Many families are looking for more natural options to manage ADHD and attention issues (e.g., distractibility, impulsive behavior, disruptive behavior, restlessness, and hyperactivity). ATTEND is a pneumonic device to remember the six key strategies to consider.
Some studies suggest that ADHD symptoms may represent a dysregulation of the internal 24-hour clock (aka circadian rhythm), which controls the balance of alertness and drowsiness of our brain throughout the day and night. Over 55% of people with ADHD have sleep disturbances. Sleep is foundational for good attention and emotional regulation. Be sure to receive the appropriate amount of sleep each night. For example, kids and teens need 8-10 hours of sleep each night.
Mind-body skills can be very helpful for kids and teens to help condition their nervous system to be quieter, calmer, and more efficient at sustaining attention. Effective skills in this category include yoga, mindfulness, breath-work, imagery and various forms of psychotherapy/behavioral support.
Try this restorative yoga sequence.
A few technologies are emerging as very safe, effective non-drug options for improving ADHD core symptoms:
Daily aerobic physical activity (~30 minutes) can greatly reduce core ADHD symptoms throughout the school day for kids. When people exercise and increase their heart rate through cardiovascular activity, their brains release the two main chemicals identified as being deficient in the ADHD brain, norepinephrine and dopamine.
Foundational Supplements For ADHD:
Targeted ADHD Supplements: Phosphatidylserine, Pycnogenol, Theacrine, Tyrosine, Mucuna Pruriens, Oligemeric Proanthocyanidins (OPC’s)
A basic dietary approach for ADHD should include shifting to a dietary style with less refined carbohydrates (white flour, white rice, etc.), less refined sugar, and lower levels of chemical additives like artificial dyes and flavors. Focus on including the following at each meal:
More Recommended Reading:
ADHD Without Drugs, Dr. Sanford Newmark
Finally Focused, Dr. James Greenblatt
Getting Ahead of ADHD, Dr. Joel Nigg
Mental Health, Naturally, Dr. Kathi Kemper
Mental Health For The Whole Child, Dr. Scott M. Shannon
www.playattention.com is a website containing interactive activities for kids and teens to improve executive functions and organizational skills which are commonly deficient in ADHD.
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