I fall asleep...all the time...when I should be awake

Hello everyone! I wanted to see if everyone else experienced similar things that I do. I’ve recently gained a love of reading, but I find that when I read, I get really tired…and fall asleep. What’s weird is that I’m super interested in the topic of the books/articles that I’m reading, to the point that I tend to hyper focus on them at times and that’s all that I think about/do for a while. I’m guessing that because I’m not physically engaged and I’m not generating more dopamine, that it causes my mind to stop focusing and just fall asleep.

Before someone suggests it, it is not narcolepsy, I’ve checked into that. I’m just wondering if this is something that is typical of ADHD or what. I’ve been diagnosed with ADHD for most of my life (I’m 36 now), never did anything for it. My parents thought that I was just fine and that I didn’t need medication, therapy or anything else…I just needed to do better (don’t get me started on this…it wasn’t the right way to handle things). I have only recently recognized the fact that I really need intervention and accommodations to help me do better. So, although it is an old diagnosis, I’m fairly new to actively dealing with it rather than just thinking that I’m a royal screw-up.

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I experience something similar. A lot of times I’ll be reading and enjoying what I read but I’ll start to drift or get tired and have to put the book away because I can’t stay awake. It also extends to other things like movies, TV, or gaming.

I’ve found that it sometimes helps me to focus on improving my overall sleep. If I make a conscious effort to get more rest for a few days I can usually notice a difference in my ability to maintain the energy and focus to continue reading. That said, there are times that no matter how much I’m engaged in something I just lose power. I’ve even fallen asleep with loud music or workshops before. It may be connected to dopamine, or also the lack of movement.

Whatever the connection is for you, it’s never a bad idea to take a look at how much rest you’re getting for yourself either via sleep or overall restorative activities. I know that a lot of people with ADHD benefit from sleep studies to help figure out if there are underlying issues that may not be noticed. For example, even if we think we get eight hours of sleep it might not be eight quality hours. Good luck!

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This all sounds very familiar to me. First of all, I do not sleep well at all. I get up pretty much every 2 1/2 . . . or tops . . . 3 hours.

Years ago I was diagnosed with mild sleep apnea. I used the CPAP for a while. Stopped using it because I just couldn’t stand it anymore. I’ll be 74 next month. And sleeping such short intervals now is related to the plumbing system of an old man.

That being said, I have for many years had difficulty reading a book. Frequently, I will either doze off or just not be able to continue . . . not able to stay focused on the line. If I read two books, cover to cover, in a year . . . I consider that an achievement. To be able to finish any book, first I have to push myself enough into the book to get a sense of what it’s about and who the main characters are . . . and then, if I find the book interesting I can go on and complete it.

Funny thing is that as an adolescent I read quite a few books without difficulty. Even though my short term memory has always been problematic (for as long as I can remember😂)!

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I’ve definitely struggled more as an adult to read books. There were times as a teen that I could be engrossed in a book and hyperfocus. It didn’t matter that my memory wasn’t always great because I would devour it so quickly that it could be done in a day or two. Definitely not the case anymore. I’ve finished more books this year than I have in the past decade, mostly in part due to my s/o being a huge bookworm.

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There is another post about this but I can’t remember what it’s called, falling asleep at random times is a symptom of adhd but I can’t remember the name for it either lol

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I will be asleep in 20 mins if I am just reading. If I have a movie on at the same time I drift between the 2 of them and it’s enough to keep me interested. The falling asleep is frustrating I love to read but when you have a little nap after 20 mins you have to go back and start again.

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