Vyvanse making me sleepy but not tole... - CHADD's Adult ADH...

CHADD's Adult ADHD Support
6,679 members1,726 posts

Vyvanse making me sleepy but not tolerating higher dose


Hello all!

So I’m about 5-6 weeks into my starting Vyvanse and all of the sudden I’m experiencing a really odd symptom- I am severely sleepy all. of. the. time. I can barely pry my eyes open when I first wake up in the morning. I’ve always struggled with fatigue but the grogginess is new. I’m still at 10 mg which I realize is a very, very small dose.

Last week we attempted to increase to 20 mg and it was...interesting. I cannot even adequately explain how I felt, but I’m fairly certain it was not normal. I felt like I was on some kind of trippy drug. Yes, I had increased focus and was way more productive, but with that I also had symptoms that I never had at the 10 mg. My entire body kept breaking out in tingly goosebumps and feeling almost euphoric? My skin was severely flushed all over my face, neck, and chest. I felt way more wired at this dose and felt very alert, but simultaneously my eyes were so heavy and at times I literally had to fight to keep them open. I had this pressure in my face and neck muscles, almost like when you’re clenching your teeth, but these were muscles that I could not control and was unable to relax. And I was soooo irritable. Like on a whole other level I’ve never experienced. It was just a super bizarre experience and I wasn’t sure what to make of it. The only reason I didn’t go to an urgent care is because my heart rate and blood pressure were stable.

I realize 20 mg is still a very low dose so i was surprised my body reacted so strongly to it. After that day I went back down to 10 mg again. I called my doc and left a message and I’m still waiting to hear back, so I’m not sure what she will have me do.

I know most people will say to increase the dosage if I’m feeling sleepy but that doesn’t seem to be an option for me right now. (Unless maybe that’s the way that a dosage increase on Vyvanse just makes you feel initially?) Has anyone else experienced sleepiness OR had weird symptoms arise when they attempt to increase their dose? Would my body potentially tolerate a higher dose of a different medication, or am I likely to experience these effects with all stimulant medications? Any and all input would be greatly appreciated!

11 Replies

I will say that being sleepy on stimulants is not that uncommon. Stimulants can actually make it easier for us to sleep, as they may calm our mind or help our body relax in ways that it couldn't before. Some of the restlessness and drive to move or be doing things can be reduced, and thus a new fatigue and calm sets in. It's not true for every person, and not true at every dose.

For me, I started at 20 and titrated to the max of 70. When I hit 60 mg I experienced some of the symptoms you described, adding irritability as well. After I was increased off the 60 to the 70 I noticed the symptoms went away. It could be dose-specific, or could be your body adjusting.

All in all it sounds like Vyvanse may not be the right medication for you. It's worth talking with your doctor. You may also want to look at other factors such as sleep routine, the time you take the medication, and other factors that could be contributing to what is going on. Whatever you end up doing, good luck! I hope you find the dose or medicine that is right for you!

in reply to quietlylost

Hey thank you for your input! I appreciate it a lot. It’s helpful to know that sleepiness can be common among other stimulant users as well. It’s also very interesting that you said you experienced some similar symptoms to what I mentioned at a dose of 60 but not 70. That makes me think that it might be worth trying to increase my dose again ,with my doctors supervision of course. Lots of helpful information you gave. Thanks again!

I loved it but it made me have terrible acne!

I also get sleepy on Vyvanse at specific times. I remember reading that too much produces a similar effect to not enough. That there is a "window" that you want to hit. I also read that at about 3.5 hours after taking the med, the concentration in your blood is probably at it's highest level. Since we have ADD, we generally have a paradoxical reaction to stimulants... it calms us. So at the point when the med is at the highest level will, for some, make you drowsy at that point. Taking more to "wake up" is doing just the opposite of what you want. You may need to wait that high level out for a bit. That seems to be true for me. Both Vyvanse and Adderall make me drowsy at higher levels. Hope this helps. But I am not an expert, just figuring it all out with the rest of you.


I get snoozy from time to time as well. I'd have to agree that Vyvanse may not be the best for you. I had trouble with it as well. The milligram of the capsule does not correlate to the amt of dexedrine you're getting in your system.

I'm on 5 - 15mg of dextroamphetamine er per day. I also take a 2 week stim vacation a couple of times a year which seems to reset my tolerance.

Best of luck for you on your journey. It's not an easy road and requires a lot of patience and self love but hopefully with guidance you'll get to better place.

in reply to Hidden

I sincerely appreciate your input! It’s really just so helpful to know I’m not alone and that finding the right meds can be a bit of a journey. I have a tendency to be quite impatient and get easily distressed lol Could you elaborate on what you mean when you say the milligram does not correlate to the amount of Dexedrine in the system? I’m not sure I fully understand what that means.

in reply to Cag3

Sure.. I copied this from a Google search of Vyvanse dex equivalency.... bit tricky: A prodrug that is converted to dextroamphetamine by the hydrolytic activity of red blood cells. The “conversion rate” is measured at 0.2948, meaning 30mg Vyvanse is equal to 8.85 mg dextroamphetamine, or 11.8 mg Adderall.

