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Concerta and Insomnia Question

Hi.  I thought I would put this post here rather than in Medicine Reviews because I have never taken Concerta, but had some questions for those who have.  The reason for asking is I have had very tough time sleeping for about a year, and just found out that Concerta is now approved for use for ADHD here in Japan.  I am 51 years old, diagnosed one year ago.  I remember Dr. Dobson saying on a webinar that some people actually take their stimulants in the evening TO sleep, so I think it is possible for them to relax some folks. So, the prospects of improved sleep and/or less symptoms of stress or feelings of doom makes me consider giving Concerta a try.  But, on a historical note, I started getting insomnia on Strattera one year ago and even though I stopped it, my sleep never returned fully (is still poor), so I certainly would not take anything which does not improve my sleep, which for me is No. 1.  So, thanks in advance.
1. Does anyone sleep better on Concerta than before they took it?
2. Does it reduce daytime obsessive thinking, where you just feel calmer, rather than constantly thinking?
3. What dosage has worked for you to sleep OK and get less symptommatic?  Thanks!


Hello Bulls Eye.. Sounds like you need some shut eye…
I have not taken Concerta but I do take Adderall.  I use to take the XR (extended release) and i could not get any sleep no matter how hard I tried.  I changed to the regular formula and that made a difference.  Also take Tylenol PM to help me get to sleep now.  I’m in Texas and it’s 1:30 AM here now and will be going to bed in about an hour and get 3 to 4 hours sleep. I’m Still having issues… 
Check your Concerta formula if it’s extended / slow release, change to regular release.  Or get DR to switch meds.  There’s many alternatives.and stay away from XR Slow release.  It may mean taking several small doses during the day, but you should get out of system by bed time.

Posted by spage_hasADD on Mar 14, 2014 at 10:29am

Hi Bulls Eye,

Ohh I totally feel your concern.  I didn’t get diagnosed until I was 49! I had such frustration around sleep deprivation I truly believe I was losing my mind.

I have not tried Concerta, but found salvation with Ritalin.  It was the perfect match for my hyper/impulsive symptoms.  Within 1 week, I was able to get sleepy at night around 10pm, go to sleep within 15 minutes and sleep through the night.  I woke up groggy in the morning and felt rested!  None of those things happened before Ritalin.

My normal routine started with melatonin (took it nightly for 20 years) waited to go to sleep, always woke up after 3-4 hours feeling wide awake, then waited to go back to sleep, and every morning woke up bone-dead tired. What hell! I had no idea I had a non-stop motor going on in my body that made it impossible for me to relax fully.

Concerta has the same ingredient found in Ritalin.  I hope it works for you and you get the rest you need!

When I was still taking Ritalin, I took my last dose by late afternoon allowing enough time for it to be out of my system before I went to bed.  I was not one of those people that could take a stimulant for sleep.

Ritalin definitely relaxed not only my body, but my thinking.  It definitely improved obsessive/ruminating thinking.


Posted by Mitzi Maine on Mar 14, 2014 at 3:12pm

It’s possible I do sleep better.  I used to wake at odd hours - one hour before dawn, for a long time… 3 AM for a long time and 12:30 AM during a different period. Now I don’t. I don’t know if it’s a result of the Concerta, but I do sleep through the night.

I take 72 mg of Concerta (this is an extended release version of methylphenidate - the ingredient in Ritalin).  I take it in the morning and find it has worn off in about 12 hours.One evening I accidentally took my full dose at night instead of my night-time vitamins.  I was up all night. Because of that experience,  I make sure to take it by 10:00 A.M. to prevent sleep problems.  I have taken it as late as 11:00, and ended up going to bed a bit later than usual, but still fell asleep with no problem. If I take it in the morning when I wake, it does not in any way interfere with my ability to fall asleep or stay asleep that night.

I tried Adderall, but was agitated the whole time, didn’t sleep and had an allergic reaction on the 4th day.  I had never taken an amphetamine before. Methylphenidate has a very different feel to me.

If I don’t have to get up early, but want to focus later, I’ll set an alarm and take my meds and go right back to sleep. If I go back down immediately and fall asleep before it kicks in (~20-30 minutes) it will not wake me when it activates. If I delay it and don’t fall asleep within 20 minutes I will sense the activation and find I am better off just getting up.

I tried Strattera, but wasn’t able to tweak the dose and timing enough for it to work for me. If I took it at night, I was up all night. If I took it in the morning, I was asleep all day (I could not drive for fear of falling asleep). Concerta is very different from Strattera. 

I haven’t taken the short acting Ritalin. I do well with a gradual rise and fall and I have heard there is more chance of a jolt and a crash with “regular” Ritalin. Of course everyone is different.

Be aware of what you are taking. In the U.S. there are generics for Concerta. One of them is packaged as generic; but it is actually the exact original pill (this unusual situation is a result of a court battle between drug manufacturers). The others have the same main ingredient, but different delivery systems (the pill releases the medication differently).  My son had a drastically different experience switching from the “original labelled as generic” to an actual generic. It wasn’t a good experience, so make sure you are aware of what company manufactures your medication every time you fill it because if you are not tolerating an extended release methyphenidate, the problem could be with the brand, and not the methylphenidate itself.

Let us know how it goes.

Posted by Juggler on Mar 15, 2014 at 7:58am

Also - yes, the Concerta does stop the “noise”.

Posted by Juggler on Mar 15, 2014 at 8:03am

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