Focus on Me, Bae: Treating ADHD

So first of all, let’s just skip the discussion on whether we think this is an actual disorder or not. There’s no use arguing.

If your poor focus is affecting your day-to-day life and leading to some dysfunctional performance in some area of your life, you might want to keep reading.

OR if you feel like your focus is ok, but you wonder what it might be like to have the genius information-retention skills (albeit, awkward social interactions) of Dr. Sheldon Cooper one day you can keep reading too.

These are the top supplements to help with FOCUS and CONCENTRATION (I could give explanations, but let's face it, you're going to Wikipedia this anyway):

Omega 3 fatty acid fish oil

L-phenylalanine

B3, B5 and B6 vitamins - but WATCH liver function with these.

Zinc

Magnesium

Phosphatidy-l-serine is great for recall, especially in combo with L-tyrosine.

FOCUS from Solaray is a brand with a good combo of some of the above ingredients.

Other recommendations for kick-starting your brain:

Yerba-mate tea is helpful for mental sharpness.

Rosemary, sage, and jasmine are appropriate essential oils to enhance attention.

Keep a rigid schedule. Your brain likes predictability. Set cell phone alarms as reminders if you’re unreliable or forgetful. Exercise your butt off. Don’t overload your brain with too much alcohol or sugar. Consider that very-much-talked-about gluten-free diet  (it’s a passing fancy for good reason).

As always, a thorough blood work-up should be performed to rule out any metabolic issues. Review this post and also check testosterone, zinc, and ferritin.

Remember the rules of supplement purchasing by reviewing this post.

When it comes to medications, stimulants should be saved as a last resort. Strattera, Clonidine, Intuniv are possible options too.

DISCLAIMER: Thanks for reading the above, but whoever you are: unless you are living in my household (which I think I would have noticed), it’s very unlikely that I have any idea what sort of medical history, medication regimen, allergies, and any other health intricacies you carry. Therefore, you should NOT interpret the above as medical advice for yourself, and instead present this information to your personal clinician for consideration.

Another DISCLAIMER: Obviously, the best way to get the best nutrition is through FOOD, not supplements. But for those of us who are still getting the hang of this work-life balance thing, supplements are a way to stay sane when you don’t have time & dinero for meal-planning & organics. Don’t beat yourself up.

 

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10 ways to get better sleep tonight

A good night's sleep is not something to take for granted. 

It's also something we assume we shouldn't have to work for.  But this isn't true.

Just as it's absurd to assume a plump sheet of brownies will appear magically without some prep work (believe me, I've tried!), it's foolhardy to expect restful sleep without some responsible planning (because adulthood).

Sure, I get it. You're busy. When your monstrous to-do list doesn't get finished during the day, you feel you have no choice but to borrow from your sleep time to get things done.

In the short-term, this brings you high-fives. Long-term, this is dangerous

Slumber is sacred and needs to be protected. You can read more about the consequences of poor sleep here

These are the top recommendations I give to my clients each day who struggle with sleeping (adjustments might need to be made due to shiftwork):

No caffeine after 2pm (Yes, you read that right. The 6-hour half-life on that 4pm cup of coffee means it's only half-exited your system at 10pm. Enjoy.)

No alcohol after 6pm (Yes, you read that right, too. That lovely glass of red wine you like to unwind with might put you to sleep, but it works against you staying asleep).

No exercise 2 hours before bedtime, but do exercise for 30+ minutes daily.

No screens (tv, phone, tablet) 2 hours before bedtime. Seriously.

Consider your medications that might be causing insomnia.

No large meals 1 hour prior to bedtime.

No daytime napping (greater than 15 minutes).

Wake up at the same time every day and go to bed at the same time every day. Routine is key.

A cool dark room, with white noise, and lots of ventilation is best.

Consider holistic supplements such as: melatonin, chamomile, lavender, 5-htp and magnesium.

If all of the above does not work, ask your clinician to consider a sleep study to rule out any underlying pathology. Consider CAREFULLY the adverse effects that can result from taking a prescription sleeping medication every night.

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DISCLAIMER: Thanks for reading the above, but whoever you are: unless you are living in my household (which I think I would have noticed), it’s very unlikely that I have any idea what sort of medical history, medication regimen, allergies, and any other health intricacies you carry. Therefore, you should NOT interpret the above as medical advice for yourself, and instead present this information to your personal clinician for consideration.