How do you get your ADHD child to go to sleep at a good hour during school?

Frances - posted on 07/22/2010 ( 30 moms have responded )

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We let him stay up until 10pm, then we have him start winding down & give him 30 mins & at 10:30pm we turn the tv off. Most of the time he leave the tv off & eventually goes to sleep. If we take the tv out of his room, he will just go over to his brothers room & watch it. Then it is hard to get him up in the mornings. I have even tried a reward system, if he got up good for, say 5 days in a row, then we would say, buy him a plant ( he got into gardening at the beginning of the summer) but that didn't even work, HELP! School is starting next month!!

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Hi there!
I'm actually not a mother, but I came across this thread while browsing the net and thought I would add my two cents! I am a seventeen year old girl, and I suffer from ADD.

Currently, I take 30mg Focalin XR and celexa. Getting to sleep at night is one of the hardest parts of the day. School nights are even worse! I take clonodine to help me fall asleep. On the nights I don't take it, I am usually up straight through the night. It used to drive me crazy!

About three years ago I started taking Melatonine at night as well. Melatonin is an over the counter vitamin. As other people have said, it is a safe, natural sleep aid. For me, it was a miracle! Since I started taking it, I have been able to fall asleep in ten or twenty minutes. I've never encountered any negative side-effects.

But, not everything works for everyone! Another idea is to talk to you kid before bed. ADD/ADHD kids are prone to anxiety, and nerves can make falling asleep a nightmare. Sometimes, talking things out is a big help.
Also, I would recommend starting the bedtime process earlier! If your son is in middle school or lower, this may not be as big of an issue, as the start-times are pretty late. If he's a high schooler like me, and the day starts at 6:30am, then ten is not a great time to start.

If he takes clonodine, or a similar medicine at night, you should also start earlier. In my experience, those drugs last about eight or nine hours. That means that if you take it at midnight, you will be very drowsy until around nine. This varies from person to person, of course!

Try replacing the TV with something else, like reading. TV tends to really wake up your brain and make it hard to sleep. From what you wrote, I assume your son has a TV in his room. Probably not a great idea. Even for people without ADD/ADHD, a TV in the bedroom makes sleep hard.

My last point really depends on whether or not your son wants to go to sleep. If he doesn't this might not help you. Take the pressure off falling asleep! Watching the minutes and hours tick by is a horrible sensation. The panic associated with 'I can't fall asleep. I'm not going to be able to fall asleep' works as a self-fulfilling prophecy. Then again, that might just be me!

Remember, different kids respond to different things! Keep trying different tactics until you find one that works!
In any case, I hope I've been of at least some help to you. Best of luck with your son!

Elena

Jennifer - posted on 08/18/2010

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melatonine works great it comes in a 3mg tablet that they can suck on my daughter has been on it for a couple months now and finally finally goes to sleep and it is a vitamin so there are no side effects

Phyllis - posted on 07/22/2010

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You don't mention how old he is, so I'm not sure how much help I can be, my kids are 5 and 7. We start the bedtime routine at 7pm and on good nights they are asleep by 8 or 830. The oldest would not sleep at all if it weren't for his melatonin and clonidine taken around 7pm. Without it he only sleeps 3 to 4 hours per night. Now that he takes it he sleeps well and is usually awake before the alarm clock. Now that it is summer he is up with the sun. Perhaps if you started the bedtime routine around 9 instead of 10, he would get to sleep a bit earlier and be easier in the morning?

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Ariana - posted on 11/20/2013

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Take the tv's out of all your childrens rooms. They don't need it in their, and they shouldn't have it before bedtime. They really shouldn't even have it in their room. If they need it for video games set up a spot for them to play in the living room, or set the tv up for them somewhere else. Trust me, they do not need to have access to that much tv, especially before bedtime.

Otherwise try turning the tv off waaay before that, like at least an hour before he goes to bed. Get a routine of pj's, teeth brushing and then read him stories before bedtime. Give him 2 stories (or a certain amount so it never becomes an argument, I say two because some days there isn't time for more for one reason or another, it's life). Then have him go to bed.

No tv, stimulation and a regular routine, along with the story telling which is helpful in bonding as well as a nice way to wind his brain down will help a lot.

Can you tire him out before bedtime? Go to the park or sign him up for a swimming class? Obviously it's not possible all the time, but I see a big difference between my son going to bed after a trip to the park earlier, and on days when we can't get out.

