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Re: Best Med for shift work

Re: Best Med for shift work2010-11-21T03:00:49+00:00

The Forums Forums Medication Best Med for shift work Re: Best Med for shift work


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i currently take adderall instant release and if you’re concerned about solely the medication you should definitely ask for an instant release medicine as i have tried the XR version.

the difference (for me, anyway) is that the instant release, i feel more peaks and valleys in my moods and behaviors. its all about what works best for you, so definitely weigh your options with your Dr.

also something to consider – even off the instant medication, i still have trouble sleeping. i’m talking off-off as in i was on a “vacation” from the medicine for a couple weeks. im starting to get more involved in actively finding information on ad/hd and it seems like there is a bit of a relationship between having ad/hd and having trouble falling asleep/waking up. i even read an article suggesting that you take a stimulant BEFORE you go to sleep (as long as you’re still taking it as prescribed, of course) to foster falling asleep quicker. for me, i feel like its all of those thoughts running through my head that are keeping me awake. have you ever tried to count sheep? i used to think it just didn’t work for me. little did i know there was more to that reasoning.. haha! at any rate – the stimulant (supposedly) helps to quiet these thoughts.

to explain it to the lay-man (ironically, i’m enrolled in a special education master’s program..full explanation is quite lingo-heavy), the stimulant does exactly that – stimulates. ever hear the myth that our meds slow us down but speed normal people up? it’s because it gives our brains the stimulation its craving to concentrate..just like fidgeting, doodling (my learning device of choice), pacing, etc helps us focus. in this case, its giving us stimulation that would otherwise be manifested in thoughts racing through your head as you’re falling asleep.

i don’t recommend trying it without consulting your dr, but from my experience, the only times i couldn’t fall asleep on my meds were when i was hyperfocussed (http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/612.html) on something else or i really wanted to watch the end of a show/movie i was watching in bed.

the other thing i tried was melatonin. it is available over the counter at your favorite pharmacy/store in the vitamin section (note: i don’t know if a place like vitamin shoppe would have it because they sell supplements, but you can try) and is a natural sleep aide. apparently it’s the natural chemical that triggers sleep and is supposedly non-habit forming. take it 30 minutes before you go to bed and (this is extremely important) lay down in bed even if you’re reading a book or watching TV/a movie. eventually you’ll get to the point where you can’t keep your eyes open. in my experience, if i was doing anything BUT relaxing in bed it wouldn’t work.

i know this was probably a longer answer than you were looking for, but as someone who struggled with having to get up/fall asleep at different times – for not only a shift-based job, but tests, and sports – before AND after my diagnosis..with AND without medication, i feel like it is important to throw everything out there for you to at LEAST think about before making changes to your medication..something that may open up a completely new/different can of worms.

if you’re interested, here is a link to some helpful sleeping tips as well. it mentions the melatonin too.


EDIT: something else that’s important to consider now and in the future when searching for a job: try to find one with a set schedule. i’m finding that routine is what makes me want to go to work instead of wanting to blow work off for little to no reason at all. working part time at hollister, my schedule changed sooooo much. closing one night then opening the next day was nearly impossible for me. student teaching, however, i knew exactly when i was getting up every day. it may not be the medicine’s (or lack thereof) fault at all..it might be something related to your diagnosis and unfortunately something you’ll have to learn to cope with.