My son wont sleep

Hi my so has been diagnosed with ADHD and ODD he gets up at 4am almost everyday now we have tried melatonin nothing helps any suggestions

25 Replies

  • There is a good chance that he has other sleep issues not related to ADHD. If his hyperactivity were a source of the insomnia he'd have trouble getting to sleep. I suspect it is probably a restless legs thing - which is inaccurately named as it is the diagnosis of any jolting sensation which occurs regularly in any part of the body. ADHD is a neurological condition so it would make sense that there would be some other nerve-based phenomena. Its also possible that there's a sleep apnea thing going on.

    I suffered from extreme insomnia for about 38 years and have ADHD. I also have restless legs and sleep apnea. In my experience getting to sleep isn't an issue (aka my hyperactivity doesn't get in the way) but the random jolts from RLS as well as the suffocation of sleep apnea have made it hard to stay asleep. Its hard to explain to someone who hasn't experienced it. But ADHD insomnia is very front-loaded. If he's able to get to sleep its probably not related to the ADHD directly.

  • Side note: I've been put on a CPAP machine and been given meds for the RLS and they work wonderfully. I also have Trazodone to get me to sleep on nights when I feel that the voices in my head are a bit too passionate. Its a weird drug and is known for giving people weird dreams but as someone with ADHD weirdness is not a big issue for me.

  • My son is 12 yrs old & had trouble sleeping. It was like he was restless & fighting in his sleep. He was constantly twitching. Always woke up grouchy & tired. I started diffusing lavender oil in his room at night & it has seemed to help him. Now he even asks me to make sure it’s on. My cousin also made him this Calm oil for his ADHD that I rub on his wrist. He says that seems to work better than the lavender. I’ve noticed a big difference in the morning. I’m using young living oils. Good luck!

  • My son is doing the same thing. Today he was up at 4:50! He has no trouble falling asleep, but keeps waking earlier and earlier every morning and can't fall back to sleep. It's so frustrating.

  • I tried valerian root when the melatonin stopped working. Now, my 15 y/o son takes 2 mg of Clonidine (he started at .5 and worked his way to the current dose) at bed time. I hate that he has a stimulant in the morning and now this at night, but we had tried all of the other suggestions (warm milk, sleepy time tea, night balm) without success. Good luck!

  • clonidine works well! i just suggested it to Jamie82. my son takes it each night.

  • My son also is an early bird and gets up around 6:00 and also struggles to go to sleep. He was getting up even earlier but we suspect it was to sneak into sugar. We removed all sugar goodies and told him. That seemed to help. Also, we've stopped melatonin as it seems to worsen his length of sleep.

  • I also noticed that with the Melatonin that's why I stopped it

  • I know this will probably seem counterproductive but have you tried an earlier bedtime? My son was the same as yours, up at 400 to 430 AM and would not go back to sleep, his bedtime was at 9:00 pm he is 10 years old and this was still much earlier than all his friends. He now has lights out at 8:30 and now sleeps in consistently till 6:00 or 7:00 on weekends. It seems odd but i think because he needs more sleep then most and was getting less he was always in an overtired state....people think i'm nuts because my 10 year old is asleep at 8:30 but for him it has made a big difference!

  • I have his bedtime at 7:30 I've tried keeping him up a little later putting him to bed earlier seems like nothing works

  • I totally understand your frustration there is nothing worse than a kid who desperately needs sleep but wont! The way i solved our sleep issues was two- fold! First i had to learn the difference between can't sleep and won't sleep! My son at first was refusing the things he needed to do to have a shot a going to sleep he kept his lights on turning them back on after i turned them off, snuck video games into bed, wouldn't stay in bed when asked to. This had nothing to do with my sons adhd and was just outright defiance and therefore was met with consequences and firm strict parenting. After we solved the won't go to sleep we began to work on the actual can't this is my sons adhd. We developed a very strict bedtime routine every single night no matter what one hour before bedtime. We turn off all electronics and tv and have hime take a slightly warmer than usual bath followed by his required reading assignments in his bed for 20 mins (he claims these are boring so they help get him sleepy) then lights out, at his new extra early bedtime! Keep in mind this routine and new sleep schedule took almost 3 months before it started to really "work" ! I know its easy especially after a few weeks to give up but keep in mind it takes several weeks and with adhd kids even months to start a new routine! We have not had and sleep problems in over 6 months and his behavior change is night and day! Keep in mind a glass of wine for you once in awhile during the new bedtime routine isnt an awful idea either! Hope this helps!

  • My first question would be, what time is he going to bed? Kids need between 8-12 hours of sleep, so if he has an early bedtime he might have gotten enough sleep by 4 am 😬. Talk to his doctor if he’s simply not getting enough sleep. Good luck: I’m in the same boat.

  • If you look online this is a common problem for kids, and adults, with ADHD, either getting to sleep or staying asleep. Some medications will cause sleep problems, also.

    The psychiatrist has said Melatonin and Valerian are both safe to use. Even with that at least once a week one of them is up at 4:30 a.m.

    I need to look into doing a sleep study because there has been a lot in the news lately about sleep apnea, ADHD, and kids.

  • My son has went through the sleep study already and they found nothing wrong with him he goes to bed about 7:30 I've tried later I tried earlier nothing seems to work

  • ask your doctor about a prescription called clonidine my son takes it each night to help him sleep. also some adhd kids do not need 8 hrs of sleep. my son is an early riser usually by 5 but i keep him uo until 10ish or he'll be up even earlier good luck to you

  • Hi my son has a diagnoses of ADHD and ODD what medication does your son take. Kindergarten has been rough i am just starting meds and just inquiring about options.

  • My son has been on a lot of different medication this year we finally found the medicine that works for him and he is great at school he takes Methylphenidate hydroxyzine and guanfacine seems like a lot but one of them pills is for anxiety it tooknus 2yr to find the right medicine

  • What milgram

  • How often and what dose

  • He gets methylphenidate one time a day in the morning it's 36 mg he takes guanfacine twice a day and hydroxyzine 3 times a day not sure on the milligrams for the guanfacine or hydroxyzine I'll look when I get home

  • Thank you this is a very tough situation trying to get the right med for him. How old is you son

  • My son had difficulty getting to sleep. He would be up two hours after bedtime just tossing and turning in bed. On top of that, he'd wake up at 3 or 4 with a nightmare, and one of us would end up sleeping the rest of the night in bed with him. The doctor prescribed Clonidine since melatonin wasn't doing anything. Now he goes to bed right at 8:00, and his nightmares are much more seldom. On top of that, he's generally in a very pleasant mood now in the mornings. This isn't to say that Clonidine would work for your son. All kids are different. Just my mentioning what seems to work for us. Good luck to you and your son!

  • He has had clonidine in the past I've noticed if I keep him up a little later he will sleep in later so going to try that for a while

  • My grandson was put on clonidine for sleep but he has anger/anxiety issues and they got worse with that. He was on hydroxyzine for awhile which is supposed to help with sleep. Dr. took him off that when they changed his meds although he had not had trouble with it.

  • my son has this problem as well. ask your doctor about clonidine before bedtime. this helps a great deal

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