Sleeping problems... new to this. HELP!!

Hi guys! I was diagnosed with “extreme” ADHD two weeks ago at the age of 32. I’ve been learning so much through the YouTube channel and other resources and feel like I’ve finally found the instruction manual to my brain.

But what brought me here is that I started taking 10mg of adderall twice daily. It’s been a truly eye opening experience. However what is concerning for me is that I haven’t slept more than 6 hours since I began taking my medication. I haven’t felt overtired except one day, but I normally need 7-9 hours of sleep. Am I sleeping more efficiently? Am I slowly descending into madness???

I know adderall can sometimes cause insomnia, but I’m not having trouble falling asleep, I’m having trouble not being able to sleep in. What is going on?!?!


Welcome Jake to the forum !

When I was prescribed ADHD medication, Concetra. I was prescribed melatonin in the form of Circadin.

Ask your psychiatrist, regarding medication and insomnia.

People taking ADHD medication can experience insomnia.


Welcome to the HowToADHD forums, Jake!

I was on once-daily Adderall XR (the extended-release form) for a few months. It didn’t affect my sleep, but I was already only sleeping about 5-6 hours per night. I’m 46, and my sleep issues are due to life-circumstances (being stressed and having a lot of demands of time). Ideally, I would get 7-8 hours each night.

It’s good that the Adderall isn’t making it difficult for you to fall asleep. It should stop acting at night, so that you can remain asleep, but there is an adjustment period while your body and brain get used to any medication which affects the brain. Definitely tell you doctor or psychiatrist who prescribed the Adderall about the change in your sleep patterns.

You may need an adjustment in you medication dosage, or when you should take it. You may benefit from a sleep aid, like @ALADDIN shared about.

Is there something else waking you up?

Could there be worries, stress, or changes to your home/school/work life waking you up?

Be sure to address any issues causing stress, anxiety, or depression.

I went through over a year of sleep disturbances due to anxiety (caused by intense work-related stress). During that period of time, it was often difficult for me to fall asleep, and if I woke up between 2:30am and 5am, I usually could not fall back asleep. I would usually wake up to “racing thoughts” at about 4am during that difficult time in my life.

I had to get a new job, start going to therapy, and take anti-anxiety medication for a few months in order to get my mind and my sleep back to some semblance of normal. At the same time as I was diagnosed with anxiety, I also was diagnosed with ADHD (at 45 years old), which gave some perspective to many of the struggles that I’ve gone through in life.

(I’m no longer on Adderall, but just started non-stimulant atomoxetine a few days ago. So far, it seems slightly better for my ADHD symptoms, and my sleep is more restful, but so far I’m sleeping about the same number of hours each night. Again, in my case, it’s mostly due to a busy life.)


I took melatonin before I went on the meds because I have a hard time falling asleep, so I’ve kept taking it.

But falling asleep isn’t my current problem. I seem to be unable to stay asleep. It’s only been a few days, so I don’t know if this is normal or just coincidence


Is your sleep still restful?

I’d advise keeping a sleep log (note things like: when you go to bed, when you wake up, and how well rested you feel). And definitely notify your doctor of this change.

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It’s mostly restful. I wake up alert, but I can also feel that it just wasn’t quite enough. It’s extremely restless and frustrating trying to go back to sleep to get those last 2 hours once my mind starts racing.

Sleeping log is a good idea, but I know that I’ll probably fail to do it since I have ADHD :laughing:

I do have a TON of anxiety causing things going on in my life right now… so it could just be that.


Does that mean you will sleep like a log?


Can you explain in what way?

I have problems regulating my emotions, aka emotional dysregulation. I get angry easily, quickly and over small matters that should not (for most people) trigger that type of response.

Do you experience this? If you do, I would be very interested to know if the Adderall proves helpful in tamping that down.

I should’ve said this at the very beginning . . . But a big welcome to you!



JD - Could you tell me how this is working for you? I know it takes a number of weeks to take full effect, so I would understand if there’s not much you have experienced yet. Look forward to hearing from you . . . As always!



Stimulants can definitely alter your sleep by causing insomnia, but they can also make sleep more restorative for some people. It could be that you’re waking up early because your sleep is better than it was before.

There could be lots of other factors too, such as having anxiety, your body adjusting to the stimulant, or sleep habits that could be modified. The important thing is that you feel rested when you want to.

I personally don’t sleep very much. My s/o doesn’t understand it, but I’ve always found sleep to be a waste of time. So, I don’t think it’s a descent into madness. If it is concerning to you, though, definitely talk with your doctor.

My basic guess would be it’s an adjustment to the medication that may taper off over time. But, if it’s a problem for you or an anxiety, it’s worth talking about. Good luck and welcome!