Family ADHD Life Coach

ADHD and SLEEP

People with ADHD in general often have difficulty with getting enough sleep. ADDitude magazine says that “Kids with ADHD are three times less likely to get enough shut-eye than their friends.” It is well known that ADHD symptoms are worse when the person is sleep deprived.

According to The Sleep Doctor, often children and adults with ADHD have:

  1. Trouble falling and staying asleep
  2. Unrefreshing and restless sleep
  3. Difficulty relaxing at bedtime
  4. Nightmares
  5. Insufficient sleep, and chronic sleep debt

This has definitely been the case in our home! Sleep was always a fight and waking up in the morning was (is) always equally as difficult! After some maturity and also having implemented a sleep routine, we rarely have difficulty at bedtime. Funny/not funny that our energetic kids start bouncing even higher when we as adults are ready to crash!!

So what do we do? First of all please make sure that your Health Care Provider is aware of the sleep issues for you or your child. It may be a matter of medication, anxiety or other issues that need to be assessed by a professional.

Get plenty of daytime exercise.  This can help reduce restlessness and hyperactivity. It also gives a terrific boost to sleep.

Create a bedtime routine. Going to bed is boring for the ADHD brain. Creating a fun, calming routine that you can stick to gives them something to look forward to and gives predictability which is also important. A routine that works needs to include a consistent bed time with a winding down period. Your routine may include things such as:

  • Read a special story together, or as an adult find a book that interests you. Make sure you set a timer so you don’t read all night!
  • Have a light healthy snack.
  • Play a quiet, more calming game.
  • Have a special tucking in routine. We talk about the good in our day and end with a prayer.
  • Listen to quiet, calming, no lyrics music. Avoid screen time at least an hour before scheduled bed time

Avoid stimulants. Limiting caffeine in the afternoon and avoiding foods before bed such as chocolate, foods high in carbohydrates, alcohol, energy drinks and nicotine will help improve your overall sleep.

Use of essential oils can be calming for many individuals. Scents such as lavender, cedarwood, sandalwood have been helpful in our family.

Sleep with a weighted blanket. Kids with neuro-development disorders often find deep pressure relieving. Using a blanket that is weighted can calm an overactive nervous system.

Waking up at the same time each morning. Studies show that having a regular wake time helps the body in its wake/sleep cycle.

None of these things are miracle workers, unfortunately. Find what works for you and your family and use them consistently for a period of time. We noticed a difference in our family and I hope you notice a difference in yours!

Family ADHD Coach Laureen

Routine After a Holiday

Welcome to my blog! I don’t know about you but in our household we have had a HARD time getting back into routine after Christmas. Before Christmas my day timer was scheduled with my work hours, appointments, and what I had to do that week. Now… its white. My kids are struggling each morning getting out of bed… well, except my bounce out of bed child! My day ends up being filled with distractions more than productivity.

I read in an article by James Clear a quote that we all need to remember. It says “These small hiccups don’t make you a failure, they make you human!” I love that and isn’t that the truth! Don’t beat yourself up because that will only keep you in the pattern of staying stuck and unable to move forward.

One of the most effective tools for success in living with ADHD is routines. So how do we get ourselves back on track with our routines?

  • Examine which routines are most important. Which routines do you need to function better in your day? Are there any that are no longer serving your needs? I know for my family having a regular bed time is critical. Over the holidays there are late nights and lazy mornings but now they are back on track with regular bed times. For me waking up at a regular time helps our family have a smoother morning. I have been working on getting up a bit before the kids and this has helped our morning out immensely!
  • Pick 2 or 3 routines to ease back into. Trying to jump back into all your normal routines all at once is unrealistic. Make sure at least 1 routine can be resumed relatively quickly and easily. Making lunches the night before instead of the morning and getting to bed on time are our first routines to implement. The first day the kids went back to school I intentionally left it lightly scheduled. I was glad I did! Not only did it cut back on the morning chaos but I was able to assist my kids with the things they forgot!
  • Don’t forget about self care! There are a few things that are specifically important in helping regulate your ADHD. Sufficient sleep, healthy nutrition, regular exercise, mental health care, and getting enough down time are all self care routines that will help set you up for success.
  • Don’t wait for tomorrow, start today! Set an intention and make a plan to follow through. Take back the controls in your life.

Remember… it is progress not perfection!  Celebrate whatever progress you make and remember… You are human!

Family ADHD Coach Laureen