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Old 11-14-19, 09:02 AM
DogMom123 DogMom123 is offline
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Tips for forcing oneself to sleep enough

Anyone have any good tips for forcing oneself to go to sleep at a reasonable hour and getting good sleep? My adderall has seemed less effective for the past few years than it was when I originally started taking it, but Iím wondering if the underlying culprit could be that I never get more than 5 hours sleep, often less. My problem isnít being kept up by the stimulant medication, since this happens on days Iíve taken it as well as days I havenít, the problem is after my kids go to sleep Iíll remember a million things i have to do, get sidetracked with little projects here and there, maybe start organizing a drawer or something and then end up hyperfocusing on that. Iíll tell myself Iíll get to sleep at X time but when that time comes i donít feel like getting into bed and will just keep extending a result is my sleep is really poor. Would love to hear whatís works for you!
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Old 11-15-19, 04:16 AM
Monox D. I-Fly Monox D. I-Fly is offline
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Re: Tips for forcing oneself to sleep enough

Every night, if I'm not sleepy enough I keep ruminating about how people treat me unfairly as an ADD. My brain gets exhausted enough and then I have a good sleep.
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Old 11-16-19, 06:57 PM
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Re: Tips for forcing oneself to sleep enough

Lack of sleep definitely renders my meds almost useless. I'm always a bit sleep deprived but if I sleep less than 5h for more than just a few days I can't function with or without meds.

Oh I don't have many tips on how to force yourself to sleep more. It's something I struggle with as well. What's keeping you from sleeping more? Your phone? TV? Games? Insomnia?
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Old 11-20-19, 03:29 AM
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Re: Tips for forcing oneself to sleep enough

I had to sleep train myself and it took me 9 months and a sleep study. I set my alarms and go to bed i the same two hour window and wake up in the same two hour window everyday no matter what I have going on. That means I wake up between 4-6 and go to bed between 10-12. Id like to say also that I had a sleep study that did determine that I need less than average amounts of sleep, 6 hours is my normal but most people need more.
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Old 11-20-19, 07:43 AM
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Re: Tips for forcing oneself to sleep enough

Your brain sounds like it's running like crazy, like someone who has adhd basically at night. I wonder if it could be because your meds have worn off by that hour so you feel your adhd even stronger. Why you can't sleep both when you are taking days off the meds and on days when you are on them.

I rarely have problems sleeping but I did complain once that my adhd was way worse in the evenings after I started taking the meds. My doctor responded that it was because my meds were wearing off by then so I felt the withdrawal more.

His solution was to give me not only a stimulant in the morning hours but a non-stimulant adhd med later in the afternoon. So I can see a nonstimulant being one potential solution. I didn't go with this route though as I myself didn't want to take even more meds.

On the occasions I can't fall asleep, it's for the same reason as you. My mind is plagued with too many thoughts that flip from one to another.

For me, finding a stronger, positive stimulus that actually overrides those thoughts can help a lot. Like when I was upset with my boss, I couldn't stop thinking about him and it would keep me up. I got myself a tabletop,multicolored disco ball which gave me a light show and some soft music to focus my mind. It was high enough stimulus that I could focus on that and let go of all the negative or racing thoughts I would otherwise have had. Music alone might help you clear your mind but I needed more stimulus than just music so the light helped.

Anti-anxiety meds actually work like a charm (my mom did this) but I don't recommend it or at least as a very last resort as they are highly addictive and cannot be taken long term.
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Old 11-20-19, 11:21 AM
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Re: Tips for forcing oneself to sleep enough

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Originally Posted by sarahsweets View Post
I had to sleep train myself and it took me 9 months and a sleep study. I set my alarms and go to bed i the same two hour window and wake up in the same two hour window everyday no matter what I have going on. That means I wake up between 4-6 and go to bed between 10-12. Id like to say also that I had a sleep study that did determine that I need less than average amounts of sleep, 6 hours is my normal but most people need more.
Even when we know we need to sleep better, I think we all tend to underestimate the protracted effort required to retrain bad sleep patterns.

Sarah's long post on her 9-month saga to wrestle herself into a healthy sleep pattern is one of the most valuable and inspirational posts I have seen on the forum. It really helped me understand the need to "keep at it" and not decide too soon that my efforts "aren't working."

Someone should find it and bump it so newer readers can see what they may be up against. You think managing a toddler at bedtime is hard work? That's what it's like managing yourself at bedtime. But just like with the toddler, do it because the results are worth it!
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Old 11-21-19, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by DogMom123 View Post
Anyone have any good tips for forcing oneself to go to sleep at a reasonable hour and getting good sleep? My adderall has seemed less effective for the past few years than it was when I originally started taking it, but I’m wondering if the underlying culprit could be that I never get more than 5 hours sleep, often less. My problem isn’t being kept up by the stimulant medication, since this happens on days I’ve taken it as well as days I haven’t, the problem is after my kids go to sleep I’ll remember a million things i have to do, get sidetracked with little projects here and there, maybe start organizing a drawer or something and then end up hyperfocusing on that. I’ll tell myself I’ll get to sleep at X time but when that time comes i don’t feel like getting into bed and will just keep extending a result is my sleep is really poor. Would love to hear what’s works for you!
I do exactly the same thing, thinking of a million things I should do, plus I can get so hyperfocused on internet "research" that I used to stay on the computer late into the night. I've never been very good at knowing what I need in the moment, whether it's food, water, sex or a bathroom break, so I realized that "feeling sleepy" is not a dependable indicator that it's time to go to bed.

Once I decided that lack of sleep was (or would become) a serious health problem, I tried several approaches, from the benign to the drastic. They all work; the problem is that you have to keep trying! I've given up waiting for it to become a habit, and just resigned myself to having to put my inner toddler to bed at a reasonable hour most of the time.

The benign: I set fun musical timers on my phone, like "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" to start winding down, and a follow-up timer like "Mr. Sandman" to finish winding down and get ready for bed. I also have a wrist buzzer on my Fitbit. If I'm not out doing something, I start around 8:30 with taking 2.5g melatonin (and other "early evening" supplements incl magnesium, valerian, GABA and progesterone) and putting on amber goggles (to screen out blue light, since I know I won't turn off my devices that early). Since I can forget almost anything, I also have a written out "evening routine" posted both by my computer and also in my bathroom. Even with all the reminders it can still be a struggle not to get distracted and stay up late. I try not to beat myself up about it, but also not sleep in. If I'm tired later, I may take an afternoon nap.

The drastic: About 2 years ago I had a depressive relapse, and I became fascinated by a sleep cycle "reset" they are apparently using in some hospitals in Germany for suicidal ideation. Called "triple chronotherapy" the quickest version involves first a full 24 hours of sleep deprivation, followed by several days of "sleep phase advance" with bright light on waking and shifting wake/sleep times so you end up going to bed at the time you want. I realized I could probably do this by myself, I tried it, and it worked amazingly. I've barely thought about killing myself since, but it also taught me the importance of regular sleep to my mental health. I've also done a shorter 2-day version when I'm not depressed, but I can just see my sleep cycle is starting getting ragged. (I'm sure I would benefit from getting out in morning sunlight more, too, but that is going to be as big a challenge as sleep.)

PS I should mention the amber goggles are another resounding success. If I put them on at 8:30, I will be falling asleep in my chair by 10:30, like someone put a towel over my cage. The trick, unfortunately, is remembering to put them on.
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