Bedtime & Sleep

ADDitude Adjustment

Changes in Natalie’s medicine have finally paid off.

Last time I wrote about Natalie finally reaching the point, at age 8, where she can play outside for short periods of time without direct supervision, while other neighborhood kids are achieving that level of trustworthiness at age 5. For Natalie, two factors are clearly at play. One: kids with ADHD mature later. Two: the meds to treat Natalie’s ADHD must be doing all they possibly can to minimize impulsive behaviors.

As you know, we’ve been working on med changes since November. Several times along the way, I’ve commented that such-and-such seemed to be working, and then something would go wrong: a report from school, a disturbing side-effect, trouble sleeping.

Now, once again, and hopefully for the long-term, we seem to be in a very good place. Natalie is taking 40 mg of Ritalin LA, in the morning and at 2:00 p.m., and 0.1 mg of Clonidine at 8:00 pm. Things seem pretty darn good.

We had to get documentation from our pediatrician in order for insurance to approve the second dose of Ritalin LA. Nat metabolizes meds quickly, and we’re lucky to get six hours of coverage from a dose of LA. The second dose gets us through until close to bedtime. We have permission to add a booster of short acting Ritalin to get through the evening, but haven’t felt the need so far.

The Clonidine is definitely helping with sleep, but hasn’t solved Nat’s sleep problems completely. She woke up at 4:30 a.m. a couple mornings ago and could not get back to sleep. We have permission to increase the dose by half a tablet, but plan to wait and see how often she has problems before making that change.

I believe that the Clonidine is helping with more than sleep. Nat seems unusually calm (but not at all sedated) and well behaved most of the day. She seems almost, well, normal!

I googled to see if Clonidine effects anxiety or ADHD behaviors, and all I found is that it’s used to help with sleep in kids with ADHD. Nothing about what I think I’m seeing. I can’t wait to ask our pediatrician about it.

Natalie was off from school last week for spring break. I’m hoping that following her first full week back at school, I’ll hear from her teachers that they’re as happy with how her meds are working as I am.

Spring began on Friday. And Friday was also my last day of work. Nat’s meds are working near-miracles. Suddenly, life is good!