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knitfroggy's avatar

Does anyone have any experience with a child taking sleeping medicine?

Asked by knitfroggy (8887 points ) May 13th, 2009

My six year old son has a pretty good case of ADHD. I was always pretty closed minded about medicating children until my son was nearly kicked out of preschool. His doctor put him on Vyvanse and the change in the boy is amazing. You would never know that he is either ADHD or medicated. He just seems like a regular kid-he didn’t seem like a regular kid before his meds.

One of the side effects of the the Vyvanse is that he has trouble getting to sleep. The doctor started him on Clonodine, one pill a night, but has since upped it to two pills a night, because my son would still be up for a couple hours after taking his pill. The two pills really aren’t doing much better. He took his pills at 730 tonight and was up watching Mythbusters when I got home from work at 1130. Does anyone have any experience with any of this? Is there something natural I could try instead of the Clonodine?

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5 Answers

augustlan's avatar

Melatonin was recommended for my daughter, but we haven’t tried it yet.

YARNLADY's avatar

This is a hard one. I’m happy for you that the medication has worked, but we chose to use exercise with our son, and it worked quite well.

he was homeschooled, and went swimming in our pool every morning – at preschool age, I took him to several physical activities throughout the day

I suggest you might try taking him for a walk for at least 45 minutes before he goes to sleep, or find a comparable set of exercises, approved by his doctor, that he can do.

casheroo's avatar

I’d try the exercise and possibly the Melatonin.

Darwin's avatar

In the good old days, when my son’s only diagnosis was ADHD, we used to take the kids swimming at our local gym every evening before bed. That generally knocked them out very nicely.

However, now that he has other, more serious diagnoses, he takes Seroquel (an anti-psychotic) to prevent hallucinations. This also makes him sleepy and so if we keep him on a regular schedule we can get him to go to sleep at 10 pm on a regular basis. The regular schedule may be even more important to sleeping well than the Seroquel (but he still needs it for making sure Evil Josh and the dark people stay away).

Of course, it has taken 14 years to get to this point.

One doctor did try giving my son Ambien, but that led to his walking (staggering actually) around the house moaning that we had drugged him instead of his going to sleep. We stopped it promptly.

Some research indicates that at least some cases of ADD or ADHD are the result of not enough sleep (and lack of sleep certainly makes it worse), so especially if your son snores you might have him tested for sleep apnea.

BTW, Vyvanse did not do a thing for my son, but Metadate has been helpful.

knitfroggy's avatar

@Darwin He used to snore, but he had his tonsils and adnoids out and that cleared up that problem. He takes Karate classes and I’ve noticed that he gets to sleep faster on nights he has Karate. I will see about getting him to do some physical activity on nights with no Karate and see if that helps. My best friends son tried Vyvanse and it didn’t do anything for him either, well, except for make him throw up everything he ate! He uses a patch now and it works good for him. Thankfully we’ve had a good experience on Vyvanse except that Jack doesn’t eat much and has lost some weight, so we have to try to get him to eat a lot of calories, when we can get him to. The doctor suggested Instant Breakfast twice a day and eggs and milkshakes. I would prefer to feed him heathier stuff tho.

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