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Can we please discuss SLEEP vs ADHD.

As some of you might of already read, that I have been recently diagnosed ADHD. I was on 40mg of vyvanse for a week, It was hard for me to figure out if I was able focus better or not. Is it possible that I was thinking to much? I might of been able to read articles better but by the end of week one I became extremely anxious. I was kinda scary.

I don’t normally suffer from Anxiety, So the doc told me to stop using the meds and when I come back to him in three weeks we will see how I feel, and we will talk about other options.

The thing is I’m really gathering a lot of information about ADHD and this is over whelming me a bit. I am trying to take it slow for now, I did slow down on the reading. But I did notice at my age, I need to be the one doing all the work for my self or I might as well not of been diagnosed.
So here I am trying to figure things out slowly.

So many things in the close to the 40 years of my life have a reason now. And I’m thinking is there a solution for it or do I just live the way I live.
But one thing has opened a can of worms for me smile
SLEEP
I have been waking up early since I was preteen, I always’d loved the mornings. It was so nice and peaceful, quiet.  No one out in the street. But honestly, I do remember sleeping through classes.  I had to go to bed at lunch hour.
As I’m getting older, It is getting harder and harder for me to stay up in the evening hours. It is not late, it could be 6,7, 8, o’clock and I feel like i’m falling apart.
My normal bed time is about 10 o’clock and
sometimes I go to bed a little earlier which probably doesn’t help.
I have no problem falling a sleep. My problem is sleeping through a night. My sleep get interrupted a lot, And many times it is with a lot of thoughts in my head, that I don’t know if I was up or sleeping.
I did go for a sleep apnea test, I was told I don’t have apnea but something similar, it’s called Hypopnia, where the wind pipe gets narrow but dosn’t close.  They gave me a machine but I find the machine wakes me up after 3 hours and I rip it off.
The ADHD doctor laughed it off. He said they tell everyone they have that. And he wouldn’t be able to sleep with that mask either. He thinks if my thoughts are controlled it might help me with my sleep. Not sure.
My question is to you all, dose my story sound familiar?  I have no problem falling a sleep but can’t get a full night of sleep. lately, I’m am up before 4 AM and out of bed after 5.
What ideas can you give me? I feel sleep is one important thing that is disabling me and making me feel different and not able to think.
Has anyone tried a blue light? I do take melatonin, but it dosn’t seem to help much.

Replies

I don’t think they tell everyone they have hypopnia.  I went for a sleep apnea test, and they told me I have nothing wrong with me.  It turns out I have allergic asthma due to a allergies to my cat and pollens.  Since the sleep center was allergen-free, I didn’t have much of a problem during my stay there. 

I was being treated for allergies because I was sick all the time and couldn’t breathe very well, but the medicine my doctor was giving me wasn’t helping much.  My husband encouraged me to make an appointment with an allergist.  They told me I have asthma and gave me medicine for both asthma and allergies.  The first night I took the asthma medicine, I didn’t wake up at all during the night and slept only 8 hours.  By comparison, I was waking up 5-7 times and sleeping 15 hours.  I would wake up groggy, and all I could think about was the next time I could sleep.  I was tested for allergies and I tested positive for cats and some pollens, so I started allergy shots.  After 6 months of allergy shots, I was able to decrease my asthma medicines.  Since I’ve been being treated for asthma and allergies, I haven’t had any problems with my sleep, I’m not sick all the time and I don’t have any problems with my breathing.

Sorry my story is kind of long.  I understand about not being able to think because you aren’t getting enough sleep.  I operated like that for a long time because I was having problems with my sleep (as described above) for years before I found out it was allergic asthma.  I hope you get to the bottom of it.

Good luck.

Posted by csiagent32 on Jan 17, 2014 at 10:58pm

I recommend you start a log. If you mess around with a bunch of approaches at once you’ll never know what’s working or not working.  Try not to change more than one variable at a time.  Make sure you give each adjustment adequate trial time.  Try to find out what an adequate trial time is. Some meds you know right away first dose to several days it’s not for you (allergic reaction - hives, shock etc). Some have nasty side effects that need time to go away. Some seem like there is nothing happening because they need time to work - maybe months. You need to know for each thing what a fair trial is. You might need to try something for a set number of weeks, then maybe adjust the dose slightly - or the timing - or whether you eat or not. Keep track of the conditions under which you tried something. Write down your bed time, nighttime awakenings, wake time, what you eat (and when). What dose and kind of med - and what time. Was there something else going on - you had a cold, stomach bug, did the hot water tank bust that morning etc. Write your activity - exercise - how much, what time - how you felt. Write symptoms - until you look at a big picture you won’t be able to see a connection. Maybe your breathing problems happen worse after you ate cheese and crackers or it was better when you had blueberries. Track your fluids, Was a eye twitching all day, take a week or two Make a table or chart that will allow you to see patterns. 

