Sleep Tips for Kids with ADHD
- Lights out. Light has been shown to activate the ADHD brain, leading to later bedtimes. Be sure to begin shutting off or dimming bright lights around the house by 9 PM, which includes spending time in front of a bright computer or TV screen. Dimmer switches and timers can help.
- Be strict with bedtime rules. Some children with ADHD will resist going to bed. Be firm in setting times that your child must get into and stay in bed to help establish healthy sleep routines.
- Help calm restless minds. Many sleep problems caused by ADHD include a constantly ‘running’ mind. Have your child write down all worries and to-do’s before bed to help calm a busy mind. Warm milk, which contains naturally-sedating tryptophan (also found in turkey) can also help.
- Use the bed only for sleeping. Doing homework, playing video games, and any other stimulating activities should be avoided so the bed is associated only with ‘winding down’.
- Stick to a schedule. Sleeping in or going to bed later on weekends can be very tempting, but can often offset any routine established that week.