Sleep Help


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    • #137730

      My son is not able to sleep at night, despite a consistent bedtime routine, and I feel at a loss. It is now greatly impacting his school life, and he missing school at least once a week because he is lying awake until 4am.
      He has been on concerta for four years, and we find that it has helped immensely. He was on risperidone as well until last month, when his doctor and I decided to try and wean him off.
      Our bedtime routine is very consistent. He takes a melatonin two hours before bedtime. We cut screens an hour before bed (as suggested by his doctor) and we have even added sleep meditation to our routine. I don’t know what else to do, and I will be contacting his doctor, but I thought I should reach out and see if any parents have some ideas for us to try.
      Thank you in advance.

    • #137747
      Penny Williams

      Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime EXTRA tea helps my son when melatonin alone isn’t enough. We actually switched to the OLLY Sleep Gummies a few months ago and they help more than melatonin alone too. My son also sleeps under a weighted blanket and has for years.

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Coach & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #137766

      Thank you for your response. I will check out the sleep gummies for sure.

    • #137802

      Has he shown any of the following symptoms?

      Nightmares or night terrors



      Restless Leg

      Reason for asking is that I suffered with these as a child, starting around his age.

      If some of those, you may find he has a lack of regular circadian sleep (not as scary as it sounds) If all is a possibility, I would mention to his doctors.

      If your attempts to help him (which are very good, btw) seem to start out okay, but stop working over time, they may order a sleep study and that is a Very good thing.

      I know this sounds even more worrisome, but I can say from experience that finding these things out early in his life will be beneficial to him AND you.

      Sorry for the long post

    • #138177

      My kid had the same problem. This is how we fixed it. No screen time at least 1 hour before sleep (including computer work for school), bed time is 9:30pm (even if homework isn’t finished), I keep the temperature at the house quite cool in the evenings and I offer a lot of soft blankets included one weighted. I encourage reading in bed for the last 30 minutes before going to sleep. During dinner time, I offer 8-10oz of tart cherry juice, I buy Cherrybundi but you can find any other brand at any grocery store. Depending on need and if there is testing the next day then I would offer melatonin 1M. I haven’t had the need to increase the dose yet but that’s an option. I would run that by your HCP. Also, since my husband is a nutritionist, we have changed the kids diets plus offer supplements to aid with anxiety, focus and behavior. Anxiety was one of the reasons for staying awake in our case. Good luck!

    • #138184

      My son now 13, had the same issue. We had a consistent routine with quiet time and he would go to bed without fuss every night but still be lying there wide awake 5 hours later. Melatonin did not really help, but after moving town and seeing a new doctor, she prescribed clonidine which he takes 1 hour before bed. This medication has changed his life. He is asleep exactly 1 hour after taking the medication every night, and wakes up fresh and rested. His grades have gone up in school and he is generally happier and healthier. It may not be the right thing for your son and you’ll have to discuss with your doctor, but for us, it has been life changing.

    • #138191

      Our 3-year-old son will only sleep if we give him melatonin and we have to give it in a certain way: he gets 1mg half an hour to an hour before bed, then another 1mg at bed. We had to use trial and error to find the right dose and the right times for him. It’s possible a simple change to your son’s melatonin dosage or the time he takes it might help, either increasing it as he grows or altering the time he takes it. If we forget to give our son that second dose within half an hour to an hour of the first one, then it’s like we never gave it to him at all.

    • #138201

      I suggest trying a weighted blanket. I just bought one for my 15 year old son for Christmas this year. I should have done this years ago. He said “I fall asleep right away now.” We have tried melatonin, essential oils, limiting screentime, bedtimes….all with varying amounts of success (less success as he has gotten older; melatonin still works, though). I purchased mine from a company called Mosaic. There are many companies that sell them. They are not cheap, however, the cost is definitely worth the price of NOT sleeping, and it is an investment. I recommend them, and I do NOT recommend waiting till your child is 15!!

    • #138270

      My son has ADHD with anxiety, as do I. I think what you are doing is wonderful, but if it’s not working, you’ve got to change something else, too. We have found that giving melatonin just 30 minutes before bedtime works best. If it has been too long since taking melatonin, my son and I both struggle to sleep, as if it has the opposite effect. We also use the OLLY sleep gummies, and they are AMAZING! They work really well for my son and me both. They also have a focus gummy that we sometimes use if ADHD medication alone is not helping. My coworker just started using a weighted blanket for her son with ADHD, and she says that’s been really helpful. We are going to try one. It might help you all, too. Good luck! I know how challenging and frustrating it can be trying to get a good night’s rest!

      • This reply was modified 2 years ago by alyssak86.
    • #138287

      Make sure that he does not nap the next day if tired. Try to keep him up until bedtime. Sometimes you need an earlier bedtime because they are over tired. Make sure he gets a good 1-3 hours of outside play or climbing but not to close to bedtime. You could try magnesium calm gummies, CBD or lavender. He might need a different sleep medication. Also check his diet for red dye.
      Hugs mamma.

    • #138306

      Hi! How about exercise? Is he getting any?
      I’ve been dealing with insomnia too, and I’m finding lifting a five or ten pound weight for many reps during a tv show, and doing stairs or getting a good walk in, is helping a lot with my ability to get to sleep.

    • #138332

      The only thing that helped my child sleep was an Omega 3 supplement. If they won’t eat it,like mine, there is a great patch option at Patchmd. I put it on at bedtime and they are out like a light. Melatonin didn’t help at all when we tried it.

      • This reply was modified 2 years ago by daisya257.
    • #138337

      Thank you to everyone that have shared their helpful info. Our 10 year old has recently been diagnosed with ADHD and anxiety. Going to try the olly gummies & weighted blanket.

    • #138338

      My 13 year old needs a consistent routine of no screens one hour before, reading, and 2 (!) weighted blankets. She also takes magnesium which seems to have helped with her restless legs too, but the reading before bed and the blankets are a must.
      Good luck!

    • #138350

      First, Congratulations on getting him off the risperidone. No child should be on that. I would assume that the sleep problems have been going on long before he started getting off the risperidone and is not a reaction to that nasty medication. Speaking of medications….as one poster mentioned clonidine is certainly worth taking a look at if other things are not working.

    • #183488

      Try following these instructions:

      1.) Exercise daily and avoid trigger foods
      2.) Use white noise and blackout curtains. Kids with sensory issues often have extremely sensitive hearing. Using white noise or nature sounds to block neighborhood or household sounds is essential. Try an air purifier or fan for white noise or download an app that offers different nature sounds. You may have to try several sounds before you find one that works for your child. In addition, use blackout curtains to eliminate light in the room. Too much light at bedtime can interfere with the body’s melatonin production, so avoid screen time an hour before going to bed as well.
      3.) Try aroma therapy. Essential oils like lavender, chamomile, sandalwood, or vanilla can be calming for many people who experience sleeplessness.
      4.) Reduce anxiety.
      5.) Sleep with a weighted blanket: A heavy, weighted blanket can apply deep pressure to muscles and joints throughout the night, which helps regulate a disorganized sense of self and calm an overactive central nervous system. Organizing and calming the senses can support the body’s natural ability to fall asleep.

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