Guanfacine + Sleep: My 5 year old had... - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

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Guanfacine + Sleep

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My 5 year old had been taking Ritalin, but was still struggling with emotional regulation, so our child psychiatrist suggested we try Guanfacine.

We're now using 2mg Guanfacine (up from 1mg, where we saw improvement), 5mg Citalopram (SSRI for anxiety), and 1mg Clonidine (for sleep, pm.) We stopped Ritalin entirely.

Now my child seems to be drowsy during the day, but he wakes up in the night and is up early for the day (sometimes 3am.) I know Guanfacine can make a child drowsy, but can it negatively alter a person's sleep? Has anyone else experienced this, and will it go away in time? Other than the sleep issues, I feel like this combination is working well.

5 Replies


My daughter is 16 and has been on Guanfacine for just over 18 months now. She has never had any problems with drowsiness. Getting to sleep is sometimes a problem - she sometimes takes Melatonin for that, but not so much recently. She also takes lisdexamfetamine (Elvanse) for school days. So her meds are different from your child's and may be not easily comparable. Also, she is a teenager so sleep cylces are different.

Our 6-year-old son takes 3mg Guanfacine a day in addition to 15mg Adderall XR, but we give him the Guanfacine mid-afternoon (around 4pm). Our psychiatrist specifically recommended giving the Guanfacine in the afternoon because she thought it might help calm our son later in the afternoon (when the Adderall has worn off) and during the bedtime routine. Of course doing it that way making him drowsy is a plus, not that I've noticed any effect. We also give our son 1 mg of melatonin to help with falling asleep.

We also had problems with sleep and the guanfacine. This was while we were giving our 8yo son just a morning dose (12 hour of 1 mg). We first added the evening dose (another 1mg) and have since upped him to (2 mg for both doses). It seems that the new night time wakings have gone away- we are back to just the usual night time wakings. He also takes 20mg long acting methylphendiate in the morning and sometimes an afternoon 5 mg boost. To be honest though, I don't think we are seeing the benefits of the guanfacine. Not really sure how it should be helping, but it doesn't seem to be.

We are in similar situation. 30mg long acting Methylphenidate in am and started guanfacine 2 weeks ago. He is at 1.5 mg at night and .5mg in am. Its great because so far its helping him fall asleep in about 25minutes but have not really seen much of an improvement otherwise. I worry if we up the am dose he is going to be sleepy.

Hi there I have 9 yo daughter who’s taking Guanfacine ER 2mg in the morning everyday. Couple months ago we gave her Melatonin to help her sleep, she slept well at beginning of the night but she woke up 1-2 am in the morning and staying awake until she went to school. I couldn’t sleep as she awoke, and I stayed up with her as well. It’s happened over a month long.

So I realized Melatonin didn’t work out for her I looked up herbal sleep aid homeopathic without Melatonin on Amazon and it worked well for her. She’s be able going back to sleep if she woke up in middle of the night or she sleep through the night as well. We feel so much better that we made our decision.

Couple of people in my family didn’t tolerate well with Melatonin.

I hope that help. Good luck with everything

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