Sleep for Children with ADD/ADHD, PDD-NOS, GDD, SPD
Sleep consulting for kids with adhd
ADD/ADHD, and other diagnoses such as global developmental delay, Aspergers, PDD-NOS are all neurodevelopment disorders that affects millions of children world-wide. Symptoms can differ from child to child, but one common struggle for these children is getting a good night’s sleep. These children are also more likely to experience anxiety or even depression, which have also been associated with poor sleep.
Recently, specialists have started proposing that ADD/ADHD itself is a sleep disorder! On average, these patients have a delayed circadian rhythm and often struggle with falling asleep and staying asleep.
Considering how many typical children struggle to sleep well, it’s very possible that many kids diagnosed with ADD/ADHD just need to learn better sleep hygiene and need help shifting their later circadian rhythm.
When children with any developmental delays are chronically overtired, it can affect attention span, concentration, and make kids more hyperactive during the day. For children that may have sensory processing issues, overtiredness and chronic sleep debt can exacerbate their symptoms, making the world more chaotic and can lead to bouts of sensory “overload”. Similarly to children diagnosed with autism, the regulation of all of these functions are dictated by the areas of the brain that control sleep and wakefulness. Studies have shown in functional imaging that these areas of the brain get incredibly disorganized when a child is overtired.
Unfortunately, there are few resources for parents to help their child sleep better. A medical professional may give loose recommendations on consistent routine, bedtime, etc., but parents are often left not really knowing where to start off or what to expect. In many cases, parents are told to give their child medication or melatonin to help them sleep. Many parents find that the effect of these wear off and they are left with a child who is severely overtired and everyone is back to square one.
With over-the-counter melatonin or prescription medications, little is known how this may affect a child’s growth and development. But, the unfortunate truth is that for kids and adults alike, the use of melatonin and prescriptions is rising at alarming rates each year. In a 2014 study, it showed that the sale of melatonin had increased 500% over an 11 year period! Medication or natural supplement, these are only meant to be used on a temporary basis. Considering the jury is still out on how long-term use of these can affect our kids, parents need to know that there are other options out there!
My goal is to give parents the tools and guidance they need to make a great night’s sleep happen in the most holistic way possible. No medications, no long term sleep aid use, parents get recommendations that are specific to their child, and step by step instructions on how to get their child sleeping independently, for longer stretches, and waking up rested the next day. Parents focus on sleep habits, sleep hygiene, and more to give their child the chance to sleep great for years to come.
Changing anyone’s sleep takes a lot of work and consistency, but your child needs this! Sometimes, all it takes is having someone keeping you accountable and guiding you in the right direction.
Sleep Help for Kids with ADHD and Other Development Disorders
If you’re ready to get your child with any of the following diagnoses sleeping better: ADD/ADHD, Aspergers, PDD-NOS, GDD, Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), contact me to book your first assessment call. As a sleep consultant for children with ADHD and other delays and disorders, I can help you and your child get the sleep you need!