💤 Pittsburgh Sleep, ADHD, Coronavirus

Quick disclaimer: It's been about a year since my last newsletter and if you'd like to unsubscribe, feel free to scroll to the bottom and click the "unsubscribe" link.

Additionally, this newsletter was written before the Coronavirus began to be taken more seriously in our region. The next one will likely be about that. Stay well!

Pittsburgh Sleep

Picture of me testing out the Pittsburgh Sleep podcast

Along with the Neighburgh podcast with Jim Emmerling you may have seen on my Instagram story or Facebook, one of my new projects is the Pittsburgh Sleep podcast (pittsburghsleep.com).

When I'm describing it in person, I reveal that my goal is to get everyone in the city to sleep with me. It always gets a giggle. It's funny, I just question whether or not that's the right messaging I'm trying to convey. To explain, I think a lot so I get into thinking traps. Things others may assume, I may not. So presently, I'm learning there needs to be a balance with self identification with one's own projects. The energy I want for the podcast is calm. Often, especially when I'm fired up, I'm a fast talker. I like to be silly and play with ideas. Part of my brain wants to battle me and embody the calm vibe even more. But it's not necessary, I'm already self reflective.

I'd love for Pittsburgh Sleep to be a huge library of content with sounds, stories from all around the city, and guided meditation sessions. The current state of affairs with Covid-19 has made the production of new episodes temporarily tricky, but there are still fresh ones on the way rest assured.

You might know Zena Ruiz from MuseumLab, one of my favorite people in the city. I'm currently trying to rope in Fitzhugh, her husband, to team up with me on this project.

The goal is actually for it to be much bigger than a podcast. I'd like to facilitate events around the city that help introduce people to the ideas of mindfulness meditation, the social-emotional skills associated with cognitive behavioral therapy, and getting a restful sleep. Because all these things are tied together and it's painting the lens we see the world with.

Now here's an offer for you. If you're interested in doing a storytime of any kind or have feedback for the project: reply to this email and it'd be my pleasure to find a way we can collaborate. You'll have creative freedom so I encourage you to lead us on a sleepy journey through your childhood, cool neighborhood spots, things that make you happy, projects you're working on, etc. We'll record together: you provide the narration, I'll do the work of mixing it with proper pacing, sounds, and music to distribute it out.

This is all just in the idea phase right now, although 2 episodes are currently out if you'd like to check 'em out. I want it to be an auditory experience that's different from every other podcast.

At some point, we should change the logo too. It's just a placeholder as it currently stands. Although, I think purple is a fitting color for it.


The past few months my life has been putting out a bunch of fires around me, which doesn't bring me a whole lot of joy. Emotionally, I've been in an uncomfortable place filled with lots of change. One of which has been the full realization of my ADHD that has been impacting my life and I only just started treatment for.

It turns out, ADHD is very serious business despite people treating it so casually and we have the stats and the medical data to prove it. It's the general populace that's uneducated on it.

95% of people with ADHD never graduate college. "Clearly, the presence of ADHD symptomatology correlates with significant differences in one's life course and quality of life." / source

The comorbidity of ADHD with other disorders is between 60% and 80% / source

Adult ADHD is associated with an almost 13-year reduction of estimated life expectancy. Childhood ADHD is closely tied with a 9.5-year reduction / source

85% of children with ADHD are at risk for having it in adulthood. 4.4% of US adults have ADHD and it remains underdiagnosed: only 10.9% of adults with ADHD receive treatment. / source

More statistics available here.

Now, my question is how come there's such a lack of awareness of it? Do you know how many people told me I don't have ADHD and they don't know jack shit about me or how the brain works? Some even debate if it's a real thing.

How do they debate facts?

To quote the American Medical Association, ADHD is "one of the best-researched disorders in medicine, and the overall data on its validity are far more compelling than for most mental disorders and even for many medical conditions" / source

It's all a part of the learning experience and I'm trying to bring others with me as I learn as well. I could go on and on. A friend recently told me they think they have it. I said "well, if you think that, it would be in your best interest to talk to your doctor and look into getting an evaluation."

What, do those stats sound like something to play around with to you? Actually think for a moment, pause your reading. What are the implications of having untreated ADHD?

I have promising news, that friend has since seen the doctor and sent me this message the other night:

I'm gonna commit to writing more often here on this newsletter, seeing that we're all quarantined anyways. This is a back & forth, and I will read and respond to the replies you give me. There's also the possibility of me re-distributing your comments through the newsletter. If you don't want your name associated with the reply you'll have to say so.

See ya in the next one. Which, again, will likely be on the Coronavirus.

Thanks for reading.
-Your friend on the Northside.