Motivational and inspirational writer, Bryan Hutchinson is the author of several books about life with ADHD including the highly acclaimed, best selling "One Boy′s Struggle: A Memoir" and the author of the hilarious eBook that went viral "10 Things I Hate about ADHD"

ADHD and Insomnia! 10 Tips How to Overcome Insomnia and 1 Big No – No!

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Beyond Tired

I’m tired.

It is 3am as I write this and I am still awake. Well, yes, I’d have to be in order to be writing this. But here’s the thing, I went to bed at 10pm. It was a respectable time and I was already very tired.

As usual, after I slipped under the warm covers I randomly chose a book from my nightstand. There’s plenty there, a large pile actually. (I cleared the clutter from my desk. I never promised myself to do the same thing for my nightstand.)

Reading a book at night puts me to sleep, unless it is extremely good and if that’s the case I can become so hyper-focused that I keep reading until it’s too late (or early) to get any sleep at all.

3 potty breaks, 4 water breaks and a piece of pie later and I am still awake. Yes, pie. Apple if you want to know.

Anyway, let me try to make some sense at this strange, dark hour.

Oh, if there are ghosts in my home this would be the time to present themselves. I’d rather they didn’t, but I could have sworn I heard a noise over near the TV. I spook easy. Goose bumps are on my arms. Seriously. Who’s there?

Making Sense

This won’t become a blog post, unless I want to laugh at myself, or cry. Probably cry. People will read this and realize how odd I can be. Very.

Okay, let’s try and make a point. Don’t read when trying to fall asleep? No. That’s my routine and it usually works. How about don’t read a very good book when trying to fall asleep? That’s not the answer either.

Let’s try: don’t drink coffee at 9pm while on the phone talking to a friend who is on the other side of the world also drinking coffee but at a much earlier hour.

Now we are on to something.

Since coffee is a stimulant I should have thought better of drinking it at such a late hour, especially an hour before bedtime.

I am still not sleepy. Tired doesn’t equal sleepy. Totally not fair.

Positive Twist at 4:30am

OMG! It’s 4:30am. (Did it really take me an hour and a half to write this so far?)

It won’t be long before Joan wakes up. She’ll make coffee. It will smell great. I’ll drink some and I won’t go back to bed at all. Predictable. So I have a choice to make.

I will turn this insomnia around into a positive by being an awesome husband and make the coffee for her! She’ll love that. She’s easy to make happy.

Don’t let this fool you I really do hate it when I can’t sleep. And it happens more often than I care to admit right now. Tomorrow is going to be long and drawn out, I truly hope I go to bed early. I’m Hopeful, but it’s doubtful. This ADHD boy hates going to bed early.

Moral and Tips

I want to come up with a moral for this post. Easy. No stimulants for Bryan after 6pm, even if it is delicious coffee.

Tips to overcome insomnia:

  1. No caffeinated beverages after 6pm (my epic fail).
  2. Instead try herbal teas. I enjoy chamomile with a little bit of honey. There are also some good mixes you can find like Bedtime or Honey Lavender Stress Relief, both are made by Yogi. (I have no affiliation.) I’d love to know your favorite nighttime tea (share in the comments).
  3. Eat a decent, healthy midday meal and a much lighter meal for dinner and try not to snack too close to bedtime. (Pie at midnight is probably a bad idea.)
  4. There are times when I can’t sleep because I am worried about something. Often I don’t even know what I am worried about (PTSD). So I Keep a notebook and pen on my nightstand for when I need to write my worries away. Sometimes I fall asleep while writing and find my notebook on the floor the next morning. I’ve noticed I have fewer nightmares when I’ve written in the notebook.
  5. Ask your doctor about OTC supplement sleeping aids such as Melatonin and Neurexan.
  6. Take naps. Napping on a regular basis helps sleeping at night.
  7. A bedroom designed for sleeping. I think this is where a lot of us with ADHD may have an issue because it is important for the bedroom to be rest oriented. Clutter and too much light can make it difficult to sleep. (It’s time for me to resolve the piles of books on my nightstand!)
  8. Make sure your bed is also sleep oriented by being comfortable, clean and yes, clear of clutter. (Don’t look at me like that!)
  9. Punt! When nothing works stay up all night and pray that you’ll at least nap.
  10.  If PTSD is part of the problem, as it has been for me, professional CB therapy may be the only long term solution. If ADHD is the main issue, then learning relaxation techniques, maintaining a regular bed time schedule (good luck) and avoiding medication in the late afternoon should he helpful.

If you suffer from frequent insomnia you may need to seek help from a sleep specialist. Seriously, insomnia is no laughing matter and seeking professional, qualified help isn’t something to be ashamed of.

Okay, time for me to make coffee!

Have you experienced insomnia? What’s works for you? Comment and let us know.