7 Effective Sleep Tips for Children with ADHD
Every night does not need to be so hard. Compared with other children, kids with ADHD are four times less likely to fall asleep quickly.
Kids with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD often struggle to sleep and to get enough sleep. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, kids with ADHD who do not get adequate sleep have trouble experiencing failure in paying attention and achieving academic success.
A study conducted to 244 children aged 5 to 12 with ADHD showed that behavioral sleep intervention can improve not only a child’s ADHD symptoms but also the quality of life of the family. The study implemented a plan to teach the parents of better sleep hygiene that modestly improve the quality and duration of sleep of the subjects. The researchers concluded that educating the parents on proper sleep habits can lead to better sleep.
Learn how to get your kids with ADHD off to sleep with these 7 sleep remedies.
Stick to a Schedule
Deciding a routine of when the bed, bath, brush, read, and wake up times will be can help your kid sleep. A child with ADHD needs routine and predictability even more than other children. The hour before your bedtime should be calm and quiet. The lights should also be kept low, so your kid’s body can produce melatonin, the natural sleep hormone of the body.
Committing to a schedule and sticking to it will help your kid establish his routine even for a simple daily task. Maintaining an evening routine also helps signal your kid’s brain and body to slow down.
Use White Noise
Using white noise, calming music, and nature sound to block off the noise coming from your neighbor or household is important. Kids with sensory issues have extremely sensitive hearing. Try using an air purifier for white noise, or you can download an app to your smartphone that offers different nature sounds.
Listening to white noise is needed to stop noises from entering your kid’s bedroom that can disturb his sleep.
Exercising should be one of your priorities. Children need to have at least one hour of physical activity every day. Other than keeping them physically fit, exercise also help them sleep better at night.
You may walk the dog in the park or do a ball activity every morning. Swimming and running around are also good physical activities for kids.
Doing physical activities every day can make children use their brains and bodies to a high degree during the daytime that they will more quickly fall asleep during bedtime.
Keep the Room Dark
Darkness eliminates visual distractions that keep your kid from falling asleep. If your kid cannot see any toy, he will not get out of bed to play with them.
In addition, use blackout curtains to stop too much light from entering the room. Too much light during bedtime can disrupt the production of melatonin in the body. Close the curtains and windows an hour before your scheduled bedtime.
What if your kid is afraid of the dark and needs light in order to fall asleep? Use dim light and turn it off as soon as he is asleep.
Maintaining darkness in the room is important to help with the production of melatonin in the body. Having a light source in the bedroom can trigger your kid’s waking cycle.
Dress for Comfort
Other than considering the best sleep environment for your child, another element to consider is to pick up comfortable pajamas. Dressing for comfort helps support a good shut-eye.
Sleep attire can help regulate the body’s temperature during the night. It also promotes better sleep.
Cotton is an all-natural fabric that is lightweight and soft to touch. It allows air circulation and does not irritate the skin. Meanwhile, flannel is best for colder months because it provides warmth and breathability.
Silk is known as a magical thermoregulatory. It helps keep your kid warm when it is cold and cool when it is hot. Bamboo, fabric from the fibers of the bamboo plant, is soft and silky on the skin. It keeps the wearer at a comfortable temperature. It is also hypoallergenic and has anti-bacterial properties.
The fabric of your kid’s pajamas plays a significant role in making him comfortable when asleep. If your child is comfortable while sleeping, it can promote a long and full night of sleep.
Create the Calm
Creating or restoring the calm with your child can prepare him for bedtime. You may have your child focus on breathing while visualizing himself inside an elevator gently going up and down while he is inhaling and exhaling.
Consider praying as well. Encourage your child to entrust his loved ones and his cares to a prayer to quiet a restless mind. Create affirming phrases such as “I am lovable, capable, and talented” before going to sleep.
Your child will react positively to these different calming techniques because it creates the aura of calmness before hitting the sack. The more relaxed your child is, the easier it is for him to go to bed.
Watch the Foods and Drinks
Foods and drinks are significant factors to consider when it comes to bedtime. The food and drinks that your kid consumes before going to sleep can affect his sleep. The ingredients that these foods and drinks contain can do different things to the brain and body.
Eating too much sugar close to night time can cause problems with sleeping. Sodas, candies, cereals, and bread have high sugar levels that can hinder your child from going to sleep.
Coffee and energy drinks are not the only ones containing caffeine. Like sugar, it can be found in several foods and drinks such as sodas, chocolate, chocolate milk, and even medicines.
Fat is another area which is often overlooked. Consuming too many fats can lead to issues such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and increase in weight. It takes longer to digest in the digestive system compared with other foods and can keep your child awake if consumed close to bedtime.
“You are what you eat” and it is the same for kids with ADHD. Consuming foods and drinks with too much sugar, caffeine, and fats can hinder them from sleeping quickly.
Dealing with your child with ADHD when it comes to sleeping is not easy, but it is definitely worth the effort. Helping your child in discovering what can help them to sleep using these 7 sleep techniques can give them a restful night’s sleep. If your kid is still having problems with sleep after following these tips, there is a possibility that he is already experiencing a sleep disorder. You should see a sleep dentist to diagnose it immediately.