Archives for March 2015

Do You Have ADHD And Daytime Sleepiness?

buddha-85673_128075 percent of adults with ADHD have problems with sleep, getting to sleep, staying asleep and waking up are the most common issues. Another type of sleep problem is falling asleep during the daytime at unusual times. For example, in class, meetings or while driving. The people who experience this usually have inattentive ADHD.

This daytime sleepiness is interesting because it is triggered by the environment. If the environment is mentally stimulating and interesting, paying attention and staying awake is not a problem. However, if the setting is dull, then staying alert becomes impossible and the person falls asleep. It doesn’t matter how important the event is. VIPs could be at the meeting, or the class could be vital to getting a good grade, but if the content is boring, sleep takes over. However, if something exciting happens or if it’s possible to get up and move, then the sleepiness goes away.

Because physical movement stops the sleepiness, some people look to be hyperactive, but it really is a behavioural strategy they developed to stop themselves from falling asleep.

If the person had a disrupted nights’ sleep, then daytime sleepiness would be expected. But this group of people experience daytime sleepiness even after getting ample sleep at night time. An extreme form of struggling to stay alert is narcolepsy. It is possible to have ADHD and narcolepsy. However, the type of daytime sleepiness that these ADHDers have isn’t as severe as narcolepsy.

If you have an on-going problem staying awake during your day-to-day activities, here are some suggestions.

Rule out other options

1. Get checked out for sleep disorders, including Sleep Apnea and Restless Leg Syndrome and Narcolepsy.
2. Get assessed for depression.

Treat your ADHD

3. If 1 and 2 comes back clear, then treating your ADHD is your next action step. Adults with ADHD and alertness problems find ADHD meds very helpful. Work closely with your prescribing doctor and find the therapeutic dose for you.
4. If you are taking ADHD meds, be sure that they are in full effect when you are driving in your car.

Make your environment stimulating

Here are a few examples

5. If you are doing a dull household task, use your timer to keep you moving as much as possible.

6. You might not be able to get out of a boring meeting, but you can liven it up for yourself by offering to take notes on the white board for everyone, or be one of the presenters.

7. Change activities frequently.

 

Do you ADHD and Daytime Sleepiness? What helps you?

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14 Ways to Eliminate ADHD Afternoon Crashes

14 Ways to Eliminate ADHD Afternoon CrashesBetween 2 pm and 4 pm, Adults with ADHD often experience afternoon crashes. Everyone experience afternoon slumps to some degree; where you feel mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted. However, there are factors in the ADHDers’ life; which means you don’t just experience a little slump, yours are full blown crashes. Aside from wanting to fall asleep on the spot, they also affect your attention, focus, productivity, and your ability to stay calm and rational.

Here are 14 things you can do to minimize or eliminate your afternoon crashes. The more suggestions you implement, the more results you will see.

Mindset

1) Don’t feel guilty! ADHDers feel a lot of guilt and shame for a lot of things in their life including afternoon crashes. They feel bad they can’t concentrate on the meeting or that they are falling asleep in class and blame themselves. It is not your fault! It’s the way our bodies are wired. Circadian rhythms (which control our sleep) send sleep signals at night time and in the afternoon. Instead of blaming yourself, observe what is happening in a non- judgemental way and then use the suggestions below to help.

Preventative

2) Set Yourself Up For Success
Most ADHDers don’t eat breakfast; either because they don’t feel hungry in the mornings or because they are in too much of a rush to get out of the door. However, starting the day with an ADHD-friendly breakfast is incredibly helpful to avoid the afternoon crash.
Click here to learn what the best ADHD breakfast is. http://untappedbrilliance.com/the-adhd-breakfast

If you aren’t hungry because you take ADHD meds, eat first then take your meds. If you just can’t face food in the morning, make a protein smoothie because it’s easier to consume than solids.

