Bedtime & Sleep

Beloved Bedtime Stories for Sound Sleep

Falling asleep is one of the biggest challenges for kids with ADHD — and their parents. The right bedtime story or reliable routine can make a world of difference. Here, readers told us their secrets for bedtime.

An ADHD child sleeping peacefully.

ADDitude asked: What is your child’s favorite bedtime story or routine?

> No bedtime story. It gets my son too excited. His routine consists of going to the bathroom (yes, we have even that scheduled), taking a bath, going to his bed for 15 to 20 minutes of TV, then lights out.
-An ADDitude Reader

> It used to be Goodnight Moon, but we do not read before bed as much as we used to. We have him get ready for bed 15 to 20 minutes before he turns in. He brushes his teeth and puts his jammies on. Then he kisses the dog and us good night.
-Mandy, Texas

> Getting a 13-year-old with ADHD to sleep can be accomplished only by eliminating all electronic stimulation at least two hours before bedtime. A hot shower also helps.
-An ADDitude Reader

> My nine-year-old daughter, who has ADHD and anxiety, resists sleep. She gets ideas for new projects and can’t put them off till the next day. When I don’t enforce a bedtime, she stays up way too late. When I do, she becomes irate and can’t fall asleep. I can’t win.
-An ADDitude Reader

> His routine varies every night. He loves the stories in which I make up voices for the characters. That works the best in getting him to sleep.
-An ADDitude Reader

> My son doesn’t have a favorite story, but he likes fantasy tales like those about Percy Jackson and Deltora Quest. He requires a hot bath to relax. Then he is either prodded to do the rest of the routine or gently reminded to follow the list of steps I wrote out for him.
-An ADDitude Reader

> When my children were younger, our favorite authors were Phoebe Gilman and Robert Kimmel Smith, but the most important part of the routine was the routine.
-Clarice, Ontario

> Dinner, homework, bath time, story time, and bedtime. The Princess and the Kiss is his favorite book.
-Nikki, Virginia