I'm taking the generic for dexedrine spansules. 15mg capsule = 15mg dexedrine in my system.

I take 2 in the morning, 2 in the early afternoon, then 1 in the early evening.

At bedtime I take 2mg of lorazepam + 50mg of trazodone.


Some of those symptoms are pretty normal like everyone else is saying. I recently got back on vyvanse because strattera gave me a groggy feeling all day. The heavy eyes and tight facial muscles are something I deal with a lot along with high sensitivity to oncoming headlights at night while driving.

The irritability is also really normal and I’d recommend talking to a therapist about it so you can decompress if you don’t already. It took me a while to realize that stimulant meds magnify your emotions. The emotions don’t always directly relate to the thing or event you’re expressing the emotions towards in the moment.

I was on 60mg vyvanse about 1-2 years ago and ended up becoming sleep deprived which caused me to constantly have Deja Vu which was not fun and kept freaking me out. So be aware of how much you’re sleeping even if you feel like you’re rested.

Are you eating balanced meals regularly and getting 2-3 days of light to mid exercise a week?

I also experienced really bad dry mouth but fixed that by drinking a gallon of water a day. I end up running to the restroom every 30-40 min at work and people always get a kick out of it because I’m “going again”! 😂

Last thing I’ll say is when I first took vyvanse I would wake up at 5:30am, take my vyvanse and go back to bed for 30-40 min. Wake back up at 6:15 and I would be ready to go since I slept through the period of it not being active in my body. Maybe try something like that. Figure out how long till it kicks in and wake up that many minutes earlier to take it, knock back out and wake yourself up with an alarm after it’s kicked in. You will feel a bit more acclimated and energetic in the morning.

in reply to michael682

It’s good to know the symptoms are experienced among others as well. I felt nothing remotely close to them on the 10 mg so when the dose got upped and they came on it was like “whoaaa is this normal?!” It makes me want to try the 20 mg again (with my Dr’s ok) now that I know it is in fact normal.

I do see a therapist though she can’t schedule me as often as I would like. If I feel things escalating I will definitely have to find a therapist who can see me more frequently, even though I’m very happy with the care I currently received.

I do go to a yoga class 3-4 times a week. The first few weeks on Vyvanse I was very vigilant about eating healthy and frequently, but that’s become harder and harder. It seems like I acclimated to the 10 mg very quickly, and now I don’t really experience much of an “on” phase, if you know what I mean. Yes, my focus has improved slightly no doubt, but I’m also back to finding it incredibly difficult to motivate myself to begin tasks (eating, showering, paying bills, etc) which is how I always was before medication ever entered the picture. Some of this could also be due to my depression, as I’ve noticed that has been increasing since starting Vyvanse. (Though January/February is usually when my depression peaks anyway because I’m from cold, gloomy Ohio, so it’s hard to say what is causing what.)

Can I ask if you ever acclimated to your symptoms? I remember the first few days on 10 mg I felt really off, but a week later and I hardly noticed the side effects anymore. I’m wondering if I stick with a higher dose if I’ll eventually get to the point where it all starts to feel normal.

Sorry for writing a novel but your input was so incredibly helpful!! Thank you so much! It’s way much easier to handle all of this when I hear others people’s experiences and know what to expect. It alleviates so much anxiety surrounding the unknown, too.

in reply to Cag3

It took me about a month or so to get level with the vyvanse. It’s kinda like driving a new car that’s fast, you feel so excited and scared because of how it feels and the new noises, blind spots etc but it get you to work faster. After a while you get used to it “develop a tolerance and acclimate to the side effects” but you’re still going just as fast and moving the same.

Read “faster than normal” it will tell you a little about adhd that you would never guess!

I’ve learned that medication is not a fix, it won’t solve all your problems, and no matter what people say to you at the right dose it is not a super human drug. It is to help you get a grip on yourself just enough to discover tools, develop them and implement them into your life. This is how you use the medication to become normal and meet average social standards. But the best and most exciting part is when you use your adhd in a positive manner that puts you way above others.

I’ve acclimated to most of the side effects. But I still have difficulties with a few of them.

I turn into a toddler that won’t be quite as my medication starts to die off, I am very physically affectionate with my SO when I don’t take it because my brain has no self control, I don’t eat much until the evening which makes me seem as though I am pregnant 😂 I end up eating odd combos and my SO just laughs and loves me for who I am.

I think the hardest part about medication is that you’re more aware of the things you do in a day and wind up being harder on yourself for the mistakes because “you should know better” but in reality it’s the lack of tools being implemented.

Yoga is a good thing to keep doing, I had to buy protein powder for lunch time but still fail most days to take it, there will always be downsides of medication but that’s okay!

Anyway hope some of this helps you out. :)

What a great idea, setting an alarm ahead to take it and wake back up not fighting to get out of bed!

You may also like...