WAKE UP IN THE MORNING!
Waking up: Sounds simple enough, but not always for individuals with AD/HD! In a paper published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Science, Drs. Brown and McMullen explain:
Many children, adolescents, and adults with Attention Deficit Disorders report chronic difficulties with falling asleep, awakening and/or maintaining adequate daytime alertness. These problems may be due to a variety of factors, including environment, lifestyle, and psychiatric comorbidities. Impairments in sleep/arousal may also be related more directly to the underlying pathophysiology of ADD.
(See: http://www.drthomasebrown.com/espanol/research/index.html for full article)
So, if you have AD/HD and have trouble waking up, you are not alone!
Here are some tips for getting a handle on getting up in the morning:
1. Have you talked with your doctor about sleep? Check in to make sure that no health issues are interfering with your sleep. If you take any medications, discuss the impact of these on sleep as well. As an example, stimulants taken too late in the day may interfere with good sleep.
2. What time do you go to bed? Going to sleep at 2 am will make it tough to get up in the mornings! Try inching your bed-time earlier bit by bit and see if that helps. Everyone’s needs are different, but plan for at least 7 hours of sleep to feel rested.
3. Do you take stimulant medication in the morning? Some people who do find the following routine helpful:
– set an alarm 30-60 minutes before hoping to get up
– wake briefly to take the stimulant
– re-set the alarm for another 30-60 minutes shut-eye
– get up feeling more awake from the stimulant when the alarm rings again
4. Why are you getting up? Having a purpose or goal in mind can help. Then, figure out your morning the night before. Plan backwards to calculate how long it takes you to get ready in the morning. That way you’ll know when you really, really have to be up.
5. Are you a snoozer? When the alarm rings, try getting up and leaving the room: no hitting the snooze button and rolling over for “just one more minute”! You can do it!
6. How effective is your alarm clock? Consider the following options:
– put the alarm clock across the room so that you have to get up to turn it off
– use more then one alarm clock, set at intervals
– explore a variety of annoying alarm clocks such as the rolling “Clocky,” the “Sonic Boom” and others. BRRRRRRRRING!!! Check out these links for a number of reviews of alarming alarm clocks that might help: http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/901.html
7. Determined to get up earlier? It takes at least 21 consecutive days to establish a new habit. So, to establish a regular wake-up time, sorry: no sleeping in on weekends! Vary your weekend wake-up time no more than 60-90 minutes from your weekday time, and you’ll be successful!
An AD/HD Coach can help you establish a good morning routine! Contact me if you are interested in working together on this or other challenges! (And, sleep well – yaaaaawn.)