If you have a child with ADHD, there’s a good possibility your child has regularly dealt with one or more sleep issues. Sleep problems are common in children with ADHD. Don’t worry; there are ways to help your child fall asleep quicker, stay asleep longer and get more restful sleep. Whether you have seen signs of anxiety in teenagers or younger kids, these tips can help improve their sleep quality (and yours).
Implement Consistent Sleep Schedules
A normal circadian rhythm is essential for obtaining good-quality sleep. Unfortunately, ADHD symptoms can affect this function, causing chronic sleep issues. For many people, school is out, and life is more relaxed in the summer, so sleep and wake times are likely to become inconsistent. It’s essential to develop some consistency, whether during school, summer or weekends. Help your child establish a bedtime routine at a specific time each evening, ideally an hour before bedtime. This time should be spent winding down with the same routine (in the same order) each night. It may take some experimenting to see what helps your child the most. Try a relaxing bubble bath, yoga, reading or mindfulness meditation. Add aromatherapy and soft music to make for the ultimate restful environment.
Encourage Physical Activity
Getting enough physical activity daily can be challenging for kids with ADHD. However, accomplishing this feat can work wonders to facilitate sleep quality and duration. In addition, workouts alleviate excess energy, which assists in lessening hyperactivity, boosting dopamine levels, reducing stress hormones and improving concentration. Find a few physical activities your children enjoy, whether biking, hiking, swimming or an organized sport like baseball, to keep them active and healthy throughout the summer.
Try Natural Supplements
If your child has been diagnosed with ADHD, you are likely very familiar with prescription drugs like Ritalin and Adderall. For some children, these medications are necessary to properly navigate daily life. However, parents often discover additional aids, like a natural anxiety medication for children that helps ease the anxiety that comes with ADHD. Along with over-the-counter medications, try supplements containing omega-3 and magnesium, which help the body produce serotonin and melatonin, which are hormones that enhance mood and promote calm.
Create a Comfortable Sleep Environment
Designing a restful sleep environment can help your child fall asleep quicker, sleep longer and sleep more soundly. Ensure your child has comfortable bedding made of 100% cotton. Synthetic materials can trap heat, making for restless nights. Cotton helps regulate body temperature. Ensure their bedroom is cool and free from disruptions. A fan can circulate the air while drowning out noise. Also, power off all screened devices, as blue light from screens causes your brain to produce daytime wake hormones which signal your brain to wake up. Use aromatherapy scents like lavender to create a more relaxing environment.
Raising children is one of the most challenging things you will ever do. Having a child with ADHD can make parenting much more difficult with more intense and frequent obstacles. Fortunately, there are ways to make life easier, like discovering alternatives to anxiety medication and developing coping strategies. Begin today working with your child to implement these suggestions. It won’t be long before your child and you are living happier and more fulfilling lives.