50% of children with ADHD experience sleep problems.
My ADHD son often has trouble falling asleep at night. He says his brain just "won't turn off." Even if he's had an especially busy he still has difficulty. We have found several things to help him settle down at night.
- Settle Down Routine -- About an hour before his bedtime, we begin his "settle down" routine. This is includes a nice warm shower, reading a book or two, and talking about his day.
- Consistency -- We use our settle down routine throughout the year... during school, summer, on vacations, etc . This consistency provides him with a predictable routine.
- Music -- He likes to listen to instrumental music or his CD of ocean sounds (waves, dolphins, etc.) when he goes to bed. This seems to calm him and enables him to focus on the music/sounds rather than the thoughts that are swirling around in his mind.
- Complete darkness -- He prefers total darkness. We close his blinds and curtains to block out the street lights. He does not use a night light. He prefers total darkness. This seems to help cue his brain that it's time to go to sleep.
- Homework schedule -- We have established a specific homework time (5:00 p.m. - finished). This assures that all homework is completed well before bedtime. This eliminates doing last minute work or worrying about the next day's test/assignment.
- Laying out clothes -- He lays out his clothes the night before. By doing this it gives him one less thing to worry about when he is trying to go to sleep.
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