ADHD is a commonly used term for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It describes impulsivity, inattentiveness or hyperactivity. This condition usually has its genesis in childhood and may proceed into adulthood.
Children who have to go under diagnosis with ADHD, experience difficulty in staying focused, controlling their emotions, sitting still or controlling their behavior. This is why they experience isolation, poor performance in school, lower social skills and dependence.diagnosis with ADHD, experience difficulty in staying focused, controlling their emotions, sitting still or controlling their behavior. This is why they experience isolation, poor performance in school, lower social skills and dependence.
Such children usually need particular attention from teachers, school systems, mental health and healthcare professionals and mostly parents for them to succeed in life.
ADHD And Sleep Problems
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is the reason behind numerous sleep problems. Research by reputable sources indicates that children with ADHD experience some sleeping problems as follows:
- Their daytime sleepiness rates were significantly higher compared top children without ADHD.
- Teeth grinding (bruxism)
- Night walking frequently.
- Difficulty in falling asleep at bedtime or relaxing at bedtime.
- Sensory processing issues such as their heightened sensitivity to sound, light, feel of sheets or feel of blankets.
- They have signs of sleep disordered breathing compared to children who are not diagnosed with ADHD.
- They experience too little sleep which is not healthy for a developing child.
- Restless leg syndrome. This makes them have an overwhelming desire to either kick or move their legs during sleep or even both.
- Periodic limb movement disorder. This is when ADHD kids experience discomfort in their legs, and that is accompanied by a strong desire to move the legs. This often happens when they want to sleep or generally at night.
- Obstructive sleep apnoea. This is when their throats repeatedly obstruct as they sleep to result in snoring or having extended pauses between breathing as they sleep.
These symptoms tend to work in tandem making the condition quite difficult to manage. This is because sleep disorders cause kids to get less sleep than they require and the lack of sleep only makes their ADHD symptoms worse.
ADHD symptoms that have worsened make it difficult for the kids to sleep and this is, in turn, makes the symptoms even severe. It is a vicious cycle that is discouraging and heartbreaking for families who have their children as victims.
Importance of Sleep
Sleep is equally important for kids suffering ADHD as it is for those who do not. The attention challenges they experience is what leads to them having trouble sleeping and overstimulation. This is why it is necessary to follow sleep advice or tips that are helpful for kids diagnosed with ADHD.
Sleep Advice For ADHD Kids
There are several tips or sleep advice that can go a long way in helping children diagnosed with ADHD sleep better; they include the ones listed below:
1. Avoid trigger foods and exercise on a daily basis
Kids with ADHD should make nutrition and exercise a top priority to get better sleep. They should have one hour of physical activity on a regular basis at the very minimum.
Exercise will help them a lot about sleeping better at night. They should avoid consuming artificial ingredients and caffeine as these promote hyperactivity.
2. Adhere to a schedule
It is essential to decide on a night routine together with your kid. This is because children diagnosed with ADHD require predictability and routine more compared to other kids.
For instance, they should know when to read, brush their teeth and bathe among other activities. However, it is critical that they have an hour before bedtime that is quiet and calm.
Lights should also be kept low at this time so that their bodies actively produce sufficient melatonin (natural sleep hormone).
3. Set up a bedtime alarm
It is important for ADHD kids to have a bedtime alarm set for them. That way, they will always associate sleep with a clock and not as a parental demand. The alarm should have a sound that is not intrusive and is quiet. In due time, they will relate sleepiness with the sound of the alarm.
4. Blackout curtains and white noise
Nature sounds or white noise can be used to block to block household or neighborhoods sounds. An air purifier or even a fan can be used as white noise to help them sleep better.
Alternatively, blackout curtains can help in the elimination of light in the child’s bedroom. This is because excessive light during bedtime can seriously interfere with the natural production of melatonin by the body of the child. Another factor is that they should not be watching television an hour before they sleep.
They can be calmed down using essential oils such as vanilla, sandalwood, chamomile, and lavender. These help with sleeplessness, but the child should be the one to select what appeals to her or him. Placing a cotton ball dabbed in the essential oil cotton ball near her or his pillowcase will be quite soothing.
6. Decrease anxiety
Certain strategies that help in reducing anxiety should be used to calm them down; these include observing them, adhering to a certain schedule and striving to model a lifestyle that is healthy.
7. Weighted blanket
Kids with ADHD usually have a craving for deep pressure. This is why they should sleep with a weighted blanket which can apply deep pressure to body joints and body muscles until the night ends. This will greatly help in calming an overreactive nervous system. When the body senses are organized and calm, they will sleep as such a state supports the natural ability of the body to sleep.
Health care providers can supply them with some supplemental melatonin to help them get sufficient sleep. This is because he or she may be failing to produce adequate melatonin in a natural manner, a good reason why they may not be falling asleep or failing to stay so.
Cuddling may also help them sleep better at night as it provides a time to effectively calm down, provides a sense of security and love. Try and do this a few minutes before it is their bedtime.
Any one of the above sleep tips can be followed by parents or guardians to help ADHD kids get better rest at night because it is vital for proper growth and development.