Opposite sleep issue! : I have never... - CHADD's Adult ADH...

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Opposite sleep issue!


I have never had the problem of not being able to fall asleep. Instead, my sleep problem is different and is embarrassing at times.

There have been numerous incidents when I have found myself losing interest in the middle of a lecture, meeting, anything that requires me to just sit and listen. As a result, I find myself dosing off uncontrollably. It gets more embarrassing when the meeting is only a few people and it is clearly noticeable that I am struggling to stay awake. Even more, when I am confronted by the speaker and I have no explanation! This even happens when I know that it is important for me to grasp what I am going to listen to. I just lose control over it for some time.

Anyone else faces anything like this? Is this ADHD related? I have only seen people having trouble falling asleep, but not the other way around. Help!!

12 Replies

Hi there, I have inattentive adhd (the type of adhd that does not include hyperactivitiy) and what you're describing is what happened to me all throughout my life until I finally sought treatment for ADHD in my mid 20s and was able to turn my life around for the better. Teachers would frequently get mad at me and make fun of my "day dreaming" in my younger years. The reason for the lack of focus comes from people with ADHD having low levels of Dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain that deals with concentration and motivation. People with ADHD also lack other neurotransmitters as well, which gives us difficulty in many areas. I'm not sure what type of ADHD you have, but if you're interested, I have a ADHD youtube channel where I go in depth and share my ADHD research and experience working with the ADHD population (if you click my picture, it'll take you to my profile, and in the bio section, you'll find the youtube link, as well some other helpful items). Hope this helps.

Thanks for confirming that I am not the only one facing this. I do have Inattentive type ADHD and hope to get the right kind of treatment that works for me soon!

I am reading a book called Healing ADD by Dr. Amen. The book suggests that, in some cases, the brain actually slows down when the individual is “trying harder” to focus. This has happened to me in the past for sure. The book has many resources and treatment ideas for each type of ADD. ❤️🙌🏻

I’ll check it out. That sounds like what I feel! Thanks!

Yes I'm one end of the scale one week and at the other the next , up and line a yoyo

This is NOT ADHD related. Sounds like you might have sleep apnea or narcolepsy. You need what is called a sleep study. Talk to your doctor and tell them about this issue.

Many treatments exist for both

Best wishes


Thank you! The psychiatrist who was treating me for ADHD knew about this but didn’t suggest anything specific other than prescribing amphetamines while being very fearful of increasing dosage. I’m on the lookout for a new doctor!

Yes I had this issue also. I do have ADHD but I also have sleep apnea. I ended up having a stroke at 51. I am ok and they are not sure why but the only significant risk factor I had was the sleep apnea. I love my cpap machine. I can't take stimulants anymore (and I miss them) but I am no longer so sleepy because of the CPap. Please get a sleep study!!

Sorry to hear it got that bad for you and glad you have found the solution for your problem. I’ll talk to my doctor about sleep study. Thanks!

Agree that you should be checked for Narcolepsy, and Sleep Disorders. That said, many persons with ADHD need more stimulation to stay alert and focused. I used to take copious notes that I did not need for memory but for stimulation. Some people with ADHD squeeze a soothing stress ball regularly in these situations. Some take notes on their computer --mine are always paper(probably a function of my age.) One fellow grad student asked her prof for an accommodation to allow her to knit during lectures. This is, I admit, simplistic advice, that you have probably already tried, but sometimes I forget the most basic doping tools if I have not used them in a while.

lol! That was suppose to be Coping skills, not doping!!!hahaha See why I don't type my notes?

Haha yes I’ve tried those but I’ve fallen asleep while taking notes. For me, what has worked best is snacking and sipping coffee while attending. Can’t do that everywhere though and if it is too long and I run out of my coffee, it has happened then too. I will ask my doctor about sleep disorders but I doubt if that is what it is since I’m not tired or sleepy or anything like that before and after the lecture. If I’m doing something fun, this never happens at all! That made me connect, only after I knew I had ADHD, that losing focus could be causing it. This has happened since a long time (I remember from high school) and I just couldn’t explain what could it be. I just thought I’m bored and that’s why this is happening.

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