Waking up early

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    • #86760

      My 8 year old daughter, who is diagnosed with ADHD, goes to bed around 8/8:15 and on good days wakes at 6:30am (little over 10hrs) but often wakes at 5:30am (under 10 hrs). Her amount of sleep appears to have a direct effect on her behavior during the day (doesn’t it for all of us!). But my challenge is how to create more 6:30s than 5:30s. Once up she cannot go back to sleep and isn’t groggy, she’s alert and ready although from her behavior it’s clear more sleep would have helped her patience and self control.

      What I read here actually talks about difficulty falling asleep and trouble waking, but I have the opposite.

      Can anyone empathize? Advice?

    • #86766

      OMG SAME! I always wake up early I can never sleep in late.

      • #87115

        Have You tried to get a supplement with magnesium. Kids seem more relaxed! And sleep better. Magnesium is important! I just read about it! This aminoacid works in the brain and gives calm. My son has ADHD too. So,I am trying with diet! I read too that adinner with chicken, fish, milk, turkey and potatoes help!!

    • #86804
      Penny Williams

      My son is 15 and is rarely able to sleep in, even as a teenager. It happens some over the last year, which is new for him.

      Sleep struggles, even staying asleep, can be related to ADHD.

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

    • #86983

      My daughter (9) has trouble falling asleep and wakes by 5:30 EVERY morning, even if she stays up super late. We use low dose melatonin during the school year. I think it helps sometimes.

    • #86986

      I have ADHD and my son does also. He is just like I was – the first one up, even before my parents.

      I think it’s the ADHD. I wish I could find an answer also because my son also needs more sleep.

    • #86995

      Have you tried modifying the environment? Maybe there are sensory concerns waking your child up such as, noise or light, or both. Have you tried room-darkening shades/curtains or a fan or other white noise that would block ambient sounds? Is the room temperature different that time of morning? Is you child too hot or too cold?

    • #86997

      I think melatonin might help. They also make a sleepy time tea.

    • #87000

      Hi all! I know this frustration well. The remedy we’ve found is an early bed time. Like 6-7pm. Depending on your child’s age, count back from their natural wake time, so 6 am wake time, but they require 10 hours sleep is 8pm bed time. My son need 12 hours, so he goes down at 6:30. Sounds crazy but he’s well rested, calmer, and has better emotional control because of it. It’s wortg the sacrifice!

    • #87002

      My 5 year old is the same! He goes down at 8:30, melatonin every night, and wakes up at 6. Regardless of if he naps. The ONLY time hes ever slept late is when he’s up until like 11pm, which is obviously a nightmare. He also wakes up at 2am almost every day, comes into our room whining, and makes us walk him back to his bed. Super obnoxious.

    • #87004

      My son who is ADD has always been an early riser – like 5 a.m. early. When he became a teen, he started getting up even earlier – like 2-3 a.m. and he was done sleeping for the day which really affected his behavior and schoolwork. He was getting so exhausted, we consulted with a child sleep specialist thinking it might be his ADD meds keeping him up, but since he displayed this pattern his whole life, we discovered when he wakes up, he’s really awake for the day and will not fall back asleep (he wore a computer for 2 weeks to determine this). It was recommended that he stay up until the same time each night (and USE electronics – no sleep filtering screens) and then go to bed on time, and take a delayed-release form of Melatonin (6 mg – Natrol brand) – so it does not help him fall asleep (he does fine with that), but instead is released later on when his body wants to wake up for the day. So far it’s been working better than anything we have tried in the past few years and we are so grateful something is finally working! We were also told that some kids who are ADD need their Adderall or whatever they are taking to quiet their brains enough to fall asleep. This was not our issue, but may help someone else…

    • #87006

      Glad to know that my kid (11) is not the only one who wakes up with the cows! We have tried everything too. He gets melatonin on top of the clonidine and is usually out like a light around 8pm, if we’re lucky. Now that it’s summer break, I’ve asked him to please not get up before 7am. I’m up at 6am every day and I’d like to get an extra hour just for the summer because I am exhausted with my 2. He has been up at 5:30-6am, so I have gone to bribing him, which sort of works. I told him no tablet (games are important to him) if he gets up before 7am. I’m just asking for an hour. That seems to work, sometimes. Our problem for him is he won’t sleep with the lights off so he wakes up super early. We turn off his lights at night when he’s asleep, we’ve tried night light solutions, everything, but he just won’t keep his lights off. I found he sleeps much better when his lights are off. Just need a way to keep it off.

      Hope this helps others to know that you’re not the only one! Hang in there parents!

