Helping Children with ADD get to Sleep

Health Writer

Children with ADD/ADHD sometimes have a hard time falling asleep. They may toss and turn or they may just not be able to shut down their thoughts long enough for sleep to come. In the summer months, when outside activity is higher and the sun stays out much longer, sleep may not come until well after parents are exhausted. The following are some tips to help your child fall asleep quicker.

  1. Stick to your bedtime routine, even during the summer months, as much as possible. Set a specific bedtime and keep with that bedtime, even if a child is allowed to sit in bed and quietly read or play.
  2. Create a buffer time to lower down the activity level for an hour or so before bedtime. Find quieter activities such as coloring, reading or playing quietly.
  3. Set up a quiet time before bedtime. Use this time to sit and read with your child or talk about the day's events. Make this a transitional time between active play and sleep.
  4. Use lavender in your child's room. The scent of lavender helps to calm a person down.
  5. Use relaxation tapes as background noise for your child when falling asleep. There are many varieties available including nature sounds and calming music.
  6. Children with ADHD often find "white noise" to be calming. You can create white noise by putting a radio on static or running an electric fan.
  7. Decrease television time during the day and increase your child's activities and exercise levels during the day.
  8. Have your child read a book for 20 minutes to ½ hour in bed before turning out the lights to go to sleep.
  9. Avoid drinks containing caffeine.
  10. Spend ten minutes or so cuddling with your child. This will build a sense of love and security as well as provide a time to calm down.