Thursday, August 22, 2013

Sleep Hygiene Improves Sleep Quality for Children with ADHD.

A recent study (Bessey, Coulombe & Corkum, ADHD Report, May 2013)  found that a large number of children have poor sleep hygiene. Poor sleep hygiene can be responsible for poor sleep, and poor sleep can cause ADHD symptoms to become more severe.  The study found that Improving sleep hygiene not only improved sleep in children, but also improved their daytime functioning. Further, the behavioural strategies required to implement good sleep hygiene practices are highly compatible with behavioural interventions to help parents manage ADHD in their home. Rather than viewing sleep hygiene as an additional and separate intervention, sleep hygiene may be best considered as an extension of these strategies to promote sleep at night. If your child is having difficulty sleeping, ask your doctor for help with sleep hygiene.

The study  recommends the following ABC of Sleeping:

Details & recommendations.
Children should go to bed and wake up at times that ensure they receive an age-appropriate amount of sleep. (See table below)
Seat bedtimes and wake times, as well as morning & evening routines assist good sleep. Children should not go to bed later than 9pm.
Bedtimes & wake-times should be consistent – even on weekends (no more than 30-60 minute difference between weeknights & weekends).
In addition to bedtimes, children should have consistency through their day, including times for homework & activities
Bedroom should be conducive to relaxation – quiet, dark & cool. Bed should only be used for sleeping (do not use bedroom for time out)..
No electronics in bedroom before bed
Children should not be using electronics 30-60 mins before going to bed, and they should not have electronic items in the bedroom while sleeping
Exercise & diet
Physical activity during the day important for good sleep, but not too close to bed time. Cool down period before bedtime. Eliminate caffeine. No big meals close to bedtime.
Have a positive attitude towards sleep, and do not tackle frustrating problems close to bedtime
Independence falling asleep
Independence is encourage at bedtime. If children get out of bed, parents need to return them to their room
Needs met during day
Needs of the child should be met throughout the day – (emotional and physical).
Great Sleep

Age-Appropriate Sleep Times
Sleep Needs
Newborn (0 to 2 months)
12 – 18 hours
Infants (3 to 11 months)
14 – 15 hours
Toddlers (1 – 3 years)
12 – 14 hours
Preschoolers (3-5 years)
11 – 13 hours
School-age children (5-10 years)
10 – 11 hours
Older children (10 – 17 years)
8.5 – 9.25 hours
7 – 9 hours

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