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How important is the time after you put your children to sleep?
If you are like me, or most ADHD parents you answered that question with another: “What time?”
As in, we never have time after the kids are in bed because bedtime takes forever. Between restlessness, ADHD insomnia and the rebound effects of stimulant medications nighttime routines are obsolete. Therefore time, after the kids go to sleep, doesn’t really exist.
But what if there was a way to help your child with ADHD sleep faster, stay asleep longer, and not fight with you at bedtime?
While I don’t have an answer for the last one (yet), I do have an answer to the first two.
Thanks to one dad in Phoenix, Arizona, sleep patterns for ADHD kiddos are about to change in all good ways.
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Bryan Wisda, a Deputy Sherriff for Phoenix whose training is in Impairment Investigations for Vehicular Homicide, has created a sleep-inducing album scientifically engineered for the ADHD child’s brain.
Don’t believe me? Just wait.
Lucky me, I got the opportunity to pick Bryan’s brain about his new product, ADHD Lullaby. And what he told me gave me hope for every ADHD child struggling with sleep.
After being shot in the line of duty roughly three years ago, he took his wife’s advice to use his downtime to learn guitar. Thankfully for us, he admittedly learned and fell in love with the guitar. And the development of ADHD Lullaby continues from there. A music album specifically designed to help
“My oldest son, his name is [K] has a really good case of ADHD. Not the worst. Not the easiest, but a really good case.” says Bryan as he elaborates on how and why he created ADHD Lullaby.
After having tried most things for natural treatment of ADHD, Bryan and his wife made the decision to try a stimulant medication for their child.
“…And it works phenomenally well. He’s a well-adjusted kid, he gets good grades in school. He’s making friends. This is obviously not the zombie medications of the 80s. But I will tell my friends, the downside of any stimulant medication comes when that medication wears off.”
Of course, talking about what most of us parents experience as rebound symptoms. Or as Bryan better explained, when the medication wears off and the child’s body attempts to regain homeostasis.
“And the body goes ‘oh this is really bad!‘ and kicks everything into high gear. You get late in the day dopamine increase and insulin increase and they get that burst of energy. ‘Wah-La! I’m awake mom! I don’t want to go to sleep!’”
Bryan went on to tell me the story about how after repeated attempts to help his son fall asleep to Brahms Lullaby and Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, he finally decided to just play whatever he wanted.
As anyone with an ADHD child knows
getting an ADHD child to sleep is difficult regardless of what you are doing.
“I started practicing scales. And if you’ve ever played an instrument scales sound like–well, they’re horrible to listen to. And if you know anything about music, soloing, is basically playing a scale but playing random notes. And so that’s what I did. I started practicing random notes, spring skipping and various other exercises on the guitar to practice and I looked up– and my kids asleep.”
What Bryan then went onto explain was this would be the first night, in a string of nights where he’d consistently help his child with ADHD sleep, unassisted with nothing but stringing random notes together on his guitar.
Now with his curiosity peaked wondering about the correlation, Wisda consulted with a psychology colleague of his who explained. What was happening was not mere coincidence, but neuroscience. And what he was doing was disrupting his child’s OODA loop. In other words, the process our minds use to make decisions and actions every day. Observe- Orient-Decide- Act.
The OODA loop in an ADHD child’s brain, or anyone’s I would imagine, is generally looking for a pattern in the music it hears.
A way to interpret and estimate the next sound coming from the music. When Bryan played Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, a pattern could be found and therefore an ADHD child’s brain could fill their mind with that pattern. Allowing them to stay awake. But a random string of notes wouldn’t allow for that to happen, making their brain search tirelessly for something it would never find until finally…sleep.
After this enlightening piece of information, Bryan then decided to continue his research.
Beyond just stringing random notes together, ADHD lullaby relies heavily on neuroscience frequencies that psychiatrists and other doctors use to help relax the body. And while an album that is simply playing a bunch of random frequencies would be ultra annoying, an album of just scrambled random melodic note playing might not be much better.
“So I took those frequencies and embedded them under the note playing.”
This statement floored me, but he didn’t end there.
The neuroscience he put into this album doesn’t just stop with frequency, it targets heart rate and brain waves. Simultaneously. And as a natural skeptic, I might not have believed that except that NOTHING puts my child to sleep faster than the first three or four songs. So much so now that my ADHD child requests “his lullaby’ night after night.
We discussed how much this could change such a seemingly small struggle in families who experience ADHD, but truthfully the impact of something like this isn’t really small. ADHD sleep problems or rather ADHD insomnia is not a child only experience, but it is a family conundrum.
Just think of how nice it would be to not fall asleep putting your child to sleep?
What about them being able to fall asleep on their own because the album helps them to do so?
The ability to leave your child’s bedroom, after only 15 minutes instead of 45? Having time after to finish other tasks you left undone during the homework fiasco? Or to just get an hour of uninterrupted time with your spouse, all things we know we need but don’t realize how much the ADHD sleep cycle can disrupt.
I continued to ask Bryan questions related to how to properly use and integrate the album.
He did let me know that on any of the streaming apps there are instructions for the album. Aside from that, his other tips were:
The music is designed in a way to induce sleep, so it must go in order. The beats, rhythms, and frequencies are fine-tuned to each stage a child must pass to reach slumber. So don’t shuffle.
Songs 10-15 on repeat should also help a child to stay asleep.
While it’s not designed for adults, song 15 on repeat could help some adults drift off the sleep (more on an adult version later).
It’s ideally listened to through headphones.
But not bass changing, or treble changing headphones. Professional headphones found at a guitar or instrument selling outlet. This way the effects of the frequencies, notes and other musically engineered sound bites we hear (and even don’t hear) can be listened to organically. That is, without interference from technology or other noises. Listening to the album without headphones is fine too, just know it’s then only at about a 70% efficiency rate in comparison.
For our home, 70% is working exceptionally well.
Being the awesome giving person that Brian is, he also gave my readers (YOU!) a Discount Code for $5 Dollars Off!
You can enter your E-mail and Name right here, and I will send you that discount code straight to your Inbox!
So, what’s next for Bryan and his neuroscientific music?
He’s still a Deputy Sherriff, and a Dad but the burning question is, will there be more? Perhaps, an Adult Version?
“All I can say is, it’s in the works.”
AH! Hallelujah! I cannot wait to hear it, even if I am asleep before it’s over Bryan.
From a parent who needed our nighttime routine to be shortened, I thank you.
Check out more about Bryan, ADHD Lullaby and follow along for updates on his website ADHDLullaby.com.