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Adderall and Guanfacine side effects with sleeping

Sunnywsmile profile image

I have 9 years old daughter who has ADHD. She is on Adderall and Guanfacine. For recently she could not go back to sleep when she woke up middle of the night, and sometimes she couldn’t fall sleep easily as before. She used to be falling asleep very fast. I don’t know if that’s side effects from the medication that she is taking now. I had to give her Melatonin kids to help her sleep through, but when she woke up around 2-3 am early morning she stayed awake until go to school. I am really worried about that. If you have experience with this please share your thoughts.

Thanks so much

12 Replies

Hi. Sorry to hear your girl is having so much trouble sleeping! Insomnia is a very common side effect of Adderrall (and any stimulant medication). Guanfacine is more likely to cause drowsiness. How long has she been taking Adderrall? The insomnia will sometimes resolve in a few weeks, but you may also need to try a lower dose or different medication. I would definitely reach out to the prescriber right away to let them know it’s causing a significant sleep disturbance. If she’s not getting enough sleep, the medication won’t be as effective, anyway. Good luck!

Thanks so much for your reply. I has an appointment with her neurologist next week. In this pandemic, it’s very to make in person appointment. They all refer virtual appointment only. You know virtual appointments don’t help much when you are not seeing your patients clearly especially with those special needs kids.

I am very frustrated.

I give my son guanfacine and it is causing insomnia. I give him 5mg of melatonin and it’s working well. I gradually increased the melatonin. His pediatrician said I could give him up to 8 or 9 mg of melatonin. I tried 7.5mg but noticed he was still waking up at night so I decreased it back to 5 mg and he sleeps through the night almost every day but he does wake up by 6:30am which is fine at least he is getting more rest. One thing I noticed is helpful too is to make sure they get at least one good hour of active play and it helps them sleep better too. Hope this helps. I hope your daughter gets a good nights rest soon.

Sunnywsmile profile image
Sunnywsmile in reply to wonders2

Thanks for sharing your experience. May I ask how old is your son with the dose you gave to him? Does he eat good with his medication?

My daughter is very picky eater. She’s never willing to try new foods as she was. She used to love to fruits but she eats very less now. No vegetables in her menu.

Hi Sunnywsmile,

Adderal will also cause loss of appetite so between this and the insomnia, you may want to consider switching medications. My son switched 5 times before finding the right combo. We tried different stimulants and it did not work for us, the side effects were too prominent—sleep deprived, not eating, irritability increased. He is actually taking an anti anxiety (Zoloft at 37.5mg ) and Guanfacine (2mg) and goes to therapy once a week. He will turn 10 in May.

wonders2 profile image
wonders2 in reply to Sunnywsmile

He is 7 yrs old. He eats good his appetite increased with guanfacine so I have to make sure he eats healthy stuff so he doesn’t gain too much weight. He used to take concentra and this med took his appetite away so I was giving him pediasure with fiber to keep him healthy. I had to switch to guanfacine because he has a motor tic and concentra was aggravating his motor tic. I have 2 boys and they are both picky eaters so I try to get creative. My 3 yr old doesn’t like mushy textures so I stick to crunchy things so he eats apples and crackers and whole grain chips for snacking and well cooked chicken for dinner or beef. My 7yr old is also picky and he doesn’t like burgers or grilled cheese he thinks some cheeses are gross. I give my 7 yr old small frozen bean burritos in the am with fruit, lunch he has a pb&j or hot dog, dinner he has well cooked salmon, well done beef steak with broccoli, or chicken. So one of my strategies for getting my 7 yr old to cooperate with fruits and veggies is that if he doesn’t cooperate and he gets constipated then he will have to get a suppository in the bottom (liquid glycerin). He hates that so it does help encourage eating fruits and veggies. I make sure both get a daily vitamin too to keep them healthy. Smoothies is another way to get fruits and veggies in.

Our 10 yr old son was also taking guanfacine and started having difficulty falling asleep and difficulty staying asleep. He would wake up multiple times (2-3) in the night and then was unable to go back to sleep. This started to create sleep anxiety that would make the sleeping problem even worse. On some occasions he would come into our room crying and frustrated because of the difficulty of wanting to go back to sleep but not being able to. Similar to others we found that melatonin and exercise was helpful in terms of going to sleep, but for our son staying asleep was still a problem. We have stopped using guanfacine and are working with our doctor to reassess the ADHD medications to use. Having insomnia is a tough challenge on top of ADHD so working with your doctor to figure out the right path to good consistent sleep is key.

Sunnywsmile profile image
Sunnywsmile in reply to Sifle001

Thanks for sharing. Her neurologist subscribed for my daughter Guanfacine ER 1mg morning and one in evenings. He said the evening one would help her to sleep and it worked at beginning but now it seems like it’s not working.

My daughter was talking Adderall 20mg on week days for school and 15mg on weekends; and Guanfacine ER 1 mg in the morning, one in the evening. Her behavior was getting worse. She was fussy, irritated, out temper, break down anytime things didn’t go as her wanted. She was yelling and frustrated with her sister. She wasn’t herself as she used to be, sweet, friendly and nice. So I made my decision to reduce her Adderall dose down to 10mg. Then she is getting better. And doctor give her Guanfacine ER 2 mg in morning too, to help focus and less talking by herself. At night time I give her melatonin 1 mg to help her sleep. She sleep through the night and much better than before. Sometimes she woke up middle of the night she couldn’t go back to sleep until 4-5 am, but it seem better than before she couldn’t sleep and kept talking by herself ( she was playing in her mind)

You can’t explain how ADHD feels to a person who doesn’t have it. They will look at you, scratch their heads, roll their heads, and say- Really? You’re just lazy , and you don’t care. ADHD is frustrating and perplexing. The people with ADHD are frustrated because their loved ones, friends, and co-workers don't believe ADHD is real. And the ones without ADHD are perplexed because they can't figure out how someone can be so smart sometimes and act so dumb at other times.

I have been suffering from ADHD and anxiety for years and during this painful journey what helped me the most is Adderall. Adderall is a prescription drug used to treat ADHD. There are two primary types of Adderall: IR and XR . IR is the most common form of Adderall; IR is the most common form of Adderall; a single dose can last around four hours, Adderall, either IR or XR, can prove to be a major benefit for its users. Instead of being unable to sit still or have trouble staying awake or focused, they will be more alert and attentive, thanks to this prescribed medication. For more information have a look on this great article,

Thank you for sharing. Do have any side effects from Adderall? If yes what do you do with that?


Thank you for sharing this was really helpful.

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