Has your child been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)? If so, you’re probably well aware that a common method of treatment is medication. Stimulants, antidepressants or other medications may be prescribed to balance brain chemicals, limiting inattention and hyperactivity. However, there can be drawbacks to using such medications.
For example, the right dosage of stimulants varies from person to person. That may mean enduring unpleasant side effects until the correct dose is determined. Additionally, some medications simply may not be effective for your child, which could mean trying several before finding one that works. In other cases, over time, the body can build up a resistance to a drug that was once effective. Not to mention that, while no one enjoys taking pills, children probably dislike it most.
If you don’t feel that medication is the best solution for your child, there are alternatives. Consider 5 natural ways to treat ADHD.
Encourage More Sleep
Many children with ADHD also have sleep problems. Ensuring that they get enough quality sleep each night can go a long way in combatting a restless mind and body. Research has shown that even 30 minutes to one hour more a night can do a lot of good.
To achieve this, stick to a bedtime schedule even on weekends and make sure the room is dark and at a comfortable temperature. You might even create a soothing routine before bedtime so that your child can wind down and drift off to sleep gradually.
Ensure a Balanced Diet
Promote More Physical Activity
Studies suggest that as little as 30 minutes of physical activity can help a child to feel calmer and more focused. While PE class at school does count for something, exercise shouldn’t just be limited to that.
Try to integrate exercise into your family life, perhaps in the form of family bike rides, hikes or even just a game of catch in the yard. The more enjoyable the activity, the more willing your child will be to participate and the better the benefits in the long-term.
Seek the Help of a Behavioral Therapist
Try Music Therapy
Encouraging your child to learn an instrument could help with their ADHD. Music is structured, so learning to understand it is a great way to improve organizational skills. It also requires full attention, which can help with the ability to focus. Too, it engages several parts of the brain at once.
Music can improve your child’s overall executive function or the brain’s ability to sort and switch between tasks.