Sleep Insomnia

I'm battling trying to get a better grip on my ADHD and my biggest problems is Insomnia. I've tried natural herbs, teas even doubled up and taking them two or three hours before bedtime. Nothing much is helping, either I just dont sleep or I wake every 2 or 3 hours and my head goes into action.

What do some of you that also have sleeping problems use or do to overcome this issue. I become such an emotional wreck without sleep, it's embarrassing.

Insomnia & ADD

My husband has ADD and severe insomnia. He deals with anxiety around when it is time to go to sleep - for fear that he won't be able to sleep. He has been taking 2 over the counter (25mg) benadryl each night for a year or so now. It helps most nights. He still has to take 2 or 3 hours to wind down, but he at least is able to get to sleep most nights. I think for those with ADD and associated insomnia, the insomnia is one of the most difficult symptoms/complications to deal with - and the lack of sleep makes the lack of focus during the day even worse. 

I am a family practice physician assistant so I try to help him as much as possible with suggestions and safe sleep aids. I discourage meds such as Ambien that mimic benzo drugs (high abuse potential anti-anxiety medications) because of the addition/dependence potential for someone who may already be taking stimulants, etc to manager their ADD. My husband has tried the medication trazodone, traditionally an anti-depressant, but is indicated and often used for insomnia. It helped, but caused nasal congestion which perpetuated his anxiety about not being able to sleep! 

All that to say, I would recommend that you try Benadryl (diphenhydromine) and if it doesn't do the job, talk to your doctor about possibly trying trazodone or hydroxyzine (also an antihistamine, but by prescription and more indicated for anxiety, etc). Good luck and hope you sleep well!


I am an ADDer who knows all too well about sleep issues. Once diagnosed with ADD at age 43, I began my Adderall treatment and one of the first things I noticed was I was able to sleep, being careful not to take my last dose too late. I also sleep MUCH more soundly and requre a lot less sleep, quality over quantity I guess... Are you taking ADD meds? I do require at least an hour of "Un-wind" time before going to bed. I try to limit the things stimulating my brain, like this laptop or my iPhone, or I will not get sleepy as fast. The big difference is after I started Adderall the "Slide Show" in the mind when I lay down has stopped for the most part, which used to keep me awake. Exercise is also a HUGE aid in my sleep. I never used to exercise and for the last 2.5 years I began walking in the morning and evening, when possible, and when I walk I feel better AND sleep better.

I hope you find something that works for you soon.


Good old white noise works for my BF.  He uses a tower fan right beside the bed and just positions it so it doesn't blow on me.  It took me a while to get used to it but he absolutely refused to part with it.


I have ALWAYS done the same thing for as long as I  can remember. I usually pack a little fan when traveling too...

ahh sleep

My (probably) ADHD daughter has always needed a fan running to sleep.  My ADHD husband uses television.  This was a battle for us for years because I prefer quiet.  He used to say (before I realized ADHD was living with us) that he had to have the TV to "keep from thinking" .  Now I finally understand what that means. 

During times of stress, everyone can have insomnia -- I've been hugely troubled with going to sleep, then waking up for a few hours, then falling asleep about an hour before the alarm goes off.  Daily 15 minute meditation has just about cured it.  Whatever is on your "mind", whether you have ADHD or not, will start swirling as soon as you let your guard down, and even wake you up if necessary.  Meditation teaches the brain how to take a break from "thinking".  I feel better every day I meditate, and worse whenever I skip it.  To fall asleep a meditation known as "body scan" can be very sleep-inducing.  You just get comfortable in bed, and observe your breath.  Then observe your left toe, left foot, left calf, left knee, you get the idea.  When your mind wanders off (and it will, guaranteed) you just gently go back to observing where you left off.  If you get finished with your body before you fall asleep, just quietly and gently observe your breath.  Like you're a scientist studying monkeys in the wild.  Worth a try?   Be warned, lots of people (most?) who try meditation say they "aren't good at it".  Yes, non ADHDers, too. They mean that their mind wanders off of their breathing.  Yes, that's what the mind does, and meditation "practice" just keeps bringing it back.  NO ONE can meditate more than a few minutes without wandering off.  No judgment, no scolding, just go back to breathing.