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Sleep Issues and ADHD

my 8 year old won't sleep

My son was diagnosed 2 years ago with adhd, he is currently taking focal in in the morning but had trouble sleeping at night to the point he would stay up for 2 to 3 days at a time.  His dr put him on clonidine and it takes 3-4 hours for it to start helping him get tired enough to fall asleep but will not help him stay asleep. On average he will only sleep 3 hours a night and he isn’t tired the next day.  We have tried adding melatonin with the clonidine and that didn’t make a difference. After 2 years of hardly any sleep I’m not sure what else to try. Can someone help me. I’m at a loss on what to do for him now.


I know that struggle well. Melatonin helped my son fall asleep very effectively for 3+ years. In the last few months, he has stopped falling asleep as easily and stopped sleeping through the night several times a week (he’s 12). I think puberty has a bit to do with it in our case. What I’ve found helpful is Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime EXTRA tea. This reduced the night waking to more like once a week.

What we’ve also found useful is:
- to play nature sounds (rain, ocean, etc) all night in his room. He stopped wanting this about a year ago, but it was helpful—I think it helped him fall back asleep when he roused during the night.

- a weighted blanket and a Skweezrs bedsheet. These provide proprioceptive input that’s lacking and are calming/soothing.

- calming essential oils diffused in his bedroom all night. We’ve used peppermint, lemon, and wild orange over the last couple months, all calming scents. He says it helps, so I fill it up and turn it on every night.

Here’s more advice on helping ADHD kids sleep:

ADDconnect Moderator, Author on ADHD, and Mom to Pre-Teen Boy w/ ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Mar 12, 2015 at 1:10pm

I kniw this may sound funny, but have you tried giving him some soda. Sodanwill do the opposite affect on people, like me, who have add/adhd. The soda actually will help me calm down. Then have him sit on his bed. I know that that will be the hard part wince I know he will want to move around and not want to sit still. My bad would always yellmat me that I would drink soda late at night but people with add it will actually help calm them down. Caffeine does the opposite affect especially if medicine wears off.

Posted by Loveforever90 on Sep 15, 2015 at 4:27am

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