Sleep-related issues, including trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, and finding it difficult to wake up, are quite common among kids with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Sleep disorders such as restless leg syndrome and sleep-disordered breathing are also more prevalent among children with ADHD.
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While the exact cause remains unknown, the relationship between ADHD and sleep difficulties and disorders is apparent. There is, of course, ongoing research among ADHD doctors to help better understand the cause of these disorders.
If unaddressed, these night-time difficulties can have quite an adverse impact on your child’s daytime functioning, serving to worsen ADHD symptoms. If your child is not well-rested, they will be more irritable and will have an even harder time staying alert. Come night-time, they will have trouble sleeping, and the cycle will keep going.
The Two Common Treatments for Kids with ADHD
ADHD doctors recommend two primary treatments for kids with ADHD, namely behavioral therapy and medication. In most cases, these methods are used in tandem for the best possible outcome, in addition to making the necessary changes to the treatment plan as and when may be necessary.
1) Behavior Therapy
Also known as behavior modification, behavior therapy focuses on reducing the disruptive behaviors common among children with ADHD, and encouraging positive behavior. This method includes combined effort from various parties and includes behavioral intervention in the classroom and encouraging behavior changes at home. Both parents and teachers receive training on the strategies and skills to help kids achieve positive behavior. Peer interventions are equally invaluable, and kids with ADHD will learn positive behavior from other kids.
There are several FDA-approved medications that have proved effective in managing the symptoms of ADHD in young children. It is worth noting that different kids react to these medications differently, and what may work for one child may not necessarily work for another.
It is, therefore, a common practice to try different medicines and different doses. The ADHD doctors taking care of your child will then monitor the effects on your child and, after finding the right medication, adjust the dosage accordingly for the best balance between benefits and side effects.
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There are two main types of medications used for managing ADHD symptoms in children:
These are the most widely used ADHD medication and have been shown to effectively reduce symptoms once the right dosage is established. Stimulant ADHD medications come in two forms: immediate-release or short-acting medication and extended-release, or intermediate and long-acting medication.
Short-acting medications are taken when needed, usually every 4 hours, while your child may only need to take their extended-release stimulants once a day, in the morning.
are generally long-acting, in that their effect is not immediate, but it does last for a long time, up to 24 hours. ADHD doctors may recommend these types of medication if stimulants do not work on your child or if they experience some bothersome side effects after taking the stimulants.
How ADHD Treatment Improves Your Child’s Sleeping Patterns
Hyperactivity and impulsivity, both of which are common among kids with ADHD, can make it difficult for your child to fall asleep. The same goes for chronic anxiety, which may keep your child up as they worry about things. For kids with both OCD and ADHD, sleep will be elusive if they have not done certain things, in the order, or manner that they have to do them.
Generally, kids, and not just those with ADHD, will have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep if they are not relaxed. ADHD treatments, both behavioral therapy and medications such as anxiety medication for children, help to keep your child calmer and more relaxed, which should help improve your child’s sleeping patterns.
Home Remedies to Help Your Child Sleep Better
Apart from treating ADHD with medication and behavior therapy, there is no shortage of tips to explore that will improve your child’s sleep. Top among these include the following:
- Avoid or limit long daytime naps
- Create and stick to a bedtime routine. Be it a shower before bed, then reading a story before the kid’s sleep, remain consistent.
- Reduce stimulating activities and foods just before bedtime. Screen time is a big culprit to avoid. Also, avoid foods with caffeine.
- Feed your child a well-balanced diet, and avoid heavy meals just before bed.
- Create a calm sleep environment. Quiet things down, and you can use white noise machines to help your child tune out other sounds.
- Explore relaxation training techniques such as breath focus.
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How EZCare Clinic Can Help
We conduct diagnostics for ADHD in children using an ADHD brain scan. Our qualified ADHD doctors can also manage your child’s ADHD treatment plan, which will alleviate any sleep problems they may be experiencing.
Reach out today to have ADHD testing near me or book an appointment for specialist help with your child’s ADHD treatment.