Sleep Issues

There is a longer acting kind of melatonin medication called Circadin. It’s like a slower or extended release medication that might help in place of melatonin. Melatonin is helpful to most but too much can cause nightmares. Small concentrated doses are best.

Sleep begets sleep.

Sleep begets sleep.

Sleep begets sleep.

If you are tired and exhausted, so is your child! 

They may not look and act it, but they will be in fight or flight mode and will be running on empty. Think adrenal fatigue.

Some Hints

Buy a cheap wall clock and put it in their room. It has a great, quiet, rhythmic, tick to it and helps like white noise. You can also only hear the clock when all is quiet. Therefore, kids tend to stay still and quiet to benefit from the clock.

Read to your child. But read a technical book above your child’s ability to understand... like how to clean a vacuum cleaner or dish washer or how an engine works or how many species of worms there are in the world or how to propagate tomatoes. Boring stuff. Read in a quiet, calm, monotone, drone of a voice. Read slow & rhythmically. They won’t care what you read. They care that you are there comforting them, reassuring them and hypnotising them with your quiet, boring voice. Only read for a set amount of time. Agree it at the beginning. Give a few transition warnings of 10 minutes, 5 minutes, 2 minutes and 1 minute until you leave.

Put them to bed earlier than you are doing. It sounds crazy and they will fight you on it, at first, but really try hard to get them to bed earlier. This is trying to catch them before being overtired. Overtiredness causes the fight or flight mode. They will or should be more compliant before the overtired kicks in.

That goes for you too! The minute your child is asleep, drop everything and go to bed. You’re both beyond exhausted. 

By doing these extra steps, you will be resetting your circadian rhythms and biological clocks, if you go to bed earlier. Think about the caveman days where when it was dark, we slept, and when it was light, we were awake. This is resetting your biological clock.

Do as many of the sleep hygiene tricks as you can.

Magnesium in the form of Epsom Salts in a bath before bed helps unwind and relax muscles. It soaks in through your skin but be aware it can heat you up slightly too, so the water should not be too warm in the bath. Marathon runners use this technique to relax their muscles.

Turn off all overhead lights in the entire house, as soon as is practical. Only have lamps, low lights and yellow light globes (not white) on. 

All noises should also be turned down, like television, radio, etc.

No screens at least one hour before bedtime. Screens have blue light and blue light keeps you awake.

Lay with your child for a set time and give them transition warnings, telling them you are laying with them for 20 minutes then, you will leave, and they will sleep all night. The give them another transition warning at 10 minutes, then 5 minutes, then 2 minutes, then 1 minute. At the end of your time tell them you are leaving now, and their body and mind is very tired and needs sleep. Tell them you love them, and you will see them in the morning. Then leave.

Do the same thing every night. Make it routine! routine! routine!

Make the room slightly cooler than it needs to be, so they are snug under blankets or covers. A pedestal fan can also be used for extra white noise.

ADHDers don’t have enough serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline (norepinephrine) as well as their own melatonin. 

Some experts want to classify ADHD as a sleep disorder.

Be aware of the rebound effects of stimulants, some kids actually get off to sleep better with an extended day time stimulant because their brain is still calm, slow and quiet and not racing. Just as some adults sleep better after coffee.

You may need similar medication as your child, as ADHD is genetic and you may be overlooking your own need for these things.