How to help your ADHD child sleep through the night


large child sleepingLack of sleep is very common for children with ADHD. The causes of those sleep issues are not fully understood, but the relationship between ADHD and poor sleep seems to be clear. A British research study showed that children with ADHD were three times more likely to have trouble falling or staying asleep and 57 percent of their parents got less than six hours of sleep each night. Sleep deprivation often leads to irritability and more inattentiveness during the day.

Here a few things you can do to help you and your child get more quality sleep each night:

  • ·Spend time with your child before bedtime. Children often delay falling asleep or get out of bed to get more attention from their parent. Take an hour before bedtime for a relaxing activity.
  • ·Keep the house quiet. Once your child is in bed, make certain everyone else keeps their voices low and electronic devices turned down. Use a white noise machine in your child’s room to ensure household or neighborhood noises do not disturb them.
  • ·Create a comfortable environment. This includes bedding, pajamas (remove scratchy tags), and room temperature. Combining flannel sheets and flannel pajamas can make it difficult to turn over. Cotton can prevent sweating and tossing during the night.
  • ·Exercise daily. Since exercise causes physical stress on the body, the brain increases the amount of time you spend in deep sleep.
  • ·Deal with chronic anxiety.Ask your child if they are worrying about something that has happened or that might happen. Help your child plan and organize homework so they are not stressed about it during the night.
  • ·Avoid caffeine and sugar 2-3 hours before bedtime.Snacks that are high in protein can help you fall and stay asleep. Try different snacks to determine what’s best but always avoid sweet snacks or sugary drinks.
  • ·Monitor your child’s snoring habits.Tell your child’s doctor if you hear them snoring each night and are concerned about their ability to breathe properly. Even if snoring doesn’t keep them awake, it could be affecting their quality of sleep.

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution.  It’s important to notice your own child’s habits and sensitivities. Make certain routines are in place and stay consistent but communicate and be open to adjusting small things to help each family member get a good night’s rest.