Insomnia and substances: Using very... - CHADD's Adult ADH...

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Insomnia and substances

quitter333 profile image

Using very disciplined life approach I successfully got rid of major portion of depression, anxiety etc.

But - I believe I have adhd, since I jump around ideas easily (I do come back to topic though. I just branch out almost anything at will to great detail), i multitask AND most importantly doing many things at once made me tired and panicky. Its like Controlled adhd - million ideas and willpower-forced execution of one.


Because of constant stream of thoughts I had and still have some sleep problems, i wake up few times a night, hard time to go to sleep.

.. and what is most surprising - I feel my metabolism has gone crazy. I feel generally well even after not sleeping whole night. I dont crash or tire. For example after night of drinking (and I almost quit whole alcohol except special occasions, about month ago. So tolerance is zero) friends slowly gave in, i finished about 7 beers, 2 shots in 6 hour span and went home. I was home at about 2AM.. and couldnt sleep right away . And at about 3AM i delt 100% sober already. And still couldnt sleep so just watched movies all night and at 9am went to work. Havent felt tired even in slightest. Actually my mind feels much sharper today. Will do tasks and go to gym later.


Despite the obvious "ho ho look what superman I am" i am worried about this, as not sleeping definitely is not healthy. And i cant control my insomnia. I can't get drunk except if I drink physically damaging amounts.

Do you experience anything like this? Is your ADHD making you filter any substances much faster? Do you have problems sleeping even if you are rotally drunk? Do you feel tired after sleepless night?

Thank you in advance

10 Replies

There is a a cheek swap test you can take at your doctors that identifies how your bottle metabolizes all sorts of substances. It helps you identify the correct dose of medicine to take. Also, if you are taking an ADHD drug it often masks the effects of drinking.

quitter333 profile image
quitter333 in reply to hldb

no drugs, havent talked about this with my doctor at all.

Just noticed that even drunk my brain went into stream of thought, that did not let me sleep.

I just watched this video. Perhaps my metabolism simply eats up all the glucose in the body? Literally starting to think that's the problem.. there's just too much body machinery at work all the time and it burns out any food input quicker than it should.

I used to eat A LOT of sweets, but then started doing sports and slowly gave up sweets for fats and protein... maybe the answer is to eat honey or something like that before sleep?

Creighton profile image
Creighton in reply to quitter333

Same sort of problem,really bad insomnia even after drinking or working knackering brain just wont shut down.tried so many supplements,none really successful.use zopiclone for years which eventually gives some sleep.prob I have is walking in the night feel ok,then early in the morning I feel this growing anxiety,really difficult to cope with.does anyone else feel fine at night then anxiety early morning?been through most of Holland and Barrett .cant have Adhd meds’ sadly.any one really understand how difficult life is with adhd.

quitter333 profile image
quitter333 in reply to Creighton

ok tried glucose last night - prepared big cup of tea with honey& milk. Did not stress at work (my day was not peaceful, but I did everything slowly, orderly and was not mentally tired at all). Watched a little TV, played a videogame, watched some funny stuff (Dragonball abridged. made me laugh out loud) and turned everything off at about 21:3o (9:30PM), brush teeth and went to bed fully at about 22:00 (10PM). Felt like I wont sleep immediately, so instead of phone, I read Richard Branson's book.

Started dozing off rather quickly. Woke up at 00:15 (12:15AM = less than 2 hours later). I guess sugar didn't help, but early bedtime and no phone screen helped me sleep really fast.

Felt sleepy, but again this stupid night light anxiety and wondering thoughts started and I watched some tv shows on mobile. Again slept from about 1:30-2:45.

Ate a melatonin pill (it makes you drowsy, but its not a sedative AT ALL). After these two earlier periods of waking up my brain felt much more fresh and confident. I then slept from about 3:00-9:00 when I had to get up for work.

To be honest this last 6 hour sleep was heavy I woke up quickly, rather happy, but feeling of "heavy head" lingered with me till about 2PM (14:00), and I am usually not the person who even mentions this, but I felt as if I had run a marathon last day and wanted to sleep, but was not tired. Shit feeling..

Nothing really changed with food, but I felt a good boost of energy when I simply concentrated for work and just ignored tiredness. Still doing good.


Since last time I had a good experience with gym, I am going to try to replicate it today.

At gym I simply do heavy exercises pyramid weights back to light, and do like really limit-breaking amounts. Aside from feeling great after, last time I went home, ate and just laid down in bed, had very pleasant fantasy of traveling to Africa with a girlfriend, and just crashed for 2 hours.

