How to get to sleep faster and quiet the ADHD mind

sleeping womanEstablishing sleep routines and sticking to the schedule can be tough. Then you have the struggle of falling asleep, especially when you know you have an early morning ahead of you. ADDitude Magazine reports that about half of all children with ADHD struggle to fall asleep by the time they reach age 12. This number goes up to 70%-80% by the time they turn 30 years old. Here are the most popular tricks I found to help you fall asleep faster:

  • ·Write down all your thoughts before bedtime to help free your mind. It doesn’t have to be neat or structured, this just gives your brain a receptacle for unfinished thoughts, worries, or ideas before bedtime.
  • ·4-7-8 breathing exercise. Inhale for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds, and exhale for 8 seconds. This helps you to relax by increasing the oxygen in your blood stream, slowing your heart rate, and releasing more...

Increase in ADHD medication overdoses and misuse in children

Medications 257344 960 720According to a report published this month in the Journal of American Academy of Pediatrics, there has been an increase in ADHD medication overdoses and misuse in children.

"From 2000 through 2014, there were 156 365 exposures reported to US poison control centers related to ADHD medications. The overall rate of reported exposures increased 71.2% from 2000 to 2011, followed by a 6.2% decrease from 2011 to 2014."

"Most of the calls — 82 percent — were reporting unintentional drug exposure, the report found: a child without ADHD (usually younger than six) getting into an unsecured medication bottle, for instance, or a child accidentally taking a follow-up dose too soon. The rest of the calls were reporting children, generally older ones, purposely taking more medication than had been prescribed to them. Some of these calls were related to attempted...

How to Combine Learning and Nutrition this Summer for your ADHD child

Shutterstock 96136955Summer break is a great time to engage children in developing their meal plan.  This is a great way to teach them about healthy eating. A study by UCLA School of Medicine states, “We now know that particular nutrients influence cognition by acting on molecular systems or cellular processes that are vital for maintaining cognitive function”. Helping your ADHD child create healthy eating habits may improve their overall focus and ability to improve cognitive skills.

Here are some ideas on how you can integrate learning and nutrition to help prevent “summer brain drain” this year:

  • ·Read some story books with your child that are based on nutrition. There are many fun books for children on healthy eating. There are also nutritional guides for teens that are designed to keep their attention and simplify healthy eating.
  • ·Teach your child about the vitamins...

Get outside, play, and improve symptoms of ADHD

 

ResearchRunning shows that playing outdoors reduces ADHD symptoms and summer is a great time to get your kids outside. Here are some ideas to give your children structured outdoor exercise (while having fun!):

  1. When playing with their friends, make sure they have access to jump ropes, hula hoops, roller skates, basketballs, etc.
  2. Sign them up for an outdoor sport like swimming, tennis, or soccer.
  3. Go hiking or kayaking as a family
  4. Put together a bike or running race with their friends. Give out prizes for motivation.
  5. Sign them up for a summer camp which involves obstacle courses, sports, and hiking.

Keep track of how your children respond to these activities, what they enjoy, and how you might be able to improve them. Ask your child to use a rating system and discuss what they did and did not like about each activity.  Discovering their interests may lead to...

How to avoid summer vacation cognitive loss.

Shutterstock 104366477Summer vacation means sleeping late, staying up late, and doing very little except enjoying time out of school. However, did you know that the average student loses one to three months math and reading gains made over the prior year? Academic losses are so common among students that educators have given the phenomena a name: Summer Brain Drain. This makes starting the following school year difficult. 

Summer Brain Drain may even be worse for ADHD students already having trouble at school.

Going to school daily provides schedules and routines. The summer break means those routines aren't there. Expectations are lowered or relaxed. Even sleep schedules are often totally abandoned.

Unfortunately, exercise is often replaced with computer time, watching movies, or playing video games with friends. That's a bad idea. While there's nothing wrong with playing video games or...

ADHD and Binge Eating - There is a connection

Shutterstock 711939556A recent study performed by researchers in the UK from the University of Birmingham found that ADHD symptoms have a direct relationship to both binge and restrictive eating.
 
“The inattentive symptoms of ADHD were associated with decreased awareness of internal signals of hunger and satiety, and in turn these deficits were positively associated with disordered eating, particularly binge/disinhibited eating,” the team wrote.
 
It is widely known there is an important relationship between nutrition and cognitive health.  A healthy diet supports a healthy brain!  Since good nutrition contributes to improved attention, memory, and mood, it is especially important that individuals with ADHD try to maintain a healthy diet.
 
Be certain to check our Play Attention FaceBook post and ...