ADHD and sleep problems in children

ADHD and sleep problems in children

ADHD is a disorder from childhood with typical symptoms such as hyperactivity, inattention, and impulsivity. And you can surely see how these issues affect your child’s activities during the day. But how about ADHD and sleep problems in children? Can ADHD cause sleep problems? In this post, will give you a thorough explanation of the question.

ADHD and sleep problems: What are the symptoms?

adhd and sleep problems in childrenResearchers are looking at the link between ADHD and sleep problems. Although the relationship is not fully understood, the correlation between ADHD and not sleeping or poor sleep is very clear. For instance, many toddlers, children, and teenagers with ADHD have difficulty in falling asleep, sleeping patterns, or issues when waking up in the morning.

When children with ADHD have trouble with their sleeping routine, here are some common symptoms:

  • Struggling to fall asleep and settle down at night.
  • Saying they can’t stop thinking about everything while trying to sleep.
  • Restlessness interrupts their sleep throughout the night.
  • Kids with ADHD can have difficulty with self-regulation, which can keep them from being active to being wind-down at the end of the day.
  • More prone to bedwetting, nightmares, and sleep disorders
  • May experience restless leg syndrome.
  • Having the tendency to put off doing homework or delay other tasks until the last minute. 
  • Teens with ADHD may be more productive and active during quiet nighttime hours. To make the matter worse, they can end up developing the habit of staying up too late too often.
  • Anxiety problems in patients at night when there is a lack of activities to distract them. 
  • Having trouble getting started properly in the morning and staying attentive all day. 

How to minimize the symptoms of ADHD and sleep problems

It’s no easy feat to break that cycle. Having said that, there are certain things you can do to reduce and alleviate the symptoms caused by ADHD during your child’s sleep. 

Keep tabs on your child’s sleep routines and schedule

First, you can start to shape a proper sleep routine by scheduling a bedtime routine. It may take quite a while to establish the process and stick to it, but it’s important in having a healthy sleep cycle in kids. If your child often seems tired/exhausted during the day or has a hard time falling into sleep at night, you’d better keep track of all these patterns.

The key is to be consistent. Also, you can consider setting a bedtime routine that follows the same order every night. For instance, taking bath or shower, putting on pajamas, picking out clothes and packing stuff for the morning, and then storytelling or reading before bed.

Encourage more physical activities during the day

adhd and sleep problems in children

To deal with trouble sleeping ADHD, it’s a good practice to encourage physical activity after school properly. Kids who don’t get an adequate amount of exercise often have more difficulty going to sleep at night.

You can try organizing some moderate-intensity activities such as camping, jogging in the park, or simply walking the pet. Be sure not to engage your child in vigorous physical activities that may make them exhausted at the end of the day

Prioritize important tasks

The most important task – homework- should be prioritized. You can opt for organizational strategies to help them better manage their work. For instance, breaking big tasks, assignments, or projects into smaller pieces. This can help kids better manage their time and complete everything before bedtime.

At the same time, it’s better to reduce any stimulating activities right before your kid’s bedtime. Set a limit on how long your child is allowed to use their personal devices. Encourage relaxing activities like listening to music, reading, and also try to keep your home quiet when it’s almost time for bed.

Get help from healthcare professionals

If your child is taking any stimulant medication, it’s a must to discuss the dosage with the medical staff. Too many medicines at once during the daytime or late at night may keep kids awake. Ask whether there are any side effects of your child’s ADHD medication on sleep. Mention any ADHD and sleep problems to the person examining your child’s situation. 

If your child often finds it difficult to get to sleep, you can ask if there’s something worrying them. Kids can get stuck thinking about something related to school life and everyday activities. Hence, it’s a good idea to pay all ears to their issues so that you can help them come up with strategies. If the problem gets worse, talk to your child’s health care provider.

Furthermore, if you notice that your kid snores a lot, mention this to the doctor in each visit. Finally, ask him about proper sleep medication. Kids with ADHD and sleep disorders can be prescribed safe medicines to promote sleep.

Does ADHD cause sleeping problems? The answer is YES. Good sleep is essential to all kids during their development. But when kids have some above issues, you need to take action immediately.


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