Parents of children with ADHD or similar disorder -

@14missy (3185)
Australia
March 15, 2007 10:44pm CST
What techniques do you use to help you child sleep at night? My 12yo has ADHD and is never asleep before 11.30 at night, even though she is in her room resting or reading at about 9pm. We have tried many things such as quiet time prior to bed, soothing music, warm drinks etc. but nothing seems to be working. As she is getting older and studying at school, she needs to get at least 8 hours sleep at night I think as she is waking tired in the morning. Her specialist has suggested medication. What are your thoughts? Please don't bag me about ADHD as thats not the entire issue here. Thanks for any suggestions.
2 people like this
10 responses
@misheleen73 (6037)
• United States
16 Mar 07
My 9yo is on Adderall XR 20mg..that is one of the long acting, time released types. I have the same problem, he will not go to sleep. He is in his room, just won't sleep. His brother is 7, goes straight to sleep. His doctor gave him medication to help him sleep, but it did not work, just upset his stomach. I have been known to give him Benadryl on occassion, and it does work. Just about 1hr before bed. No TV at least 2 hrs before bed and no video games. The doctor informed me that these things stimulate his brain too much. I still have problems getting him to sleep. I wish I could be of more help, but I too, am in your shoes !!
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@14missy (3185)
• Australia
17 Mar 07
It's an awful situation as I know she wants to go to sleep. Hopefullly something will turn up...
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• United States
22 Mar 07
My son who is now 10 used to have this problem. He was on concerta which is a time release pill. by the time it would wear off he was hyper and not able to sleep. His doctor put him on clonidine and it helped him sleep. If he didnt have it he couldnt sleep and would if lucky get 1 or 2 hrs of sleep. Now he is on Stratera and its not a stimulant pill. He will go to bed at night and maybe read for half and hour and then be out. I would suggest he get his meds changed to a nonstimulant one or add clonidine. Keep me posted. Hope this helps.
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@14missy (3185)
• Australia
24 Mar 07
I think it is more a matter of the medication wearing off at that time of night. Thanks for your response.
@rainbow (6763)
16 Mar 07
Hi Missy as you know my 7 year old is up till midnight most nights too. This is my best plan so far. Homework, freetime Tea freetime, and TV or computer game long relaxing bathtime and chat with a warm drink bedtime story, read a book DVD on quietly in bed, when it finished TV off light only fatr end of bedroom and then dully if possible, allow to read in bed At the moment Bong is asleep just before 10pm. You may have to adapt this a bit as your daughter is older and probably won't want a bedtime story, Shrek does and he's 30, lol.
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@14missy (3185)
• Australia
17 Mar 07
Our routine (as much as you can call it that) is similar to yours. My 12yo decideds to get creative though and wants to draw or cut and glue things at ten oclock at night! We have even gone to the extreme at times and taken everything except her bed out of the room so there is less stimulation. She also likes a fan on even if it is cold so that the humming noise can sooth her. We will just have to trial and error it still.
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@rainbow (6763)
17 Mar 07
Bless you, I wish you luck with this as I know how you feel and you have had it for longer than me. If you find any new and fantastic ideas, please pass them on.
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@14missy (3185)
• Australia
19 Mar 07
Will do rainbow! Haven't heard from the DORE people yet but will let you all know when I do.
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• Australia
19 Mar 07
Hello I have a son with ADHD too. He is the same, but I have found something that really is good for you to try. Children with ADHD,have alot of going on in his/her head, they cant settle, but they do not have sleeping problems because they wake up late!!. He he. how ever, I been reading to my son, who is soon to be 10. He loves it now, and his behavior has settled. Because I am spending that time with him, just doing something nice together, they feel important and someone that cares. Imagine yourself, you go to bed and you have like a washing machine in your head spinning over and over, over the same thing again and again... really frustration and cant get you settle to sleep. What was that you found soothing, may help your daughter to sleep better. Talk about it together and say something like. "What things make you calm". Music are good. But just explain to her to listen to nice music and try and picture something beautiful and calming.. Just try this and I would love to hear from you. But the work has to be consistent to work well. and your relationship with your daughter will grow stronger. Warm regards Susanne
@14missy (3185)
• Australia
19 Mar 07
My 12 yo has her routine - dinner, warm shower, warm drink of milo(choc milk drink) and then read for a while then supposedly sleep! Things don't always work out this way though and she lies there thinking about everything in her day and tomorrow and the next day etc... We have tried music and other things over the years but nothing works for very long. Oh well we'll just keep trying I suppose.
• United States
18 Mar 07
ok i have ADD as well as my son. firstly id suggest having her eat something with protein before she goes to bed, this will help her rest better and feel more rested in the mornings when she wakes up. aside from that for me the key is to keep my mind from wandering since thats what keeps me up all night if i let it. so what i do is watch tv to go to sleep this way my mind can concentrate on the tv instead of going on wild adventures, which lets me get tired and then fall asleep. another thing that works very well is a meditation CD called "holosync" its rather expensive but is especially designed to help reach deep states of meditation, which of course relaxes your body ALOT. after using this CD im out in less then 2 minutes.
