Do you have trouble sleeping at night? I think lots of people with Attention Deficit Disorder do. I think it’s because your mind has nothing to distract or entertain it, and it’s probably the first time all day that you’ve had some peace and quiet to just think.
So that’s what you do. Your mind goes racing all over the place – things you need to do or remember, a great new idea for something, or – the worst – the worries that start and build slowly out of control.
If this sounds familiar to you, I’ve got some suggestions that might help.
As silly as it sounds, sometimes just recognizing what I’m doing and saying “stop” to myself works. Not always, but sometimes.
Learn to meditate and do it on a regular basis. Giving your mind a scheduled break every day might save you from brain overdrive at night. I find guided meditations are easier to do than simply trying to close my eyes and clear my mind.
If you don’t like to meditate, try doing a mindless task every day. Anything that lets your mind wander without consequences is good. (That means no matter how distracted you get at work, it doesn’t count.) I find that chopping vegetables works well for me.
The Dump List is a good idea that might help. A good friend of mine says she keeps a pad of paper on her nightstand for writing things down that occur to her when she should be sleeping.
A gentle relaxing beverage can help you sleep on nights when your mind is especially active. My favorites include lemon balm tea and a glass of wine.
Finally, if you can’t get to sleep no matter how you try, give up and get up. Spend as long as you need to feel really sleepy and try again. Sometimes the change of location can help, too. My husband sometimes has trouble falling asleep, but put him in front of the tv and he’s out.
One last thing to remember – if you don’t get a good night’s sleep the night before, you can almost certainly bet that your ADHD symptoms will be more difficult to manage the next day.