Last updated on February 7th, 2020
Adderall is perhaps the first medication prescribed to those who have ADHD. ADHD is a commonly diagnosed attention disorder that can affect up to 5% of U.S. children and adults. While easily diagnosed and medicated, those with ADHD may not know how to sleep on Adderall.
Insomnia comes with its own difficulties, and the stimulating nature of Adderall makes it harder for those under its influence to fall asleep. If you need Adderall, and a good night’s rest, consider these five simple tips to help you sleep on Adderall.
Learn How to Train Your Brain
Falling asleep while on Adderall can be similar to falling asleep when suffering from chronic insomnia. Providing your body with consistent habits and positions will help you be able to better control your body’s rest.
Start by going to bed and waking up at the same time for as many days of the week as possible. While the first few days may be difficult, your body will come to expect to sleep and arise as you tell it to. Consistency allows your body to better prepare to rest.
To better cement your new sleep routine, you’ll also need a quiet and comfortable bedroom to practice your routine in.
Consider removing distractions from the bedroom – like televisions and cell phones -and use the room only when you wish to sleep. Likewise, invest in blackout curtains and make sure the room is at the temperature you most prefer.
You’ll be providing your body with clear indicators each night that you wish to rest. Keep up the routine long enough, and your body will follow suit.
Start Watching Your Food and Drink Intake
Even though it doesn’t often feel like work, eating large meals before bed forces your body to try to digest and rest at the same time. On stimulants like Adderall, that isn’t always effective.
Alongside a regular sleep routine, attempt to set a regular meal routine that disallows bedtime snacking. Eat larger meals at least two hours before bedtime and switch to water later in the evening.
Drinks containing alcohol or caffeine also tend to wreak havoc on your nervous system—forcing your body to attempt to work the stimulant out of your body. A glass of wine at dinner or a cup of coffee in the morning may not pose serious issues, but be sure to nix both habits after sunset.
Read the Labels on Your Adderall Medication
Adderall as a medication tends to come with several stipulations to ensure proper treatment. Adults with ADHD, in particular, tend to get used to taking the medication essentially on intuition, but that sort of treatment may be ignoring genuine side effects.
Adderall, in general, should be avoided in the later hours and right before bed unless otherwise prescribed. The amphetamines that make up Adderall may take some getting used to. Ingestion right before bed doesn’t allow for that adjustment.
Sleep disorders thrive on disruptions, and since Adderall tends to disrupt your body’s natural inclination, however wrong, your daily dose needs to be as far from the evening as medically possible.
Likewise, your daily dose may be smaller than you think. Consult with your doctor to see if you’ve been taking the medication at the right time and the right intervals. It may be possible to get a slight adjustment to your treatment plan to make sure nothing interferes with your rest.
Eliminate Distractions and Focus on Relaxation
In the age of the Internet and social media, there are far too many applications, obligations, and requests for your time during your day to day life. Dealing with an attention disorder can make daily tasks difficult enough—so don’t trade sleep for another phone call or text.
Keep cell phones and computers as far away from the bed as possible. In fact, attempt to eliminate any such technology from the entire bedroom. Much of what allows us to sleep is our mind’s ability to focus on the present goal of rest, and technology has no part in that equation.
Much like how we need a sleep routine, we also need an environment conducive to rest. Noises outside of apartments and in cities are often unpredictable and distracting. A fan or sleep machine can provide an ambiance that drowns out such distractions and eliminates the issue.
For parents of children with ADHD, creating a distraction-free environment is easier said than done. Consider ways to remove technology from the equation or keep the bedroom and the playroom as far away from each other as possible.
Experiment With Your Individual Routine
No amount of general advice can compare to what you know works for your body.
Perhaps you’ve always slept with a specific pillow, or your child with ADHD prefers a stuffed animal or night light as they sleep.
Routine is often more important than a dark and comfortable room, so feel out what works best for you—even if it contradicts anything you’ve already read and know.
For instance, some people tend to enjoy a warm glass of milk before bed. While milk has naturally sedative qualities to it, the ritualistic nature of heating up the glass and drinking it could prove even more useful than the milk itself.
Find your favorite sleeping position, enjoy your pre-sleep ritual, and don’t be afraid to experiment with different teas, aromas, or supplements. Trial and error can often be the only truly effective tip to help you sleep.
Sleeping can be difficult with or without the effects of ADHD or Adderall. The solution for those on medication and off are likewise the same: consistency, routine, and intentional relaxation. Adderall may make relaxing difficult by nature, but that doesn’t make it impossible.
Don’t force yourself to choose between your medication and your nightly rest. Try out these tips, talk to medical professionals before altering your dosage, and begin to cultivate the right sleeping conditions for you.