This crash was very relaxing. If I could just exhaust myself safely to that state right before night sleep, it could solve a lot of problems. (opposite problem is that if you do too much sports too close to bedtime, brain gets into highwire energetic mood and will not allow you to sleep).

quitter333 profile image
quitter333 in reply to Creighton

"does anyone else feel fine at night then anxiety early morning?"

I have slight anxiety late in evening.


at this point - exercises and removal of screens AND really, really reducing random internet surfing has helped me most.

But when you remove internet I felt it worked when you are not just laying around, but substituting your time with something else, that exercises your brain.


I dont know how you are, but maybe try morning run for 10 miles every other day, and instead of internet read books or attend seminars. It's really subjective imo, but the blueprint is the same - less random information, more new insights + more sports.

Creighton profile image
Creighton in reply to quitter333

Thanks for your reply,it really is a minefield.i have tried so many things over the years.because of physical health probs can’t do weights etc,but walk a lot and keep busy with jobs and family.look after my grandson two days a week and that is knackering,but no effect on insomnia.just thinking maybe listening to radio talk is playing a part ?also don’t touch anything sweet during the day then in bed mad craving for ice cream,chocolate!have tried melatonin in the past,worked great at start,don’t remember why stopped.would you mind telling me what mg of melatonin you used?anyway thanks again and best wishes ahead,ma y it start more reflections on this struggle.

quitter333 profile image
quitter333 in reply to Creighton

For melatonin I now use this oral spray

Before that there was a pill that contained melatonin, valerian and pasiflora.

I think it was this exact thing -


since I first got terrible disturbed sleep after cold turkey quitting smokes (+ quitting coffee, and probably being right in my worst depression in life (I'm 30 y.o. and just problems with girls, job, family, money and time accumulated :) it all better now)

I tried valerian (did little alone);

then I was prescribed phenibut (It's rather strong anti-anxiety drug - worked well for anxiety, and moderately for disturbed sleep. I'd recommend it, but 1) its not easily attainable outisde eastern euro 2) it has very short tolerance cycle - just after 10 days you need to up the dosage substantially), so I ate few of these tablets just when I felt really bad, but that's about it. I avoided eating any at all. I think it's still good drug to manage anxieties and become generally calm, when you just need to upkeep a week-long stressless regime, to kick your body and brain back to normal;

then got the melatonin pills - I think I used 2-3mg per night. To be honest they worked really well at first (perhaps placebo helped) and even if I woke up I was back to sleep right away. I again avoided becoming dependant on them and was really careless using them. 3 days use.. then 2 days not using etc.

.. and now I have the spray at hand. It actually works well.. I just spray some 4 times before sleep, I get sleepy quick, then during night - I spray more.

Makes you feel like a washed up lemon in the morning. Perhaps because of the doses I do (too much). I read it's natural effect of melatonin - it makes you feel tired and prepares organism for sleep.


Melatonin also helps less if I am stressed. I have had few evenings feeling amazing and after - best sleep ever.

With thoughts racing it's not easy getting sleepy (< that felt like Cheetos reference).


so.. when you said you craved ice-cream - sounds like exactly the type of glucose deficit insomnia. Perhaps there is a complicated yet simple cure for you.

I have read about nutrition quite a lot - you can try eating a mixture of different carbohydrates, that have different length in dissolving, to be sure your brain gets nutrients all night, and shall not experience the glucose-deficit alert & subsequent waking up. Eating carbs(sugars) makes sense, since there is experiemental proof, not only that brain wakes up when its starving, but also - that people receiving diabetes treatment (insulin - element naturally developed by body when it digests sugars) experience noticeable lift in mood and reduced depression. Apparently being "sugared up" in healthy way must be beneficial.

In addition, eating balanced protein-filled diet should stuff your body with nutrients, to have constant balanced levels of all elements inside.


I'd try this - drink a glass of water, eat simple sugars, like 2 candies + 2 donuts or other breads without sugar + one big white bread+smoked beef (or a small burger) OR cup of oatmeal + small cup of cottage cheese +1,5 spoons of peanut butter. All these should slowly get digested one after another, each have different digestion time. Peanut butter probably will be the last one because of its consistency.

It should keep your brain very happy for the night.

Creighton profile image
Creighton in reply to quitter333

Thanks will ponder on that,strikes a chord though.take care.

in reply to Creighton

Lol reading you say you don't remember why you stopped taking melatonin has made me laugh, because that's me all over, I will like something then stop it for it a reason but can't remember the reason when asked

in reply to quitter333

My anxiety peaks at night and whenever my routine is broken, if you have an alarm that wakes you up, try and make it a tune that you like.

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