3) Have an ADHD-Friendly Lunch
Lunch is often a meal eaten on the run, or skipped when you have ADHD. Or because you missed breakfast, you are ravenous and eat a big heavy lunch. What you diet for lunch has a direct effect on your energy in the afternoon. Take time to eat a gluten-free lunch with some good-quality protein (chicken or fish) and fiber in the form of vegetables. Your afternoons will be transformed.

4) Your Zzzzzs
75% of ADHDers have problems with falling and staying asleep. If you are sleep deprived or had a night of poor sleep, then an afternoon crash is more likely to happen. However, they can still be minimized with the other suggestions on this list. To learn more about how to sleep well when you have ADHD, head here. How To Sleep Very Well When You Have ADHD

5) Be a Smart Caffeine Drinker
Caffeine isn’t bad; and if you become a smart caffeine drinker, you can still drink it and not get afternoon crashes.

Drink your first coffee of the day after you have eaten breakfast.
If drinking coffee gives you energy highs and lows, then switch to green tea.
Both of these tips will give you more sustained energy. Don’t drink caffeine after 2pm because it will infer with your sleep (which in turn affects crashes).

6) Get Moving
After you exercise, your whole body and mind is energized for 3 hours. To capitalize on this, move your workout to lunch time and see if you notice a difference in your energy level in the afternoons.

7) Drink up
Staying hydrated is by far the simplest ways to fight fatigue, yet remembering to drink water throughout the day isn’t as simple. Don’t skip this step!
Head here for my tips to drink water when you have ADHD.

8) Goodbye Stress
Stress is exhausting! If your morning is full of tension, mini crisis (forgetting things, mad dashes for deadlines), worry and anxiety, then by the afternoon, you will be emotionally exhausted and ready to crash. Combating stress is a long term project.

Stress comes from 2 sources: things you can control and things you can’t.
Focus on the life stressors that are in your control. Managing your ADHD and using strategies to reduce your worry and anxiety (which ADHDers are natural pros at) is a great place to start.

9) Stop Multi-Tasking
ADHDers love to multi-task. It feels exciting and exhilarating. However, it’s also very tiring. Every time we shift focus, we burn glucose, which is the food our neurons use. After a couple of hours of speedy shifting, we feel drained and ready for a nap. Also, our glucose store is depleted; cortisol (the stress hormone) has also been released, causing us to feel edgy and stressed.
Stop multi-tasking and start single tasking.

During a crash

10) Have a Protein Afternoon Snack
If you notice yourself heading towards a crash, have a protein snack. Perhaps some nut butter with an apple. It is a really helpful pick-me-up. You might be craving sugar in the form of a candy bar, but that will only delay the crash. Protein will divert it.

11) Meds Crashes
Do you take ADHD meds? A powerful reason why you experience afternoon crashes is because your meds have worn off. If this is the case, here are some tips for you.

a) Consider speaking to your doctor and get prescribed another tablet to see you through to the end of the work day.
b) If you are taking your medication at the same time every day, your crashes will occur at about the same time every afternoon, which allows you to create a plan for that time. Don’t schedule meetings with other people then. Have some food at hand because you will probably be starving. Be gentle with yourself. Plan to have at least 30 minutes downtime until you can start functioning at your best again. A little walk outside, or meditation is also helpful.

12) Switch Tasks
Sometimes your brain needs a break. Rather than forcing yourself to stay doing a task that is putting you to sleep, switch over to another one. Pick one that you are motivated to do, that is going to engage your brain but not overtax it. It’s best if it’s away from a screen. Bonus points if it involves physical movement.

13) Turn Up the Music
Music can energize you and revitalize you. Put some of your favourite tunes on. Be sure that the music is upbeat and happy. Sober music or one with depressing lyrics will bring you down and make you tired.

14) Go for a Walk
Going for a quick walk will shake off the tiredness. Movement increases your blood circulation, which increases blood flow to your brain. Walking in the fresh air is a bonus.

 

Do you have afternoon crashes? What helps yours? Leave a message in the comment below!

 
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