Sometimes melatonin needs tweaking - you have to dose it and time it right.  I know a tween who it works great for - ONLY if it’s taken within 20 minutes of retiring for bed and knowing there are at least 8-9 hours before wake time - kid stays up for a half hour (only 10 minutes extra) and it’s the wretched snarling exorcist and a fitful sleep or no way to wake in the morning.

You are spinning. Normal. That’s what our brains do. - especially those of us w/ ADD & Anxiety. Tracking can help you separate your experience from your anxiety or unfocused perception of your experience and help you see a more accurate picture of how well your attempts are working. You will be able to see if you really were following directions (don’t trust your memory - we’re often all over the place - if we don’t know what time it is half the time, how can we know how many times we woke up 5 nights ago?) - if yes - you might need to change the dose or drug -if not - you need to improve your compliance before you eliminate a treatment option as no good. It also gives you credibility at the doctors. (How to present an obscene amount of data w/o looking crazy is an entirely different discussion though.)

The sleep places don’t tell everyone they need a machine. I’d revisit that doc and have another discussion about the results of your sleep study. The sleep disturbances can be a massively huge part of your anxiety and ADD - maybe even the cause - if you get that straightened out, maybe you lose those other diagnoses…Maybe a neurochemical issue is causing the sleep problems - different from anxiety or ADD.

Try to do all the things the “sleep people” say for a fair trial - no blue screen x hours before bedtime, no heavy exercise, no heavy eating… quiet room or white noise… DARK room. I tried only recently the dark - I have no lights normally - I figure I close my eyes, it’s dark, right? - but as a test really closed the blinds and curtains - all the way and covered all the LED lights - phone charger, VCR, clock, toothbrush charger, laptop - all those little lights - clipped the drapes so the light from the back deck of the yard behind and through the hedge didn’t slip through…It actually made a difference. I wonder if we open our eyes during sleep - maybe those little dots of light make a difference. I stopped waking up so much myself.
For me, actually going to bed is my big problem. I don’t even say how little sleep I get. It’s my big problem. I have my gp and 6 (count em 6) specialists telling me if I get sleep under control I can reduce my need for meds and if I eat better and exercise after that, I may not even need meds.  Still trying to get there for years - but I know they’re right.

Don’t know what a blue light is.  I know a occupational therapist who swears by salt lamps -loaned my family one (at the time we had someone with sensory integration disorder in the house - sleep was a problem due to overload - just like ADD, I think). It could have been a placebo effect, but I felt like I slept better - we tried it all around the house - everyone tried it. It seemed to tone the energy down.

Posted by Juggler on Jan 17, 2014 at 11:07pm

Before you try a different medication, I would recommend that you do not give up on Vyvance yet, but try it again at 20 mg.

Posted by Tom K on Jan 18, 2014 at 4:20am

What Juggler said.

I used to be able to go to sleep at any time, and wake at any time, as long as I got 4-6 hours of sleep.

Now (41) there’s like a 15 minute window at night and in the morning. If I go down at the right time and wake at the right time, I’m golden. Stay out late, and I’m wrecked in the morning. Have a tough day and turn in early, and I’m wrecked in the morning.

Bummer. Getting old stinks.

Posted by PAdad on Jan 26, 2014 at 5:17pm

I find that the week before the curse, I have more issues with insomnia. Sometimes I have to pull an all-nighter to reset my clock,,and this works. I’m one of those people that you can’t tell if they pulled an all-nighter. I won’t nap at all after a sleepless night,bc napping defeats the purpose of the all-nighter, which is to reset my internal clock

Posted by Lilapsophile on Jan 29, 2014 at 8:25pm

Yoga or meditation might also help

Posted by Lilapsophile on Jan 29, 2014 at 8:27pm

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