Sleep help: Hey, new ( and grateful... - CHADD's Adult ADH...

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Sleep help

Confused352 profile image

Hey, new ( and grateful) member here. My first cry for help:

How do people sleep ? I’m newly diagnosed at 43 and have had problems sleeping my entire life. The only way I can fall asleep naturally is if I exhaust myself through physical exercise, otherwise I cycle through different sleep aids like melatonin and drowsy antihistamines or on many occasions, alcohol.

I started Elvanse yesterday and had excitedly fantasised earlier in the week that it would turn my brain off enough to fall asleep without any help, but alas it was not to be. I often feel like my brain has forgotten how to fall asleep at all. All and any sleep advice from this community is welcomed 😊.

15 Replies

Hi there,

Thanks for sharing.

Magnesium and B Vitamins help me with sleep. I take these as a supplement and they do make a difference.

I also have an essential oil diffuser in the bedroom and use calming oils like lavender and cedarwood or vetiver at bedtime. You can buy the diffusers and oils from Amazon for a fair price.

Exercise is a big one but you already mentioned this. I totally identify with you. Some days I can sleep well if I’ve been swimming or totally exhausted myself with exercise but otherwise it can be a struggle.

I try to wake up early-ish and set an alarm so I don’t sleep in too much. I also keep clutter out of my bedroom but I know that’s no doable for everyone - I have lots of storage space. I have a closet of shame 😂

Do you have a meditation app? There’s a free one called Insight Timer and this helps me. They have lots of sleep ones on there and it does help to just distract my mind from the day and also relax a bit.

Lots of love x

. ‘I have a closet of shame’ I have a room of doom 🤣. Thanks so much for the response 🥰

I will try the Magnesium and B vitamins - you won’t be surprised to hear that I have tried these before but have never been able to stick to a flipping routine, same with the meditation apps and the sleep hygiene factors. Maybe now I am being medicated such things will become a bit easier ( I hope ! ) xx

Yes just keep it simple. Maybe try one thing at a time - though that’s easier said than done for us! Haha.

Room of doom 😂

Best of luck ❤️

If you have a bedtime routine like face washing or teeth brushing, keep the magnesium and vitamins in your bathroom. Leave them out for 30 days and you'll have a habit.

I have to have a whole double cupboard in the kitchen for my supplements and meds so I can see them all clearly when I open it. If one is out of sight then I totally forget about it. I don’t even have room for my plates and bowls and stuff due to this 🤣

This is good stuff - strategy !! Shirleytaps i’ve never had a routine in my life for more than a week. Ever. It is one of the things I have negatively berated myself for over and over again. It’s a relief to be able to take some of the blame off of myself ‘officially’ and I hope that in itself will help me be able to start creating lasting routines and good habits.

With you! No sleeping meds right now but I have them available should I struggle and need them. Just knowing there’s a quick fix makes me stress less about not sleeping and need them less.

I SERIOUSLY cut down on caffeine and eliminated sugar. Any caffeine is usually finished by 11am. All exercise before 11am too.

I don’t do anything in the bedroom except sleep. Try and stay out of the bedroom until it’s actually time to go to sleep.

I get into bed nine hours before I need to wake up so even if it takes me a while to fall asleep, I’m not stuck in the “if I fall asleep now I may still get six hours...” stress game.

No serious or stressful topics after 8pm. No news, no logistics, just relaxing, comedies, etc.

Bedtime routine is consistent every night. Also trying to keep sleep/wake up times relatively consistent.

A little diff... I ignore conventional advice and it works for me: watch movies or dumb shows on my phone in bed. The blue light is dimmed (and brightness at basically the lowest) and the sleep timer is set. Usually silly comedies or documentaries just interesting enough to quiet my mind but not interesting enough that I care to stay awake! I’ve been watching the same ten movies and four tv series for a decade. To me it feels like the equivalent of being told a bedtime story.

Hope some of those help!! Good luck!!!!!

Confused352 profile image
Confused352 in reply to ADHD33

All such excellent advice thank you ! I have terrible habits that I know feed into my sleep problems like spending far too much time in the bedroom, it is always my safe haven when things get overwhelming. I’m sat in my bed right now eating a snack and building up my reserves for a busy work afternoon 🤦🏻‍♀️. Really thank you for this - I’m putting all my eggs in the medication basket but I definitely need to put some more effort in to nailing the sleep piece. Appreciate you !

I also exercise, meditate, and limit caffeine and alcohol. Alcohol will help you fall asleep but likely wears off and results in wakefulness. Read about or listen to a podcast about rumination and use the breath, prayer, or whatever to change the narrative. Take a mental walk in a favorite place, paint a picture in you mind, or build something in your imagination. I use magnesium, and occasionally melatonin (1mg), and/or a CBD pill before bed. I buy CBD from the same pharmacist (he also has ADHD) where I get my daily meds. I also read standard (paper) books and my phone is on 'do not disturb' from 10 pm to 7 am and out of my room. I also have a weighted blanket which also helps without heating me up. I cannot tell if you are male or female but perimenopause and menopause definitely cause sleep issues for most women with or without ADHD. Good luck and know you aren't alone!

Thanks for the response. I am a lady ( who am I kidding ! ), but am definitely of the female variety. The menopause can bugger right off, that’s not allowed around here for at least another few years 😉.

That sounds like a really great routine, thanks fir sharing with me. I go through these cycles of trying nearly everything you do here bar the CBD and weighted blanket but never bloody stick to anything for more than a week or so 🤦🏻‍♀️.

I am going to get back to it for sure :)

That's wild! I am also 43 and was just diagnosed a few days ago. Not that is works for everyone, but my sleep issues is what eventually led me to my diagnosis. My sleep actually was corrected years ago (mostly) but doctors were treating it as general anxiety. What I did was started a fairly strict sleep patter. I also did this with an anti anxiety at first, but I'm not sure if it worked or not. Basically I try to go to bed and wake up at the same time everyday. Even weekends. I'm not always successful at it, but it helped me. It took some time also. Oh and I try not to nap too long. 15 to 20 minutes works best.

Hey ! That actually is mad and also weirdly comforting :). I’ve had some good periods for sleep over the years but on the whole it’s been a life long pain in the backside. Listen, good luck on your journey, maybe we can compare notes in a week or so and see how are doing :)

That'd be awesome! Hopefully we can remember to do that!😂

Oh I also read before bed, which makes me tired. I've heard that blue spectrum light should be avoided several hours before bed. Many new LED lights like screens are blue light.

Thank you 🙏🏻

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