Everyone needs sleep to function at their best.
Children with ADHD may rely on sleep even more than the rest of us.
According to the American Sleep Medicine Academy, even losing one hour of precious sleep a night could be enough to harm the academic performance of children with ADHD.
Unfortunately, the ADHD condition and the medications used to treat it are known for being disruptive to sleeping patterns – making it practically impossible for kids to fall asleep and stay asleep.
The good news? There are things that families can do to make sleep a little easier to come by for children with ADHD. Here are just five of the top tips we have to offer.
1. Exercise Daily and Get the Right Nutrition
Exercise and nutrition are valuable priorities for any family to have – but they’re particularly crucial when you’re working on improving sleep for a child with ADHD. Kids need to get about an hour of exercise every day. Regular exercise will help your youngster to stay fit, and it will also make them tired enough to fall asleep faster at night.
As well as giving your youngster the extra exercise that they need, remember to avoid any trigger foods that could make sleep harder to come by like foods that include high doses of sugar and caffeine.
2. Create a Schedule and Stick to It
A strong and reliable schedule can make life a lot easier for children with ADHD. Decide with your child what your nighttime routine is going to look like, including bath time, when they’re going to brush their teeth, read, or change into their pajamas. Children with neurodevelopment disorders will appreciate the routine and predictability more than other children.
Try to make it so the hour before your child goes to bed is as calm and relaxed as possible. Keep the lights low to help the body produce melatonin and get rid of any excess sources of stimulation.
3. Invest in the Right Accessories
Kids with sensory issues generally have very sensitive hearing. Using an audio recording of nature or white noise to block out neighborhood sounds could be a great way to help them fall asleep faster. You could even just think about adding a purifier or a fan to create some extra white noise.
Remember, you might need to try different things before you find the one that’s right for your child. As well as protecting them from unnecessary acoustic disruptions, don’t forget to look at getting blackout curtains that will help to eliminate excess light too.
4. Try a Weighted Blanket
The right bedding can work wonders for people who have trouble getting to sleep. Kids with neuro-development disorders can sometimes crave the feeling of deep pressure than their peers. This meaning they could benefit from heavier blankets that could keep them feeling comfortable through the night.
Weighted blankets are excellent for delivering a sense of calm and warmth to a child who has a disorganized sense of self.
5. Try Supplements
If all the options above haven’t worked for you, then you could always look into natural supplements that may be able to help with sleep. Melatonin and other similar substances can help your child to drift off faster. However, you should always discuss your options with a doctor before giving your child anything new.
Remember that even natural and herbal substances can sometimes interact poorly with the other medications that your children might be using. What’s more, your doctor will be able to conduct tests to make sure that there aren’t any outside factors disrupting your child’s sleep.