Charlene - posted on 11/18/2013

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Well I have a 5 year old n she is the hardest to get to sleep at night..I was starting her at 9 oclock to go to bed n then she was so hard to get up in the morning..so now I let them eat at 5 n then play a lil more n then by 630 they r in the bath n then goes to sleep at 710 with no tv cux she will wanna just stay up n watch tv. N then I was getting her up at 7 but sje takes so long to get ready for a 5 year old..so we get her up at 645 n I make sure shes dressed n then at 7 she takes her focalin n then she eats breakfast n I get her there on time..but. we have to take her to front of school cuz if not she will wonder around school nbbe late all the time..hope this helps

Jennifer - posted on 01/05/2013

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My daughter takes Clonidine she takes it around 7:30 and is in bed by 8. She has a severe case and she is 6 years old

Kerry - posted on 01/05/2013

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My son is 10 and iv tried everything possible he will just not sleep!
There had to be something :/

Harley - posted on 09/20/2012

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hey, im not a mum but i do have ADHD. im 15 year old. and i find that i fall asleep at 6-7 am and wanting to et up a 11-12am/noon.i have been looking or diffent ways to help me sleep because i am starting collage in england soon. i moved to the usa what then told me i have mayor ADHD problem and have had it for my 15 years of life. so, as i started year 11 my finaly year of high/upper school i sooo not repared for collage or year 10-11/grade 10-11. BUT THE POINT IS...

If you et your kid to go for a run for a realy long time then they will fall asleep faster. it still is not going to help complete but it helps alot.

so,, good luck with the ADHD and ADD everyone :]

AUDRA - posted on 10/27/2011

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My six year old plays outside until it is dinner time it give him about 2.5 hours outside and then he is in bed by 8. He also takes clonidine .1

Gemma - posted on 10/26/2011

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hi we had alot of problems with getting our 8 year old to sleep at night, he also has adhd, we have just been given melatonin for him, he has it 30 minutes before he goes to bed then when he gets into bed he is out like a light its BRILLIANT

Tristen - posted on 10/12/2011

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my son is 8 1/2 and has Inattentive ADHD with processing problems sensory isssues , Cronic severe Asthma, and Food Allergies. He is on meds for his ADHD and now prescribed Melatone 2mg and it works well. I give it to hi at 5pm as the Specialist suggusted this time for primary school children and then to bed at 7pm. This works very well and is asleep with 20 minutes. It has made a difference to his breathing as well and is not so tried. Also is helping stop his bed wetting.:)

Kizzy - posted on 09/22/2011

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My 11 year old has never slept well. He is so hyper that he doesnt require much sleep. He has been known to stay up all night . I tried clondine for a few years when he was younger, but he complained of heart hurting and was very groggy the next day. SD about 2 years ago i started him on melatonin 3 mg and it is wonderful. I recently increased his dose to 5 mg and it does the trick. He usually takes it right before bath time and usually witihn the hour he is asleep.

Taletha - posted on 09/21/2011

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does he not take bedtime meds like mine. Maybe the next time you go back to the doc tell him the problems your having mine is out 5 minutes after he takes his

Deejay - posted on 09/18/2011

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MY son is 14 and ADHD, he takes 72mg of Concerta, we tried the melatone, and it worked for awhile. We went up to 6mg and he was still getting up at night. He now takes it with clonadine, and sleeps most nights. He goes to bed at 9 and reads til 9:30 then lights out. We lock all the TV's so if he does wake up he doesnt watch it. We have worked on him staying in bed if he wakes up.

Beth - posted on 08/15/2011

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1) put him to bed at 730 instead of 10 .

2) TV off at 7

3) an hr of reading and wind down time. soft music and a reading lap. That's it.

letting them watch TV that late will keep their minds busy and running. Take all TVS out of rooms or rig them so they can't be turned on unless you do it. And give him a melitonin before he goes to bed. My ADHD er has to take 2 of them.



My ADHDer is 9 , and in 4th grade

ERICA - posted on 08/13/2011

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My son was on the melatone and it didn't work and he is now on something different and it works great the clodine that he was on he had awful side effects like really bad nightmares and if u explain to him that at this time he has to go to bed he understands he doesn't have a TV in his from cause he would never fall asleep on it and he is almost 9 and has ADHD odd and PTSD and also has anxiety very bad he is on vyansse for ADHD and a mood stabilizer and also for something to sleep he need structure or he want understand a lot of kids need that who have ADHD hope I could help have a blessed day

Kolbee - posted on 04/04/2011

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i give my adhd son who is 9 one melatonen pill,he goes right to sleep now,he used to complain he couldent go to sleep hours after i put him down for the night.melatonen is all natural,i will not make him droggy in the mornin niether, get the 1mg tabs if one dosent work give him to,my whole family takes them everynight,there great

Gemma - posted on 03/23/2011

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My son is 10 he has a trouble sleeping his only just started to sleep in his own bed as i had to make him sleep with me because i would fall asleep before him and he would be walking around the house till silly o'clock. He takes melatonin but it rearly has any effect i now just let him pick something to eat in bed such as biscuits then he has a note book i bought him and some cool pens and he will draw till he gets sleepy(i leave the hall light on not his bedroom light).He now goes to sleep before me. we also buy a box of glow sticks he has one or two every night its the cool version of a night light. Hope this helps in some way. good luck.

