View Full Version : Insomnia from over-active brain? (Not on meds)

04-01-14, 06:09 AM
First of all, I don't take any meds for my ADHD. I can't tolerate them.

I noticed that I'm having really bad Insomnia due to an over-active brain. I keep wanting to research things on the internet before I forget about them.

I keep getting to sleep extremely late. Like at 2:00am or 3:30am.

Is there anyone else that has the same problem? How do you fix this problem?

04-01-14, 07:11 AM
I had this problem my whole life most of which was un-medicated. Not getting enough sleep, going to bed at 10:00pm, .. laying there "thinking" until 3 or 4am, ... did all that.

Exercise helped a lot. A LOT. Personally I'm sick of hearing that nutrition and regular exercise are the answer for everything, but for this it's the only thing that ever worked for me. When I slack off on exercise I'm totally lost to insomnia. I find I don't even have to do a whole workout; I find the tinniest little bit goes a very long way for me.

Good luck!! Lying in bed awake all night is the pits! :( :(

04-01-14, 10:39 AM
Same problem. I lay awake with a racing mind. I have yet to figure it out. No caffeine, exercise, and meditation. Do not help, I was diagnosed w/PTSD, but I don't think that is right. I just cannot fall asleep, Lately I have been on medications for sleep. I just want to sleep on my own.

04-01-14, 01:07 PM
Thanks guys for the responses.

I exercise in the morning or in the day time. I even tried drinking some beer at night, but it doesn't really help. Chamomile tea didn't work either.

The worst thing, is that I need to wake up early in the morning everyday by 8:30am.
I am always tired because of that, but no matter what, I still can't get to sleep earlier than 3:30am.

Any other ways to slow down an over-active brain?

04-01-14, 01:47 PM
When I was young I had the same issues where my brain would not shut off and I would be up until early in the morning. Now, it is a rare occurrence.

There were a number of things I did and still do and over a period of years things got better.

- If there is something I need to make sure I take with me tomorrow I will get it and put in my bag I take with me to work (then it was school). This eliminated worries about forgetting something crucial.

- I kept a notebook and pen by the bed. Any crucial thoughts I needed to make sure I did not forget I wrote down. The notebook did not move from the side of the bed - this made sure I did not lose the info.

- I would worry about future things. Play the what-if game. This was one of the things that kept my mind going round and round and not shutting off. I was exposed to the Serenity Prayer at an Al-Anon meeting and I adapted the first part of the AA Serenity Prayer to apply to worrying. With time I learned to determine what I could not affect and to stop worrying about those things. This would be a rough rewording:
God grant me the serenity to not worry about things for which I cannot affect the outcome;courage to take action regarding the things I can affect; and wisdom to know the difference.

- Stevuke79 said in his post that exercise helped. I can't speak to the effects of regular exercise but in my case I do know that on days when I did a lot of physical work I had an easier time falling asleep.

- Lastly, I do not know if it helped or not but there would be times when I was thinking about something and I would write it down. Sometimes that would put that thought to rest other times I would keep writing for pages and pages and my brain would not shut off.

To put the above info into perspective you should know that I have been dx with ADHD (type unspecified but from my reading I think Inattentive), Generalized Anxiety disorder. No dx, but one psychologist said I might have Asperger's and the Psychologist I am seeing for ADHD said he thinks I am probably somewhere on the Autism Spectrum but if I wanted to pursue that I would need to see someone else for a dx. At the time the only thing I knew was that in school I was put in gifted classes.

04-01-14, 02:34 PM
I'm actually thinking about this because it's a problem that keeps popping up for me.. but all of my gut reactions are habit forming, lol.

Reading has helped me, but I suck at reading.. but reading comic books (easier for me) also helps. Good dream material. Not "day to day stress" material.

04-01-14, 05:08 PM
I'll definitly will try the notebook next to my bed and writing my thoughts in it.
I realized that I havent journaled in a very very long time.

04-01-14, 06:45 PM
It's a common theme with ADD. Did the something every night in my teens and early 20's. To be honest, ultimately a sleep aid might be the only effective alternative. It doesn't sound like you want that, but for your health it might be your only viable alternative, as it'll catch up to you. Maybe ask your doc about a low dose tricyclic (may not work with your heart issue) or other med like Remeron, if you're willing.

