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How to Sleep Better

Coach Sarah D. Wright, MS, ACT, talks about strategies to fall asleep when you have a mind that won’t rest.  Scroll down for a full transcript of this video.

Restful sleep is typically very difficult for people with adult ADHD, for a number of reasons one of the biggest reasons is the mind won’t stop spinning. You’re tired you go to lie down and you can’t stop thinking [Chaotic Music]
and it takes a long time to go to sleep. There’s also problems staying asleep and getting up in the morning but I’m gonna talk about this, that going to sleep piece. What’s more boring than lying still? You know [laughs]

Sleeping Tips

So our natural inclination is try to find something that’s interesting that can keep us in that comfort zone. So the trick is to find something that is interesting but not compelling, that will allow us to bridge that gap between awake and asleep. So for me it’s always been reading I am a science geek and I still to this day I read things like Scientific American or Science News to fall asleep to. It’s interesting but not compelling, it helps me to let go of the day and I fall asleep very quickly.

Restful Sleep

There are sort of physical strategies that people can use and there was one lawyer who shared his story. So in order to collect his thoughts he liked to wear these silk shirts and he would sort of pretend he was adjusting his cuff, and he would just feel the fabric and that little sensory stimulus… again sort of below conscious level, really helped his brain work. So you can do that with your sheets or your blanket if there’s something there that you like the sensation of. Just doing that can help. Some people just jiggle their feet back and forth under the sheets and that’s enough.

How to Sleep better

There’s a really funny one that if you bring this up in a group when you’re talking about this it’s you know lying on your back and I don’t know if this will… raising your hand like you’re in school and just letting it balance there, and the funny thing is you say, you talk about this in a group and you will see someone who’s ‘You been peeking? that’s what I do’ and just by holding your arm up like that again it’s that that proprioceptive sense that you have to keep that arm up. It’s just enough stimulation that your brain transitions through that difficult place and sleep can come. It’s really fascinating.
There are also mental strategies, you can take yourself on a meander and imagine yourself just walking places and as long as you’ve can sort of corral your attention to that so it doesn’t wander off into worries, then you will probably find yourself asleep pretty quickly.
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