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Any ideas on how to get my 8 yr old ADHD son to sleep before midnight?

I need some suggestions on how to get my 8 yr old ADHD son to go to sleep before midnight. I put him to bed at 8:30 and he is usually asleep by 10pm but lately it's been after midnight and it's taking it's toll on me as I refuse to go to sleep until I know that my child is safely sleeping and not awake to do as he wants alone in the house. He is very active during the day and all so I just don't know what to do. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Melissa

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Asked by babygrl1981 at 11:08 PM on Jun. 7, 2009 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

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Answers (7)
  • You mention he's very active during the day. My first thought was some real excercise well before bed time. Does he have a sport or some kind of exursion to tire him out? Have you cut out sugar from the afternoon on? Those are really the only things I can think of but hopefully there are moms here with experience.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:10 PM on Jun. 7, 2009

  • We go for a walk at least 30 mins long twice daily, always outside running around playing ball or something. He doesn't actually play a sport but he throws and kicks the balls around outside most of the time he's outside. Loves to ride his bike a lot too. No sugar past 6pm. I appreciate you answering so quickly :)

    Answer by babygrl1981 at 11:15 PM on Jun. 7, 2009

  • Try putting him to bed earlier. He may be getting his "second wind", and that is why he can't get to sleep. Try 7:30 or 8:00.
    A good bedtime routine can really help as well. Bath, teeth, jammies, story, with mom, and then 15-30 minutes of quiet time in bed (reading to himself, even if it is just looking at pictures) and then lights out.

    Answer by maggiemom2000 at 11:17 PM on Jun. 7, 2009

  • Thanks Maggiemom. I actually have tried the earlier bedtime and it hasn't worked but our bedtime routine has always just been shower, teeth, sit quietly for 30 mins or reading to self for that time and then to bed where it's hugs, kisses and I love you. We haven't been doing the story and stuff cause used to when I'd read to him before bed he'd get all interested in a certain part and want to keep talking about it forever and would keep him awake. But I may try putting that back into the routine and see if it works now since it was a while ago that we stopped doing it. Everything I've researched says children his age need 9-10 hrs sleep nightly, but he gets between 6-8 and does not seem to effect him during the day. Do you think that's maybe enough hrs for him? I know that every child is different so I just don't know but I know the lack of sleep is certainly wearing on me lol.

    Answer by babygrl1981 at 11:26 PM on Jun. 7, 2009

  • Some kids/adults really don't fit the regular sleep desired. My son, his father, my fatherinlaw aren't long sleepers. It could be your son is the same way. I actually RUN my kids every day (two boys) and when I was little I did gymnastics workouts that were brutal. But I think my mom was smart, she put me in something that wiped me out. I was hyper.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:49 PM on Jun. 7, 2009

  • That's what I'm thinking is that maybe he's just not needing as much sleep for what ever reason because he's never been the perfect sleeper. We all had to fight to get him to take naps even as a baby. He stopped doing naps at I think 2 yrs because we would lay w/ him or lay him by himself and 2-3 hrs later he would still be awake so we just said the heck with naps. He never even napped in pre-k, his teacher said he would just lay on the mat and be quiet.

    Answer by babygrl1981 at 8:31 AM on Jun. 8, 2009

  • Make sure he gets his meds by 11am, or they may keep him awake. Also, he may just be a kid that doesn't need a lot of sleep. If he does fine during the day with the 6-8 hours of sleep, I really wouldn't worry about it. My son is almost 13, has ADHD and stopped napping at 2 years old. He actually does better with less sleep. Some people, kids included, just don't need a lot of sleep. Otherwise, ask his doc whatelse you can do.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 11:05 AM on Jun. 8, 2009

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