The hyperactivity component in childhood ADHD has fewer physical manifestations when the child reaches adulthood. Instead of running around like they’re driven by a motor, adults with ADHD are mentally hyperactive. They’re easily distractible, they need extra motivation, and they struggle to stay organized. Their ability to multitask is compromised because of their faulty short-term memory, and they feel easily overwhelmed by the tasks they have to accomplish at work and at home. As a result, adults with ADHD are easily exhausted or at greater risk for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), a modern-day condition where debilitating exhaustion is not relieved by sleep or rest.
Here are some tips that can help you recharge your tired ADHD brain.
Get more sleep
For adults with ADHD, a good night’s sleep is easier said than done. It’s not uncommon for a hyperactive mind to keep running after midnight and cleverly dodge sleep. Adults with ADHD also more likely to have a hard time staying asleep than those without. To help you fall sleep on time, consider taking supplements like melatonin. Melatonin is a natural hormone that regulates the internal body clock; it is also responsible for triggering sleepy feelings as they day turns into night. You might also want to consider taking an omega-3 EPA supplement. Aside from alleviating ADHD symptoms and mood disorders, EPA has also been found to promote restful sleep.
Well-meaning people might tell you that exercise will make you feel better. They are both right and wrong. Exercise will aggravate the CFS symptoms in the short term, but avoiding physical activity will make the symptoms worse in the long-term and put you at risk for more health problems. The trick is to exercise gradually and moderately. Studies show that even ten minutes of brisk walking a day can reduce fatigue and pain. If your symptoms are excruciating, consider seeking the help of a physical therapist.
Limit or avoid caffeine
We all need a cup of coffee to get our minds running each morning, but limit your daily caffeine consumption to a single cup of coffee. Too much caffeine will make you feel more fatigued because it causes a “crash” as its effects wear off. They also add stress to the adrenal glands, which will only prolong your symptoms.
Eat well for your brain
Pasta, white rice, and sugary foods will only make your CFS worse. While it will give you a quick boost of energy, the glucose (blood sugar) they provide gets used up too quickly. Like caffeine, these fast-burning carbohydrates cause a crash when they wear off. Keep your brain running smoothly all day and replace these carbs with slow-burning carbohydrates from oatmeal, fruit, and other fiber-rich foods.