Adderall Side Effects and Sleep Issues
Adderall is a prescription amphetamine used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Adderall is a stimulant, which makes a typical person more energetic, but the drug can have a calming effect on those with ADHD. Like other ADHD medications, taking Adderall can lead to many side effects, including trouble sleeping. The side effects tend to be amplified when taking Adderall in high doses or without an ADHD diagnosis.
Are you or a loved one experiencing trouble sleeping or other symptoms of potential substance abuse? The friendly, knowledgeable team at Zinnia Health can help. Call our helpline anytime at (855) 430-9439 for more information.
Why Does Adderall Impact Sleep?
Adderall is a combination of dextroamphetamine and amphetamine, two stimulants that can be habit-forming. Adderall is prescribed for its ability to interact with neurotransmitters and promote the release of dopamine (the “happy hormone”).
This can be beneficial for adults and adolescents with ADHD, but Adderall can lead to sleep problems in anyone who takes the drug.
In someone suffering from ADHD, Adderall can induce a calming effect, making it easier for them to stay focused and regulate their behavior.
The drug affects everyone differently, especially those who don’t have ADHD. So, while it has a calming effect that can even lead to sleepiness for someone with ADHD, it may lead to trouble sleeping for other people.
In fact, because Adderall can keep people awake, the FDA has approved it for the treatment of conditions beyond ADHD symptoms, too.
For instance, it’s sometimes prescribed for individuals suffering from narcolepsy, a condition characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness.
What Sleeping Problems Can Adderall Cause?
Prescription stimulants like Adderall can lead to adverse effects, such as changes in sleep habits. These effects tend to be amplified when the drug is taken in high doses, as would be the case with someone misusing Adderall.
Even with short-term use, the effects of Adderall on sleep include:
- Trouble falling asleep
- Trouble staying asleep
- Sleep disturbances, like waking up periodically throughout the night
- Waking up after a long night’s sleep still feeling tired or drowsy
Most often, taking Adderall can lead to delayed sleep onset, which can cause you to toss and turn for long hours before falling asleep.
You might also avoid going to bed at regular times because you don’t feel tired. But even if you think you’re doing okay, prolonged sleep issues can lead to sleep deprivation.
Are Sleeping Problems From Adderall Dangerous?
Stimulant medications like Adderall can directly impact the circadian rhythm, also known as the sleep/wake cycle.
In the short term, this can lead to feeling wide awake, but as sleep deprivation sets in due to poor quality sleep and less sleep overall, you’ll begin to feel drowsy and even lightheaded. You might feel physically weak and have trouble concentrating or staying alert.
Taking another dose of Adderall while experiencing the symptoms of sleep deprivation can temporarily make you feel better, but it only increases health risks associated with the sleep disorders Adderall can cause, like insomnia.
For instance, with a prolonged lack of quality sleep, your body will be under intense stress, raising the amount of cortisol in your body (commonly called the stress hormone).
With increased cortisol, lack of sleep puts you at an increased risk of weight gain and diabetes, further compounding health problems. Lack of sleep also raises your blood pressure and worsens your risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.
Prolonged sleep deprivation can also impact your mental health, leading to mood swings, impulsivity, and even psychosis. If you’re taking other medications, like antidepressants, taking Adderall can put you in an even more dangerous position.
Trying to come off Adderall only becomes more difficult as time goes on due to physical dependence.
Coping With Sleeping Problems Caused by Adderall
Whether you’re taking Adderall for ADHD or another condition, coping with the sleep problems caused by it can help improve your quality of life and overall sense of wellness.
Researchers have studied the combination of sleep-inducing supplements like melatonin and Adderall, and no interactions have been found. However, it’s unclear if melatonin or other supplements can promote sleep for individuals taking the drug.
Before taking any supplements or medications, you’ll want to discuss them with your doctor. Instead of medications, your doctor may suggest other coping mechanisms.
The CDC recommends a variety of tips to help individuals get better sleep. One of the best things to do when taking a drug like Adderall is to practice good sleep hygiene by creating a healthy nighttime routine.
A routine that helps calm the body can induce the release of serotonin, one of the chemicals responsible for promoting relaxation and sleep.
Some of the best ways to promote better restfulness include:
- Taking naps when needed, but avoiding them at least four hours before bedtime
- Avoiding caffeine and other stimulants, especially in the latter half of the day
- Getting a good amount of physical activity throughout the day
- Avoiding screens and bright lights at least one hour before bed
- Creating a ritual, like a warm shower, as you wind down for the evening
- Going to bed and waking up at a consistent time every day
How Zinnia Health Can Help
Whether you just began taking Adderall or you’ve been experimenting with various substances for a long time, seeking treatment from the right team is essential for your long-term health.
Our team at Zinnia Health offers customized treatment programs to help you recover faster while avoiding relapse and restoring your overall sense of well-being.
We can help you recover from your addiction in a confidential, safe environment with inpatient, outpatient, and holistic treatment programs designed to fit your lifestyle. Interested in learning more? Just call our helpline at (855) 430-9439 and talk to our team to get on the path to a healthier life.