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@14missy (3185)
• Australia
19 Mar 07
Thanks for your advice. I will look up the CD you talked about. We have tried quiet relaxtaion music before but it didn't seem to make much difference. I know she must have her fan on at night to listen to the buzz of it rather than cool her down so it is probably the quiet hum she likes. I will try the protein at night. We already do a warm milo (choc milk) at night before bed time as she is hungry after the meds wear off also.
1 person likes this
@meholl (510)
• United States
17 Mar 07
My son is ADHD and the meds he takes make it hard for him to sleep as well. There are many medications out there that work with ADHD meds to help a child sleep. Sometimes that is the only way to help a child sleep. But in an effort to help my son lessen the amount of meds he is taking, I have told him, when you lay down, tell your mind it is time to shut down and tell your body to relax. I know this sounds weird, but it works. First in his mind he tells his feet to relax and works upward through the body to the neck. Then he tells his mind to relax, or his brain. This also works for people who in general have a hard time sleeping. This process only takes a few minutes and once the body is completely relaxed, it is easier for the mind to slow down so one can sleep..... As long as your daughter is resting, that is helpful...Doctors will tell you that resting is the next best thing to sleep. So while she may not be getting all the sleep she needs, rest is the next best thing to sleep, and carries alot of the benefits of sleep. I would talk to the doc again and see what kinds of meds he is thinking will help. Find the one with minimal side effects that won't aggrevate other conditions.
@14missy (3185)
• Australia
19 Mar 07
She does do some relaxation exercise befor eshe goes to sleep but for example last night she remembered at 10 oclock that one part of her homework wasn't done. We had to finish it or she would have worried all night about it. Some nights obviously are worse than others.
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Mar 07
My son is almost 10 and he is on Ritalin. He takes 1 pill twice daily. The second pill is given early enough that it has worn off by bedtime. I've never had a problem with my son being unable to fall asleep. I would suggest to you to talk to your doctor about medication that doesn't have such a long time span. Have you tried reducing the prescribed dosage to half in the evening or whenever the dose is suppose to be given? I would consider the medication the specialist has suggested as long as all other possible remedies has failed. Good luck to you and especially your son!
@14missy (3185)
• Australia
17 Mar 07
It's actually my daughter but she is on a long acting dex medication already and it supposedly has worn off by evening. That's the prob I think because her mind is ative and can't settle in the evening.
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@BELMCstar (1341)
• Australia
16 Mar 07
Have you thought about sending her to her room earlier than that? Perhaps if you use the DORE program, that will cure the ADHD (my sympathies on that) and then it will not be an issue. If the specialist really thinks that medication will be the way to go, then perhaps that is what you need to do. My 10 year old loves her bed, and will fall asleep almost as soon as she gets into bed, and not get up until 'dragged out' in the morning. Good luck with it all.
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@14missy (3185)
• Australia
16 Mar 07
My middle child is 9 and loves his bed. As soon as bedtime comes he's in it and aslepp! It is hard for my daughter but she has never been a sleeper...
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@raydene (9874)
• United States
16 Mar 07
Hi My daughter used to have that problem but her peditrician cahanged her meds Hope it helps R
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@14missy (3185)
• Australia
16 Mar 07
What meds is she on? My daughter seems to be worse at night now she is on long acting meds. They seem to wear off and she is bright as a button.
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• United States
19 Mar 07
My grandchild has it, and my daughter said that when he started the meds, it was like day and night, as it is some sort of a chemical imbalance. Good luck dear, God loves you, M&M
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@14missy (3185)
• Australia
20 Mar 07
It definately is not a fun thing especially for her. I know she wants to sleep but everything else seems to have more importance especially at ten oclock at night.
@14missy (3185)
• Australia
31 Mar 07
We are going to give the melatonin a try on the easter school holiday break and see if it makes a difference.
@kelly60 (4548)
• United States
19 Mar 07
My 13 year old takes concerta and abilify. We found that the abilify kept him awake if taken in the evening as prescribed. After consulting with his doctor this medication is now given in the morning instead. I wish I could help you with getting her to sleep earlier though. I have the same problem with my son and often there just seems to be nothing that seems to help him either.
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@14missy (3185)
• Australia
19 Mar 07
My daughter was on concerta but lost so much weight and seemed to be really dull in her personality so we changed to dex long acting. (It is also a lot less expensive here) We are trying the strict routine thing at the moment and she was in bed by 10 last night and actually awake at 7 this morning (yay) It is a struggle every day isn't it?
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@kelly60 (4548)
• United States
22 Mar 07
My son hasn’t lost any weight on the concerta. In fact, he has gained weight because it has slowed him down a bit. His personality is far from dull though, even with the concerta. Before the concerta it would be impossible for him to sit still. We would visit the doctor and he would be from one chair to the other to the exam table to under it and back. He couldn’t stay in one place long enough for the doctor to examine him. He has been this way since he was little. We finally have him calmed down somewhat, although he still gets a bit wild at times, but even at 13 he still has trouble going to sleep sometimes and getting him up for school in the morning is almost always a battle.