Emily - posted on 03/22/2011

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Wow. As i read yalls stories, im amazed at how well my son is doing! My son is 6, and has to get up at 5 to get on the bus at 6. So therefore he goes to bed at 7:30-8. And i 99% of the time have no prob. I mean yes he does say things like i dont wanna go to bed, etc. But all the while saying these things, hes walking with me to his room and climbs in bed...lol. From what i have read and done..children with ADHD need structure, so if you have to be firm, then be firm when telling them it's bed time. That's what i had to do the first couple of times with my son. And id rather be firm, and have him whine a little, then to have my son lose sleep or be sleepy in class and do worse in class than he already does occasionally (ADHD related).

Beth - posted on 01/10/2011

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I liked Phyllis' suggestion. I've just noticed my son having trouble in the middle of the night - waking up and having trouble getting back to sleep. He noticed that his night light was too bright, so we're trying alternatives. I like the idea of the red light. He's 8 and I've been giving him 2-3 mg of Melatonin around 7:30, so that he's out by 9:30. But again, in the past 2 weeks, he started waking up around 3-4 and having trouble getting back to sleep. We're still trying to think of solutions for him - reading a book, counting sheep, etc., so that he doesn't wake me up as well.

Shelley - posted on 11/04/2010

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I am not sure how old your son is, but I have a 13 year old boy who has just started seeing a naturopathic doctor. The doctor has suggested that he take melatonin every night and so far he is sleeping throughout the night. When you take this (3mg) it has to be on an empty stomach. My son usually if he is hungry, has a snack at 8:00 and then takes his melatonin at 10:00 and by 10:30 he is fast asleep. There is to be "no" lights on or this melatonin will not work. If your son needs a light on, purchase a red light for his lamp. It has only been a little while but I see a tremendous change in my son's sleep already. Hope this helps.

Alahnna - posted on 09/25/2010

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I keep a consistent routine with my children and they are both usually out by 8:30 or so. My daughter still wakes up at least 2 times a night with nightmares and my son will be up for the day between 5 and 6am. It took me forever to get him to sleep through the night though, he was 2 1/2 before he did, it was exhausting

Regina - posted on 09/23/2010

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my son takes melatonin at night 3 mg . that is the adult dose but any less doesn't work. my youngest isn't able to take it due to the bad dreams.

Jennifer - posted on 08/18/2010

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my daughter is on addrell strattera and chlondine and I have now put her on the melatonine and I found it worked great but yeah it would very from kid to kid

Crystal Lynn - posted on 08/18/2010

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my son is on risperidol and adderall, at night after he takes the risperidol he is out in like an hour. my daughter is 7 and has tried the melatonin, colonodine, trazadone, and everything else and still hardly sleeps but she wakes up fine so i dont know- i guess it varies by the kid.

Tracy - posted on 07/28/2010

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my son is 10 but takes no meds 2 help him sleep, i am asleep b4 him most nights,(he does not need much sleep) on school nights there is just no TV he dont like it but I have to do it (as not fair on my other kids who would love 2 watch tv, but they need there sleep) he can listen to music down low, i would say look at books but they r lego books of what he wants to build next, he takes a drink & a snack up with him then there is no need 4 him 2 come downstairs as these were thing he used 2 do, it was not easy it took a long time but he says in his room & eventally goes 2 sleep, 4 him mornings r not a issue as he up b4 me (i get up at 7 for work) its the gettin ready 4 school, is the problem, i nearly have 2 physcial dress him. oh yeh he is allowed 2 watch tv at the weekends & hoils etc. good luck

Lisa - posted on 07/23/2010

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I start to get my son to bed around 8ish. He does take clonidine to help calm him, but has extreme anxiety, so I have to sit in the hallway till he falls asleep. We also tried the Melatonin, which is over the counter with the vitamins. That did work, but the doctor prescribed the Clonidine once he started to show the anxiety. (MY son will be 8 on Monday)

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