YORK, Pa. — Getting back to a normal sleep schedule at the start of the school year can be tough for anyone, but it's especially difficult for children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD.
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, kids with ADHD who don't get enough sleep can experience serious difficulties in school.
As we get ready for the school year, here are some tips to try to help your child with ADHD sleep better that experts say can really help.
- Keep your kids active. The more they move, the better they will sleep at night.
- Develop a schedule and stick to it. That includes when it's time to bathe, brush teeth, or read. Routines are vital for kids with ADHD.
- Set a bedtime alarm. It may sound silly, but eventually, your child will naturally associate the sound of the alarm with sleepiness. Just make sure it's quiet and not disruptive like heavy metal.
- Try using black out curtains. Too much light at bedtime can interfere with the body's melatonin production. That also means they should avoid any screens about an hour before bed.
- Use white noise. Kids with ADHD often have extremely sensitive hearing, so blocking out distractions is essential.
- Try having them sleep with a weighted blanket. It can apply deep pressure to muscles and joints throughout the night which helps calm an overactive central nervous system.
- Try melatonin. If you've tried all of the above and your child is still not getting enough sleep, ask your doctor if the over-the-counter supplement could be right for them.
For more information from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, click here.
For more information on ADHD from the World Health Organization, click here.