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ADD, Insomnia, and Me

Recently, I had another acronym added to my health resume – ADD, or attention deficit disorder.

I'll be honest and tell you I wasn't surprised. I talked a LOT as a kid, I've always been easily distracted and now with insomnia, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), MDD (major depressive disorder), and IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) among other illnesses, a whole lot of things began to make sense.

It took a few months for me to gather the information (symptoms) and write them down for my psychiatrist. We had an honest conversation and since it tends to run in my family, we decided to try medicating me for it, since I have been unable to work. It's been impeding parts of my life for, I'd say, the past year for sure, but maybe even 2 to 3 years.

ADD and sleep disorders

Using my resources, I did a little digging on how and why ADD can cause issues for those of us with sleep disorders, especially insomnia. 

According to the Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA), "The sudden bursts of energy as soon as they get into bed, or simply being unable to get their mind into power-down mode, means they end up lying in bed awake for too long before falling asleep." In addition to having bursts of energy, adults tend to be lighter sleepers when diagnosed with ADD.1

Sleep tips for people with ADD and insomnia

So here are some helpful tips from the ADDA that can help you every night if you deal with insomnia and ADD:1

  • Go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning. Have the same routines and get used to them.
  • Exercise regularly for 30 minutes (at least) each day. I'm able to do this several times a day with my dog, Piper. I'm thankful she gest me out of the house and we're able to enjoy going to the park together, throwing around toys.
  • Take baths – getting into the bath can not only help relax your whole body including your muscles, but it puts you into a different, relaxed state of mind.
  • ADDA recommends that we use positive mental attitude techniques to give ourselves a chance to readjust our mind, its focus, and our thoughts on to happy thoughts.

Other considerations

Medications, can, of course, be a source of trouble in anyone who is being medicinally treated for ADD/ADHD. They can keep you up and make you an even lighter sleeper as well.

I've personally used a weighted blanket for several years since they have been sold on the market. It's helped me calm down my anxiety, especially while using my rocking chair and trying to ground myself for about a half-hour before going to bed. I also do not use electronics, unless it's a tape of Bob Ross with my TV monitor off.

How do you settle yourself down?

I'm new to this and looking for help on how you settle yourself down, especially after a long day. What things do you avoid or do you make sure to include in your sleep hygiene routine in order to have a successful night of sleep, as well as a successful day that follows a good night of sleep?

I can't wait to hear what our community has to say!

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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