes me to toss and turn for hours at night and I end up with about 3 hours sleep.
Maybe #2 does not work for everyone, but I’ve talked to many ADDers who confirm my findings.
I hope you find some sleep relief soon.
Thanks for the suggestions! I agree about a fast walk…or some kind of exercise…helping with the anxiety.
And I’ve heard that about taking Adderall late in the day. I haven’t tried that yet, but I’ve definitely heard it can help with the “Slide Show” mode like you said.
I’ve tried a lot of things, myself, but still trying to iron it out. Thanks again for the tips!
For funzies you can also try doubling numbers, naming every word you can think of that starts with a particular letter, making a story where each word begins with the consecutive letters of the alphabet (a bird can’t die every friday) and then do it backwards. Also memorize the NATO alphabet, then spell words with it. Or perhaps browse through other Megan’s blogs. 🙂 Seriously sleep is hard!!
Ha ha! Great tips! Thanks for the suggestions! 🙂 I’ve done the doubling numbers thing and the naming every word I can think of that starts with a particular letter thing. But I definitely like the idea of making up a story where each word begins with the consecutive letters of the alphabet (thanks for the example). And the NATO alphabet sounds just nerdy enough that it might work, too.
I’ll definitely browse other Megan’s blogs, but I’m guessing they’ll be so awesome that they’ll keep me awake. Probably something I should just do for fun. 🙂