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Springing Forward With ADHD Sucks!

I'm already struggling most days to get up after a night of not being able to stay asleep all night. I was just making peace with taking Reveree for my menopausal night sweats and it helps, but now I'm "springing forward". Yea right!

As the seasons transition and daylight saving time is here, many people eagerly anticipate longer days and brighter evenings. However, for many of us, like me with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), the biannual ritual of "springing forward" can bring a unique set of challenges. Let the morning zombie phase begin!

As we well know by now, ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by difficulties with attention, impulse control, and hyperactivity. These challenges extend beyond just the typical symptoms associated with ADHD and can affect various aspects of daily life, including time management, day long fatigue and sleep patterns.

One of the core difficulties for individuals with ADHD is maintaining a consistent routine, we usually don't, and managing transitions effectively, we often don't. Time changes disrupt established routines and can throw off internal body clocks and let's face the fact, our clock has been off period for most of our lives, leading to a range of issues such as:

  • Disrupted Sleep Patterns: People with ADHD often struggle with sleep problems, including difficulties falling asleep, staying asleep, and waking up feeling rested. The shift in time can exacerbate these issues, as it disrupts the body's natural circadian rhythm.

  • Increased Fatigue and Irritability: Sleep disturbances resulting from the time change can lead to increased fatigue and irritability, which are already common symptoms of ADHD. This can further impair attention, mood, and overall functioning. FYI - don't ask me jack in the morning, afternoon or evening, I'm still tired!

  • Difficulty Adjusting to Schedule Changes: Many of us with ADHD thrive on structure and predictability. The sudden change in the timing of daylight can disrupt our sense of time and make it challenging to adjust to new schedules for activities such as work, school, or appointments. I mistakenly scheduled meetings during Holy Week, which I never do, that's my personal time to reflect on the Lord's goodness toward me and His sacrifice for me. I ended up cancelling said appointments but good grief!

  • Impaired Time Management: Time management can be a significant challenge for those of us with ADHD. The shift in time can make it even more difficult to estimate how long tasks will take or adhere to deadlines, leading to increased stress and frustration.

  • Impact on Medication Effects: For those taking medication to manage ADHD symptoms, the time change can affect the timing and effectiveness of their medication regimen. Adjustments may be necessary to ensure optimal symptom control throughout the day. Question, how many of you forgot to take your medications the first three days of daylight savings time? I remembered the following Wednesday, cause heck, I was tired and after three days of no medication I as also confused.

While navigating the time change can be challenging for those of us with ADHD, there are several strategies that can help us mitigate its impact:

  • Gradual Adjustment: Start adjusting your schedule gradually in the days leading up to the time change. Shift bedtime and wake-up times by 15-30 minutes each day to help your body adapt more smoothly. I'll be honest I had to sleep an entire day last Sunday to reset. It helped alot.

  • Maintain Consistent Sleep Hygiene: Prioritize good sleep hygiene practices, such as creating a calming bedtime routine, keeping your bedroom dark and quiet, and avoiding screens before bedtime, to promote better sleep quality.

  • Use External Supports: Utilize external tools and strategies to help you manage time more effectively, such as alarms, timers, calendars, and to-do lists. Visual cues and reminders can be especially helpful for individuals with ADHD.

  • Stay Active and Engaged: Engage in regular physical activity and maintain a consistent daily routine to help regulate your body's internal clock and promote overall well-being. I've been trying to do this but it's been a slow process, don't get frustrated with yourself, be persistent and start with the thing that takes the least amount of effect, a start is a start. I workout with my son who's a personal trainer so it helps to have support.

  1. Communicate and Seek Support: Talk to your healthcare provider or therapist about any difficulties you're experiencing with the time change and explore potential adjustments to your treatment plan or coping strategies. I'll be transparent here. I added Thesis nootropics to my medication routine, I take Straterra. So far so good, Thesis gives me the boost I need minus caffeine or stimulants while Straterra helps me have a calm, focus. I also use BrainTap twice a day for focus and concentration. I'll keep you posted on the Thesis.

The "spring forward" time change can present significant challenges for those of us with ADHD, impacting sleep, mood, time management, and overall functioning. When we understand these challenges, are honest about how they impact us and implement proactive strategies that work for us, we can better navigate the transition and maintain stability in our daily lives. Remember, if you feel overwhelmed by the time change, seek support from your healthcare professional and try utilizing coping strategies that can make a positive difference in managing the impact of time changes on ADHD symptoms.

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