HEALTHY LIVING
01/26/2012 11:39 am ET Updated Feb 21, 2012

5 Tips For Battling ADHD Sleep Disorders

ADHD sleep disorders are treatable maladies that can keep a person awake and result in a lack of rest. We spoke with Aparajitha K. Verma, M.D., director of the Comprehensive Sleep Disorders Program at the Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas, for one approach to the medical problems you or your loved one may suffer from when trying to sleep.

If you think you might have ADHD sleep disorders, use this as a reference point before getting personalized medical advice from your doctor or other accredited sleep expert. --Ed Condron

ADHD sleep disorders means that a child is restless and moving excessively. The child is in constant motion during the night and may suffer from lack of sleep.

Check To See If The Child Has ADHD

According to Dr. Verma, ADHD is a label that is tossed around too frequently. Not every hyperactive child has Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. "Children who are ADHD are in the minority," she says. "Go to a doctor to see if your child is ADHD."

Avoid Caffeine

The last thing ADHD children need is a stimulant. According to Dr. Verma, caffeine should be verboten for ADHD kids. "Since the child is already hyperactive because of the disorder, do not give them caffeine," she says. "Once a child is diagnosed with ADHD, you should cease with caffeine."

Relax Before Bedtime

Dr. Verma believes parents should bridge the gap between play and bed with a tranquil wind-down time about a half-hour before hitting the sack. "Shut off all televisions and computers," she says. "Turn off all video games and anything else that is stimulating. Turn down the lights and just relax."

It's Tubby Time

Warm bathwater is a soothing way for a child to relax before getting under the covers, according to Dr. Verma. "A nice, warm bath helps relax a child before bedtime," she says.

Medicate

Dr. Verma says to not be afraid to medicate your child. Ritalin makes a huge difference for ADHD children. "If your child is ADHD, the most common treatment is Ritalin," she says. "Once the child has the right dosage, you should see improved behavior."

Aparajitha K. Verma, M.D. earned her degree from Sri Ram Chandra Medical College and Research Institute in Chennai, India, and is the director of the Comprehensive Sleep Disorders Program at the Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas.

Have you ever suffered from a sleep disorder? What worked for you?

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