04-01-14, 07:24 PM
have you ever drank a small amount of caffeine and got sleepy? when we can't focus we divide our attention in 30 different directions.

thats the overactive brain of the ADHDer trying to get to sleep, it's like their are 30 Tv's on at once.

what medication does is turn off some of those Tv's for you, Caffeine is a mild stimulant and if you take just enough you get tired, gets me everytime. can't sleep but it makes me so tired because you can focus more. the Therapist thought that a low dose of Rittlin would work for me because it does a lot of other people with ADHD, the Dr, while a great wonderfull guy who started me down this road, didn't like it. I'm on temazepam right now for sleep.

once I actually had sleep pinned down for a while. it was excersize and waking up at a specific time every morning, even if I spent the night with no sleep. after a while that trips your clock.

04-01-14, 07:39 PM
First of all, I don't take any meds for my ADHD. I can't tolerate them.

I noticed that I'm having really bad Insomnia due to an over-active brain. I keep wanting to research things on the internet before I forget about them.

I keep getting to sleep extremely late. Like at 2:00am or 3:30am.

Is there anyone else that has the same problem? How do you fix this problem?

Yes, I tend to be at my sharpest after I have been awake 18 or so hours, and often end up making progress when most people are going to sleep.

While I stay awake longer, I have no interest in making up for it by shorting myself on sleep! :mad:

Because of this I have trouble staying on a 24 hour day.

Is there anyone else that has the same problem? How do you fix this problem?

I have mixed results with low-dose Dexedrine, but the biggest perk is that it helps me stay on a 24 hour day, as I get sleepy at night when I take a capsule in the am.

04-01-14, 07:40 PM
I started to get real drowsy at about 4am/5am.

Part was from an over active brain, part was anxious then depressed and then could not stop thinking about someone.

04-01-14, 07:56 PM
I've been having this issue a lot lately.

I finally gave in and took some of my sleeping pills that I had quit (by myself)...I obviously still need something to get me to sleep.

You may need something, too.

04-01-14, 07:56 PM
I forgot about caffeine.

I drink a lot of tea in the evening and right up until bedtime. The caffeine may have helped keep my mind from going off on tangents.

04-01-14, 07:58 PM
Have you tried tryptophan or valerian root?Trytophan is the same stuff in turkey that makes you tired after you eat it.

04-01-14, 10:20 PM
This is a good read. The author is the doctor I now see.

It's a three page article.

04-02-14, 09:37 AM
When I had insomnia for about 2-3 weeks, I resorted to sleeping pills and anti-anxiety medication- it helped, but had side-effects. If it's serious and long-lasting, I can't think of another good solution except medication though.

Exercise does help some people, but try to not to exercise late in the evening, because it will make you more hyper.
You can try linden tree tea- a known traditional "cure" for insomnia; St. John's worth- that's more for calming though; or, the only one that actually worked for me, Valerian root tee- this one has an immediate effect too.

Melatonin helps some people a lot.

As for calming your mind, I never figured out how to do it. The more I try to remain calm, the more agitated I get. So, I do the exact opposite: I think about something very dramatic, read something, listen to music that will cause a strong emotion, because after that emotion fades away, my brain quiets down. It's like crying yourself to sleep (crying works very well for me, btw, but I know not all people can do it on command).

Also, masturbation helps lots of people...

04-02-14, 05:14 PM
I used to have the same problem until recently. I tried everything: exercising (it actually kept me awake) to trying to get a sleep rhythm by waking up at the same time every day. I would get up at 7 am every day for school. Nonetheless, my mind kept racing and despite being soooo tired it always took me at least 2 hours to fall asleep. I only slept like 4-5 hours every night which obviously wasn't enough.

Then my mother advised me to take Valerian root and Melatonin. I've never slept better. I can actually fall asleep in 5-30 minutes now. Melatonin is very safe to take and occurs naturally in your body. I've heard of people taking 1000 times the recommended dose and not getting any side effects. Valerian does give me vivid dreams though, but I don't really mind. (I actually quite like it, makes sleeping more interesting)

But yes I definitely recommend checking out melatonin. You can buy it without a prescription, it's really worth a try.

04-03-14, 04:51 AM
Are you in love?

No cure for that ;)

04-03-14, 07:45 AM
Melatonin or masturbation.

04-10-14, 05:38 AM
Exercise can be good to burn spare energy.