View Full Version : I'm really tired sometimes... and it helps me, ironically!

05-06-15, 02:28 PM
This thread is about the alleviating effects of being very tired. I'm diagnosed with ADHD-PI, so I assume all of my concentration, motivation and brain fog problems have to do with it.

I'm currently not taking any medication; only ritalin really helped, but it caused unmanageble insomnia.

As seems to be common in people with ADHD-PI, I often wake up unrefreshed, and without an alarm clock I easily sleep 10 hours. So I find that fatigue is a part of my life, especially when I'm unmotivated to do anything.

However, when I'm extra fatigued - after 4 hours of sleep and a day of work (and these are long and physically intensive working days, it's a parttime job, once a week) - I feel that I can concentrate a lot better. I feel physically more drained than ever, but during such evenings I'm able to articulate better, I'm more able to formulate thoughts and put them to words - verbally and on paper. On such moments I can read better; I won't need to reread very often what I've just read.

Of course, eventually I get too tired and I collapse - that's when I really need to go to bed. It's like I'm having a golden phase of clarity before my brain really stops working. It's no surprise, that when I try to sleep during such a golden phase, I won't fall asleep, even when my body is more fatigued than ever.

I never found a convincing explanation; I would like to have some insights in this, because perhaps I could reproduce the effects of the golden phase.

I remember having once read a thread somewhere, one that I can't find anymore, in which someone described a similar experience; somebody who replied suggested that the brain works better when being tired, since it then will cancel all the less important, distracting processes, so that the brain can focus very well on singular tasks (perhaps this is the explanation, though I'd like to see some proof).

Then, I somewhere read, that sleep deprivation can alleviate depression, since it raises serotonin levels. I don't consider myself depressed; all my mood related problems could be explained by my ADHD-PI. However, I've experimented with Tryptophan (a serotonin producing precursor), an amino acid which, according to research, is often lacking in ADHD-brains, and sometimes it does help clear my mind up a bit, but after prolonged use (three or more days) it begins to dull me.

If you've made it this far; thank you for your attention. I'd like to know if anybody can relate to this experience, or could offer me some insights in the possible reasons for my strange experiences, and whether my experiences could be normal for someone with ADHD-PI, or whether it is a sign that my ADHD-PI symptoms could have to do with something else.

I hope my post was clear and relevant enough; I've written it during one of my 'golden phases'. I strongly believe that writing this post would have taken me 30 minutes instead of 10 normally.

05-06-15, 02:59 PM
Unfortunately it is the opposite for me. If I don't get enough sleep I'm useless. I've never heard of this before. Probably because sleep deprivation is so unhealthy nobody wants to take the risk of promoting it on printed material.

I also have anxiety and depression. None of those symptoms gets better with little to no sleep.
I do have an internal clock. I never have to use the alarm clock to get up no matter what time. I think my anxiety of being late or missing something is the cause of this. Now, I still set the alarm because I sleep better knowing there is a back up just incase, again anxiety, but I can't remember the last time I had to use it.

I hope you find what you're looking for and I wish you well!

05-06-15, 03:56 PM
I see a lot of speculation that ADHD can be caused by a sleep disorder. I'm not saying that's the cause. I actually think that it makes more sense that it's part of the disorder, as a result of the neurological issues.

You should definitely get a sleep study done where you specifically ask them to check for restless legs syndrome, periodic limb movement, as well as other more obvious sleep disorders.

At any rate, I enjoy a day without sleep. Maybe it's the stress on the whole system, sending in more endorphins which somehow trigger more dopamine? I have NO CLUE. I just know that I do the following things naturally as a life long pattern:

My sleep hours are constantly cycling forward, so that periodically I will decide to pull an all nighter to re-set my sleep hours to a more normal one. I would have a hard time changing this disorderly sleep pattern for a job, therefore I would tend to cheat and do things to get myself more functional with less sleep, like guzzling coffee, skipping nights sleeps to reset, etc.

The feeling of chronic fatigue is likely exacerbated by a sleep disorder. Periodic Leg Movement and Restless legs syndrome is something you can have from a child, so you get kids who can thrash around in the bed more. All my dreams about being in motion, like falling, flying, running, driving, sliding, skidding... I'm getting RLS checked out soon because I need a sleep study for sleep apnea, which also drains you. Imagine if you have restless legs syndrome and sleep apnea! That would suck but it's possible. Restless legs syndrome treatment is ADHD medication actually, from what I read. It's linked to ADHD and most people don't even know they have it because they just get a feeling of sore legs in the early signs.

ADHD is linked with a variety of sleep problems. For example, one recent study found that children with ADHD had higher rates of daytime sleepiness than children without ADHD. Another study found that 50% of children with ADHD had signs of sleep disordered breathing, compared to only 22% of children without ADHD. Research also suggests that restless legs syndrome and periodic leg movement syndrome are also common in children with ADHD.

p.s. yes upon thought, when I do skip a day of sleep I weirdly feel more "clear" especially in the afternoon when my body gives up on signalling me to sleep. I actually don't think it's more "clear" but it just feels differently. It's more pointed in a way?

05-07-15, 12:30 PM
I would like to have some insights in this, because perhaps I could reproduce the effects of the golden phase.

Interesting phenomenon indeed, but [unfortunately] it seems to be an illusion.
I couldn't find any cognitive or any other metric that improves after sleep deprivation/restriction,
except, as you mentioned, stabilizing mood in people with drug-resistant depression

..."It's been known for decades that sleep deprivation is the fastest antidepressant known to man
for about 40% to 60% of patients with depression,..." (

Other than that, underslept, we lose our guard and get overly optimistic:

Sleep deprivation elevates expectation of gains and
attenuates response to losses following risky decisions (

Morover, after some time we tend to lose the ability to objectively assess the real damage
- compare PVT vs SSS panels on the first figure here (

I could add, that sleep restricted individuals tend to see neutral data as more pessimistic, but I am too sleepy to add the link :P

05-07-15, 01:36 PM
=icarusinflames;1731247]I see a lot of speculation that ADHD can be caused by a sleep disorder. I'm not saying that's the cause. I actually think that it makes more sense that it's part of the disorder, as a result of the neurological issues.

This is the only point I disagree with. I know that you arent saying this but I wanted to high light it for new members or guests that might actually believe it.
So no folks, adhd is not caused by a sleep disorder .