Finding a New Sleep Routine With ADD Medication
Last updated: June 2023
Recently, I began treatment for ADD (attention deficit disorder) with medication. During my appointment, my doctor told me that I may experience an increase in anxiety (oh great!) and more sleeplessness. Awesome.
I’ve been getting maybe 5 hours of sleep a night with all my medications.
I find that I’ve been able to get more done, but only in spurts. I realize this is the way that you increase meds in a person with a severe anxiety disorder and know it will be a bit of time until the dose I need is accurate.
Becoming proactive about meaningful rest
I’ll preface by saying, because of my EMDR therapy, I’ve been lucky to get 4 to 5 hours of sleep a night because of nightmares and just plain insomnia.
Because my psychiatrist told me that I might experience more insomnia, I’ve been trying everything in my power to be proactive when it comes to getting enough meaningful rest and sleep. This might mean I may have to find new ways of winding down or at least new ways to let myself feel sleepy when I need to be.
Ending some old habits
I have to admit, I’ve been using my bed as more of an office due to work-from-home standards, even though I worked from home prior to the pandemic.
I am often far too guilty of plopping down on my bed, sitting up against my headboard with terrible posture. I knew this is one of the things I needed to correct immediately before anything else when I got serious with my sleep issues last year.
Making my space more comfortable
So, I cleaned my bedroom out and got a chair that is much better for my posture, if I’m spending more time in that room than in other rooms in the house. I moved my bed around, moved other furniture out, and essentially made my room completely open.
It’s aesthetically pleasing and even though it makes my bed look even comfier, I am a stickler about not using the bed for anything (even collecting junk or dirty clothes) but sleeping in.
Keeping my floor clear
I know this all seems so simple, but I’m sure some of you are saying to yourselves, “Well, it could be a lot more open.” If you can’t see your floor, and directly underneath it, it’s not only a hazard for you physically but it’s an eyesore. Little habits like these over time tend to blend together and I’m really working on keeping my floor completely clean of any proof of the chaos that goes on inside my home. The only thing that is on my bedroom floor that I allow now is a dog bed, side tables, and air purifiers.
A bed to melt into
I did also use a few resources with this as well. I took the time to shop for something that would be aesthetically pleasing to my eyes that would look like heaven at the end of the day to me. A place for me to get into, melt into my mattress, and be surrounded in freshly washed sheets and a nice down comforter every time I hopped into bed.
So I started washing my sheets twice a week. Yes, it’s a lot of work, but it’s also physically engaging for me. I love hopping into a bed with freshly washed sheets and just washed bedding. I also have a bad habit of buying amazingly comfortable down comforters for my bed. So yes, a little money went into it.
Releasing tension before sleep
Going to bed and feeling at rest should be a comfortable, pleasant experience - not one you don’t look forward to, not one where you begrudgingly get into bed thinking, “I won’t sleep anyway...”
It sounds silly, but if you take any medications that are a type of stimulant, it’s a good idea to do some deep breathing and meditation before bed. That time can be set aside every night (or day if you work 3rd shift) for breathing the bad things out and inhaling good, clean healthy air to calm your heart rate and loosen your tension from the day’s events.
You need to make peace with yourself before you even enter your bedroom so that emotions won’t take up the most room in the bed.
A routine for success
I know my medication dosage will be increasing over time, so I’m trying to be proactive for if/when that time comes that my sleep will hopefully not be too affected.
Hopefully, it won’t be, but I’m happy to say right now, my bed is a special place where I go to ease my worries at the end of the day and leave everything at the door so I can get the best quality of sleep I’m trying to achieve.
Has starting a new medication affected your sleep routine? What have you done to adjust or cope with the impact? Share with us in the comments below.
What do you do at night when you can't sleep?