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I haven't been telling my psych the whole truth

I have a psychiatrist for my ADHD, and every time he asks me about how my sleep is, I sort of mention how it is at it's best. For some reason I'm scared to tell him that it's not good and I get really easily distracted from sleep (it doesn't help that don't get home until 8-9 most nights, and then I have to cook dinner for myself, pack for the next day, do assignments etc.)


But most nights I won't get tired until 3am, even if I get up at 5am the next day. And its making it hard to concentrate at uni and stuff, but I'm so hyper at night and I can't change my sleep cycle, even if I pull an all nighter.


I've tried sleep medication and strong antihistamines, and I want to ask to try something else, but I've been telling him I'm fine, when I'm really not.


I'm hoping my sleep will get better when I move from this house 2 hours away from uni to somewhere way closer and I'll be able to get home earlier and have more time to myself, but I still wanna ask, because my sleep hasn't ever been right.

Re: I haven't been telling my psych the whole truth

Hey there @trashconverters,


It's okay to be scared. It's hard to open up to people, even our psychs. Is writing it down on a letter or email something you could to do tell your psych about the sleep issues? This way you can ask to try something else, without having to physically talk to them. 


Moving closer to uni sounds like a good plan, will it be happening soon? 

ReachOut also has a few articles on sleep over here including a good night's sleep and treatments for sleep issues that might have some ideas for you as well, what do you think?


Just letting you know that I also edited out the name of the medication.


I am finishing with ReachOut this week, say good-bye here. I'll miss you all!

Re: I haven't been telling my psych the whole truth

Hey @trashconverters, I'm sorry to hear that you've been struggling with your sleep. I know that when my OCD is really bad, I often struggle to get more than a few hours a night too, and then I'm perpetually tired at uni or work the next day. Great work on reaching out for some extra support, I know it can be tough to disclose that you're struggling sometimes.


I completely understand that it can be tough to be honest with your psych, so I think it's great that you're looking for some other options in the meantime. 


Here are a few things I have put into place lately to keep my sleep schedule in order. It doesn't always work, and some of these strategies may not work/be possible for you, but have a look and see what you think:

  • I make sure I eat at least 2 hours before I go to bed - from what you've said, it sounds like this isn't quite an option for you at this point and that you eat once you get home. I used to do this too, but have started eating my dinner at work or on the commute home. Is this something you can do, or not in your current circumstances?
  • I shower at least 90 minutes before I go to bed - I read a study somewhere that said elevating your body temperature by taking a shower in the evening can increase wakefulness, so I try to make sure I'm showered well and truly before bed. This isn't always possible, but on weekends I make a real effort if I can. 
  • I stop using screens half an hour before I go to bed - the recommendation is 1 hour before bed, but normally I have uni work to do, so 30 mins is what works for me just to wind down. 
  • I dim the lights half an hour before bed - apparently being in bright light encourages wakefulness too 
  • I stop drinking caffeinated drinks at 4pm in the afternoon - I find that even if I have a cup of tea in the evening, the caffeine makes me really alert, so I try to avoid it.
  • I exercise in the afternoons - when my OCD is bad and nothing will get me to sleep, I try and expend as much anxious energy as I can through exercise. I find if I am physically knocked out, my mind is sometimes forced to follow
  • I meditate before bed - once I get into bed, I try to meditate for at least 10 mins. Some days this is a lot harder than others, but I find it helps me wind down. Even if I still can't get to sleep, I find that even relaxing my body and mind and just laying still can make me feel a little more rested.
  • I go to bed and get up at the same time every night - some nights I lay awake for hours, other nights I fall straight to sleep, but I make an effort to get into bed every night at 10:30. 


If I find that I really can't sleep and it has been quite a while since I've gone to bed, I might get up and read a book or do some uni work. If I'm quite alert, at least that way I am still getting work done and being productive, because I find that the stress of being tired during uni often makes me more anxious and unable to sleep.


Wishing you all the best, I really hope you're able to find some relief. Keep us updated on how you're going Heart