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One of the toughest challenges when your child has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is handling the ADHD sleep problems.
And of course, many kids who do not struggle with ADHD also have a tough time settling down and going to sleep at night.
Parenting is hard and when kids can’t fall asleep, it gets harder.
Every night for the past 10 years, my daughter Julia has complained about going to bed and struggled to fall asleep. Julia has ADHD and it is definitely a huge factor when she tries to fall asleep. It takes a long time for her to slow down her mind and finally drift off.
When she was a baby, the complaints about bedtime were tears and temper tantrums. As she got older, she changed to negotiating and coming up with more and more stalling techniques.
My second daughter, who is now 8 years old, does not have ADHD and can easily fall asleep.
Every night of their lives, Sophia has simply rolled over and fallen asleep within a few minutes of closing her eyes, while her sister Julia has struggled sometimes for hours to try and quiet her mind and drift off to sleep.
Battling ADHD Sleep Problems
It’s frustrating and heartbreaking to watch as your child wants to fall asleep, but cannot.
Over the years, we’ve tried many things to help Julia sleep better.
We depend on a consistent bedtime routine and also a white noise sound machine. (That is an affiliate link for the actual brand of sound machine we’ve used for the past 10 years. I can’t imagine life without it.)
But I want to share with you my top two tips for getting her to finally fall asleep on the most challenging nights.
Personally, at this time, I don’t do use these two “tricks” every night.
In the past, when I added the first “trick” to our nightly routine, the effectiveness of it wore off. So I reserve it for when she’s having a particularly difficult night, and I can pull this trick out and have it really work.
And I just very recently discovered the second “trick”. So I’m not yet sure how often I will use this new strategy as I might want to reserve it also for the tougher nights.
You might choose to add these magic sleep tricks to your nightly routine or save them for when your child is really struggling to sleep.
Sleep Solution #1
Give your child a firm foot and leg massage with lotion and essential oils.
Here’s how to make this work…
Have your child lay down in bed, with the lights off, and completely ready to fall asleep.
Sit at the end of her bed, and in your hands put a little lotion and a drop of a soothing essential oil, such as lavender oil, that aids in sleep and relaxation.
Be careful not to use too much oil, as children can be sensitive to the smell and it might distract her even more.
Slowly and firmly massage her feet and lower legs.
It will take some time for her to relax, but continue a slow, deep massage from her calves down to her feet, pressing gently but firmly and taking time to stretch and gently pull on each individual toe.
When you’re ready to end the massage, hold your hands gently on her feet for a few moments to ensure she’s asleep before slowly lifting up your hands.
Sleep Solution #2
This second solution I very recently discovered… really by accident.
The other night Julia was having an exceptionally difficult time falling asleep. Even after a long foot massage, she could not settle her mind and drift off to sleep.
I lay down next to her, and something in me remembered hearing about a calming touch point between a child’s eyes.
I started slowly stroking above the bridge of her nose between her eyes. Almost instantly, I felt her body start to relax a little.
For the next five minutes, I lay there next to her continuing to slowly stroke that spot above her nose and between her eyes. When I stopped for a moment, she started to move a little, so I continued stroking and within a couple more minutes, she was asleep.
I was astounded!
Later I googled and learned that what I had discovered was the acupuncture point, Yingtang.
It is sometimes referred to as the most effective acupuncture point and as I luckily found out from our experience, when used as a acupressure point it can help induce sleep.
I am so happy to have learned about this Yingtang acupressure point and I know I’ll be using it more often to help my daughter fall asleep and even to help myself with my own ADHD sleep problems.
I hope both of these sleep solutions or sleep “tricks” will help you get your child to fall asleep.
Share With Your Friends
Have any friends who could use help getting their kids to fall asleep? Share this post with them. 🙂
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Find More Help with ADHD
For more ideas for how to help your children with ADHD, read these posts:
- ADHD in Girls – Are You Missing The Symptoms?
- Would You Teach A Fish To Climb A Tree?
- Help! My Child HATES School…
And follow our ADHD Pinterest board.
Written by Susan Carraretto, co-founder of 5 Minutes for Mom
Talk with me: @5minutesformom and Facebook.com/5minutesformom
Pin with me at pinterest.com/5minutesformom
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