According to the CDC, 6.1 million American children have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Here in Canada the prevalence of ADHD in children is about 5%-9%. If your child has been diagnosed with ADHD, you’re probably wondering what you can do to help them. While there is no cure for ADHD, there are treatments that can help your child focus and succeed. Here are 10 natural treatments for ADHD that really work.
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for brain development and function. There is a lot of clinical research that supports the use of omega-3 supplements for children with ADHD. One study published in the journal Pediatrics showed that children who took omega-3 supplements had improved symptoms compared to those who didn’t take supplements. Another study, published in the Journal of Attention Disorders, showed that children who took omega-3 supplements had better focus and attention span. These studies suggest that omega-3 supplementation is a safe and effective treatment for ADHD symptoms. You can give your child an omega-3 supplement or increase their intake of fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and herring.
Probiotics are live bacteria that are found in yogurt, sauerkraut, and other fermented foods. They help promote a healthy gut by keeping the balance of good and bad bacteria in check. A study published in the journal Nutrients found that probiotics were able to reduce symptoms of ADHD in children. The study found that the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus was able to improve attention, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness in the children who took it. Another study published in the journal Pediatrics found that a combination of probiotics and prebiotics was able to improve symptoms of ADHD in children. A healthy gut has been linked to better mental health, so probiotics are a great natural treatment for ADHD.
Exercise is a great way to release energy and improve focus. It also helps improve sleep, which is often an issue for children with ADHD. A study by the University of Massachusetts found that children who exercised for 30 minutes each day had improved focus and less hyperactivity.
Caffeine is a stimulant that can help improve focus and concentration. However, it should be used in moderation as too much caffeine can cause side effects like anxiety and irritability. A cup of tea in the morning can potentially help your child focus at school or during homework time. Clinical research has shown that caffeine can help improve cognitive function and memory recall. Additionally, caffeine can help increase energy levels and decrease fatigue. For these reasons, caffeine can be an effective tool for improving focus and productivity. However, it is important to note that caffeine should not be used by children under the age of 12.
5. Limit Screen Time
Screen time includes TV, video games, computers, and phones. Clinical research indicates that screen time can worsen symptoms of ADHD by causing restlessness and impulsivity. In one study, children with ADHD who were limited to 2 hours of screen time per day had improved attention and behavior. Another study found that children who exceeded 2 hours of screen time per day were more likely to have problems with inattention, hyperactivity, and aggressiveness. Therefore, it is important to limit screen time to no more than 2 hours per day for children with ADHD.
6. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is essential for focus, concentration, and overall mental health. Children with ADHD often have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep through the night. Establishing a bedtime routine can help your child wind down before sleep and feel more rested during the day. aim for at least 9 hours of sleep per night for children with ADHD.
7. Eat a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet is important for everyone, but it is especially important for children with ADHD. A diet high in sugar and processed foods can worsen symptoms while a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and protein can improve them. Studies have shown that a healthy diet can help to improve ADHD symptoms. One study found that children who followed a healthy diet had improved focus and attention, less hyperactivity and impulsiveness, and better behavior overall.
8. Drink Plenty of Water
Studies have shown that dehydration can contribute to a decline in cognitive function and overall productivity. In one study, subjects who were mildly dehydrated scored lower on tests of mental performance and vigilance than those who were hydrated. Another study showed that dehydration can cause headaches and fatigue, both of which can lead to decreased concentration. It is therefore important for children to drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay focused and alert.
9. Try Herbal Supplements
Clinical research has shown that some herbal supplements can improve symptoms of ADHD. For example, a study published in the journal Biological Psychiatry found that ginkgo biloba improved attention and processing speed in adults with ADHD. Another study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research found that green tea improved symptoms of ADHD in children. And a study published in the journal Chemistry & Industry found that lemon balm improved focus and attention in children with ADHD.
10. Consider Neurofeedback Therapy
Neurofeedback therapy is a type of biofeedback that uses brain waves to feedback information about attention levels. This information is then used to train the brain to focus better. Neurofeedback therapy has been extensively researched and has been shown to be an effective treatment for ADHD. One study found that children who received neurofeedback therapy showed significantly better attention and behavior than those who did not receive the therapy. In addition, the benefits of neurofeedback therapy were found to last for up to two years after the therapy ended. This makes neurofeedback a desirable treatment for ADHD, as the long-term results are much better than those of medications.
If your child has been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), you’re probably wondering what you can do to help them cope with the condition. Thankfully, there are many natural treatments that can help improve symptoms without the use of medication. By implementing some (or all) of these treatments into your child’s life, you can help them focus better, sleep better, eat better and feel better .