“ADHD medications keep me up at night.”
Parents often worry about ADHD medication causing problems with sleep, and very often this will keep parents from giving enough ADHD medicine to adequately treat the symptoms, because they’re afraid if they go up on the medicine, sleep problems will get worse. ADHD in itself will often cause sleep problems because the ADHD brain has a really hard time of shutting itself down. So be aware that it may not be the medication but actually the ADHD symptoms coming back when the ADHD medication wear off.
There are several tricks for getting patients with ADHD to sleep better and these include using white noise, some sort of fan sort of noise, staying away from screen time, or LCD lighting for 30 minutes to 60 minutes before going to bed, avoiding caffeine afternoon, and finally, using a supplement of melatonin somewhere between three and five milligrams for most children to help with sleep onset.
The stimulant medication should be given at around the same time everyday, but on weekends when children can stay up later, on Saturday night, for example, they tend to sleep in on Saturday morning, it’s okay to give the medication a little later because they are not going to be going to bed as early. Sleep problems can be a side effect of medication, but there is no reason to fear that. Working with your child’s physician, you should be able to troubleshoot sleep problems and not be so scared of stimulant medication.
This information should not be relied upon as a substitute for personal medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Use the information provided on this site solely at your own risk. If you have any concerns about your health, please consult with a physician.
James Wiley is the founder of Focus-MD. Focus-MD is devoted to the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD and related problem patients. They provide objective testing, medical treatment as well as behavior modification strategies to help or patients transform from frustration to focus. To find a Focus-MD clinic, click here.
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