    • #87007

      We use a sound machine and blackout curtains too. Also, we unscrewed the light bulbs from his lights. We then got one of those ‘wake up’ clocks. It helps him to see “if the sun isn’t up, YOU shouldn’t be either”.

    • #87012

      My son is 6 and has never had a normal sleep pattern. Often wakes up in the middle of the night… sometimes he goes back to sleep.. most of the time when he is up, that’s it. We have very early morning sometimes where he is up at 3:30-4am . Whe goes to bed around the same time every night. We have tried melatonin and that just cause night terrors and made it worse!
      I feel ya!

    • #87017

      Just FYI – before using melatonin, check with your child’s doctor if he or she is taking antidepressants. The two can contraindicate.

    • #87023

      My 15 yr old has the same issues. He wakes during the night and has a hard time going back to sleep. We are currently trying melatonin which occasionally helps, and sometimes Benadryl, but neither necessarily help him sleep through the night. I’ve also set up the wifi/cellphone data so that he cant use it after a specified time of night (otherwise he would be looking at/chatting all night). We are now going to see a sleep specialist, who we hope will agree that he could benefit from a sleep study to determine if he has sleep apnea. His older brother has it, and sleep issues run in my husbands side of the family. I wish I had some better tips/advice.

    • #87024
      Kelea Levy

      My entire childhood I woke up at 5:30 am. Instead of trying to get me to sleep later, they had me go to sleep earlier and that worked. I went to sleep at 8:30 every night. I used to get up in the morning and do yoga with a lady on TV all those years…I didn’t know what I was doing – it was just the most interesting spaz thing to do at that time in the morning. Later in life, I found that experience to be very helpful to me in managing my ADD. Overall, I think my sleep time was just very sensitive to the day-light hours, which kind of makes sense – all the other diurnal creatures sleep at night and wake up early.

    • #87025

      I def know the struggle. My ADHD kiddo doesn’t sleep well either. She has a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep. Even if she goes to bed late she’s still up early.

      You have plenty of great advice already, but I’ll still go ahead and share what we do. Some things that have helped us is making sure she gets PLENTY of exercise each day, outside running around and burning off that energy. Time in nature is important, as is exercise. We also try to challenge her mentally each day as well (exhaust the body, exhaust the mind) by encouraging her to engage in some type of learning each day. If you homeschool, you already know how to do this easily- if not, it’s doing anything with her where she’s having fun and learning at the same time. Is she Interested in learning a new language, skill, interest, etc? Or even playing games with her where it feels like a game but she is learning as well. (Sorry if this doesnt make much sense, just ignore it if not). I’m ADD too lol so I feel I’m rambling.

      We also have a ‘wake up time. She’s not allowed out of her room until 7:30. If she wakes up early, we have a quiet box with activities she can do quietly, without disturbing others. Most times she falls back asleep without a hitch.

    • #87026

      My son is also an early bird and lack of sleep affects his moods. He also has trouble falling asleep. I found that having the room at a cool temperature helps him fall asleep. There are times I have to leave the light on for him to fall asleep and that works. Having a fan on just for noise helps. I usually cover him with a heavy blanket just before I go to bed as it will help in case he gets cold in the morning or even the feel of something heavy on will help him sleep in a little. Maybe an extra 30mins or so. If he is up before me, I have him watch a t.v show or use his kindle as long as he can stay quiet for another hour or so.

    • #87027

      I’d recommend putting your child in a quiet place to rest during the day and if they fall asleep then it’s ok. They’re mood should be a bit more pleasant. I tell my son to lay down and read a book and he doesnt have to close his eyes unless he feels the need to.

    • #87116

      Since starting this post we’ve made a more concerted effort to ensure our 8 year old daughter is eating enough. We knew her medication suppressed her appetite some but we hadn’t attributed her mood swings and challenges to lack of food. Since stressing that she eat very regularly (constantly offering food no matter if she says she isn’t hungry) we’ve found she has much greater self control and keeps her mood swings to a minimum. We’ve had good experiences at bedtime too. This has NOT fixed the early waking but she is handling her days much better. Probably stupid of us to overlook such a simple answer, but maybe this will help others.

    • #87443

      My 14-year old ADHD son has 3 main triggers, besides forgetting to take his medicine: sleep, food, and water. If he is even slightly hungry, dehydrated, or tired his temper can go from 0 to 60 in the blink of an eye! Since summer has hit, his father has decided to let him try a “no bedtime” trial. However, regardless of how late he stays up he’s back awake around 6:00-6:30! Thank you to all who posted advice. I’ll be making adjustments starting tomorrow as he’s already asleep for the night.

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