New Issue!

Spring 2017 Issue ADDitude magazine Read the 'ADHD Therapies That Work' issue now!

The New ADDitude Forums Are Live!

Reach our full community by posting to ADDitude's discussion forums here

ADHD Teens and Young Adults

Problems Sleeping

My 13 year old son was diagnosed with ADHD and ODD six years ago.  He has been on various medications.  Currently he takes Concerta in the morning and he was taking Ritalin afterschool.  The Ritalin was not working very well so the doctor raised the dosage.  Since then he has started to have problems sleeping and his appetite has decreased (I am not really worried about his appetite since he is a little overweight).  He has always been my one child that wanted to go to bed early (by 8 at the latest) and awoke around 5:30 in the morning.  Since the change in his medication he has been awake until 3AM and sleeping until 7AM.  Also, he has never talked that much, now he talks non-stop and can’t seem to form his thoughts into complete sentences.  I have talked to his doctor and we took him off the Ritalin in the afternoon and we are giving him a dose of Concerta.  Even with this change in his medication he is still not sleeping and is still talking non-stop.  We have tried giving him Melatonin to help him sleep but even this is not working.  He is allergic to anti-depressants so that is not an option.  I am looking for any help on how to get him to sleep again.  I don’t care if he stays up later than 8PM (in fact if he would go to bed between 9 and 10 I would be ok with that) but him staying up until 3AM is driving me crazy.  He does not have access to any electronics after 7PM so that is not what is keeping him up.  Also, I would like him to stop talking all the time since I have 3 other kids I have to give attention to and he gets very upset if one of them needs my attention because he is still trying to get his thoughts out.  I appreciate any suggestions anyone has.  Thanks for your thoughts.


Just trying to understand.  Is he taking Concerta in the morning and again after school?  If that is the case - no wonder he can’t sleep!  Concerta lasts 8 - 10 hours.  Ritalin lasts 3 - 4 hours.  I’ve never heard of anyone taking 2 Concerta in one day.

Posted by staypositive on May 08, 2014 at 4:26pm

The motor mouth sounds like too much medication (too high a dose) to me. As well, I think taking long-acting medication in the afternoon is a sure-fire way to have trouble sleeping.

Talk with the prescribing doctor again and keep working together until you resolve these issues. Medication will have no benefit if he only gets 4 hours of sleep a day.

ADDconnect Moderator & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on May 08, 2014 at 5:35pm

I feel so bad for your son. My son was on Concerta for a year and had a terrible time sleeping. His emotions were also very intense and he had horrible nightmares. We FINALLY switched him to Intuniv about 6 months ago and it has been amazing. He sleeps so much better. He started with 1mg and then after a week went up to 2mg. We have kept him at 2mg because it seems to work for him. When you first start taking Intuniv you will be quite tired until your body gets used to it. After a couple of weeks he was fine. I will also tell you that there is a huge difference from my 9 year old ADHD son and my 18 year old ADHD son today. They do mature and grow out of a lot of it. It does get better. Sometimes I think parents feel the pressure from teachers to medicate so they dont have to deal with any misbehaving or distracted kids. Personal opinion.  Good luck. I pray for all my fellow moms of ADHD kids this mothers day weekend.

Posted by kandsmom on May 10, 2014 at 4:22pm

Our daughter is on Vyvanse now and has had sleep issues with all the meds she’s tried. She was prescribed an antihistamine (Cyproheptadine) which helps with sleep and increases her appetite. We alternate between this and Melatonin. Check with your sons doctor.

Posted by boomer on May 14, 2014 at 8:23am

Reply to this thread

You must be logged in to reply. To log in, click here.
Not a member? Join ADDConnect today. It's free and easy!

Not a member yet? Join here »

Search the ADDConnect Group Discussions