What To Do About Insomnia In Children With ADHD

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Trying to get any child to go to bed and stay there can be an ordeal, and some kids seem to get perverse pleasure at making it a daily occurrence. That is the life of a parent, however, and is common. For parents of kids diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, the problem can become much worse due to the onset of insomnia. Insomnia in children with ADHD occurs often and here will be explained not only why this happens, but what a parent should do if it does.

Why Insomnia In Children With ADHD Occurs

The behavioral issues that are associated with ADHD make a child unable to focus, to sit still or to really pay attention to the direction they are given for any meaningful length of time. This then combines with the stimulants they are prescribed to control the symptoms to create the perfect circumstances for insomnia to develop. There is even a theory that some of the mood issues these children suffer, such as irritability, can actually be blamed on their sleeplessness. The fact that the situation cannot truly be blamed on the child does not, however, change the fact that it is not healthy for the child in question or the adult that must deal with them when they have not slept.

What To Do If Your Child Has ADHD and Insomnia

  1. Talk To Their Doctor: The family practice doctor treating a child?s ADHD cannot do so effectively if they are not given all of the variables involved. A lack of sleep can drastically effect the behavior of a child and the doctor needs to know.
  2. Structured Bedtime Routine: Starting approximately 60 to 90 minutes prior to bedtime, a routine should begin that helps the child wind down toward sleep. This should never include stimulating activities, such as watching TV or playing video games. Better options include reading or even breathing exercises.
  3. Eliminate Noise: Any noises a child with ADHD heard while trying to go to sleep will be an enormous distraction. Noises from the TV or kitchen should be eliminated if at all possible.
  4. When All Else Fails?: If the above suggestions do not provide relief, melatonin can assist. While this should never be the first choice, melatonin is not harmful. However, it should never be used without consulting the doctor in charge of treating a child?s ADHD.

Insomnia and ADHD may be commonly found together, but that does not mean a child with both cannot be helped to sleep better. Following the above tips will help eliminate insomnia in children with ADHD and so will talking to a doctor, so make the call now.

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April 2024
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