“Twas the Night before Christmas…
And all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
Except the mom, who had ADHD, and couldn’t sleep no matter how hard she tried.
And it wasn’t just during the holidays; it was any night at all.
Is it Insomnia?
It could be; but when you have ADHD, getting and staying asleep is a problem. It comes with the territory.
Your brain is used to stimulation, and when you go to bed at night, you are removing that. It’s quiet, and dark, and your brain goes into overdrive to compensate.
This is when you’ve got a thousand ideas rushing through your head, and no matter how hard you try, or what you do, it seems impossible to get to sleep.
If you’re spending night after night awake for hours, and you’re either depending on sleep aids to help you sleep (or maybe they don’t work), then you may have insomnia.
Take a look at what’s going on in your life. If there is more than usual stress, or something significant has happened or changed, you might want to see your doctor.
I Just Want to Sleep!
Unfortunately, sometimes when we get into this cycle of not being able to sleep, we start expecting not to sleep when we go to bed, which sets up a vicious cycle.
Here are some things you can try:
- Go to bed the minute you feel sleepy. Don’t wait for the end of the program you’re watching, or for it to be a “better” time.
- Do not take a nap, no matter how tempting it is.
- No electronics of any kind at least one hour before bed.
- No electronics in the bedroom.
- Make sure the temperature is good for you, but not too warm.
- Wear something comfortable. Sometimes the clothes or pajamas we’ve worn forever start to irritate us.
- No caffeine after dinner.
- No snacking either.
- Herbal teas, like Sleepytime, Chamomile, or lemon balm might help.
- Check your health food store for herbal sleep aids (and with your doctor or pharmacist for drug interactions). If you can find it, I used to have good luck with a combination of valerian and passion flower. Warning: the valerian smells horrible.
- Do a yoga sequence designed for sleep.
Still Can’t Sleep?
At some point, you may have to just ride it out.
I know you don’t want to hear that, but it’s true. I speak from experience.
If you’re tossing and turning in bed, and the clock just keeps ticking off the hours with no sleep in sight, get up.
Read a book, watch TV (at this point the no electronics rule is pointless), journal, or just do whatever.
You may find you fall asleep right where you are, or not.
Usually these things resolve themselves in a week or two.
And yes, I know what torture that is in the meantime.
Again, if it gets too bad, consult your doctor.