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I had a really hard time when I was on Ritalin and my nephew has a tough time some days on his Cocnerta. He was MUCH worse on the ADDerall XR. The thing that caused the biggest problems for me on the ritalin was the appetite suppression. When it wears off, the hunger can come back with a vengeance. I started planning my meals for that time and I felt a lot better. Now, when my nephew starts to act up at that time, which isn't every day, we give him cheese or something else we know he will eat. He's eleven years old and not very attuned to his own symptoms. He has no idea why he is acting up, but food almost always helps if he can get it.

We also learned that a cool night light, his current one is a lava lamp helps him sleep, Kids have terrible night vision which can cause problems falling asleep. For our kid, I think it also gives him a focal point, like counting sheep. Sometimes, my mind is going so fast that it keeps me awake. Being able to focus on one thing slows it enough to induce sleep. In the summer, we also use a fan to create some background noise so he can't hear what is going on in the rest of the house. Perhaps a humidifier would serve the same purpose in winter.

Stimulants, when taken at the right time, can actually help some kids sleep. The withdrawal creates a state of total fatigue - I think it is actually a desired effect sicne many ADD kids can't sleep well otherwise and sleep deprivation is one cause of the problems. He sleeps much worse when he doesn't take his and it does have to be before 8am or it will last too long. Perhaps it should be even earlier for your son.

I hope some of this helps. I would skip the benadryl. I'm not sure exactly how it works, but I do know that some things that make you "sleep" through the night - like alcohol - actually inhibit dreamind or REM sleep. REM sleep is the most restful sleep. Without it you are sleepy which is part of what a hangover is. The prescribed meds may help, but it is tough to keep giving our kids more drugs when other things may help. We end up with so many side effects that things are just as bad as before, only different. And, it is tough to tell where different effects are coming from.

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