As I have learned more about ADHD in recent years, I have come to understand how much of life ADHD affects. Effective ADHD management, medicated or not, requires a lot more than a pill. We rely on multilayer strategies for our daughter Little Bit. One of many tools we use are essential oils. Here are some useful essential oils for ADHD. There are many more combinations people have found to be effective. However keeping things simple with ADHD increases likelihood of tools being used.
Difficulty sleeping is a common part of ADHD. There are many reasons for difficulty sleeping with ADHD. The hyperactivity of ADHD can manifest in racing thoughts. Poor sense of time can lead to getting to bed too late. Often related sensory processing disorder can cause minor sensory discomforts such as itching to be completely overwhelming. Self medicating with caffeine, or stimulant medication taken too late in the day can disrupt sleep. Check out my post on successful sleep with ADHD for a more comprehensive list of sleep help.
Sleep oils for adults
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There are options for topical, diffuser, and oral essential oils for sleep. In the diffuser, we sometimes use the Serenity oil at night time. Check out how we use it in this DIY magnesium lotion for added benefits. Serenity can also be used with a carrier oil for topical application. I will sometimes apply this to the bottoms of my feet, particularly when I need to sleep during the day between shifts. When I need even more help, I will take the Serenity gel caps. These are all a much gentler way to help your mind and body relax, with less ”hangover” effects that might be experienced with medications such as ambien or benadryl.
Sleep oils for kids
Little Bit applies this ”calmer” to her inner wrists and neck before bed every night. I will sometimes diffuse the Serenity in the girls room. The girls also apply the DIY magnesium lotion with Serenity at night.
Difficulty focusing goes way beyond paying attention in school or completing homework. It can show up in the kitchen, walking away from something on the stove. It can mean difficulty following multistep directions such as cleaning their room, or remembering directions for multiple stations at gymnastics.
Adults with ADHD can have difficulty completing tasks to keep their spaces tidy. This can result in overwhelming clutter or overflowing trash cans. The true problem is not the inability to focus, but difficulty directing focus to the task that needs priority. Bills can go unpaid, appointments forgotten. It can mean going to the store for 5 items, and coming home with 20, but only 2 of the original items.
Focus oils for adults
DoTerra makes a gel cap for Adaptiv, which is targeted towards many ADHD symptoms, including focus. Adaptiv touch is formulated for easy topical application. We use Adaptiv in the regular rotation for our diffuser, particularly when it’s important to buckle down and focus. Wild orange takes a slightly less frequent rotation on our focus days.
Focus oils for kids
DoTerra makes a few oils specifically designed to be less concentrated for kids. Little Bit applies Thinker before gymnastics practice most days. Adaptiv is frequently going in our diffuser while we are working on school.
Although not part of the diagnostic criteria, emotional dysregulation is commonly reported as one of the most disruptive symptoms. Here is an article that explains more. Little Bit spiral out of control for something as simple as her tortilla wrap was flattened slightly rather than remaining rolled. My husband struggles to stay even keeled when a little inconvenience throws his day off track. I have learned some of the ”why” behind it for both of them, and have learned some triggers to avoid. However, extra help to keep emotions in check is always welcome.
Oils to help adults with emotional regulation
If emotions have been off in general, or triggers are likely to be met, I start the day off with Balance in the diffuser. Even as the ”neurotypical” in the family, I will apply Balance to this diffuser bracelet when life is overwhelming. If I don’t have the bracelet or this necklace with me, I will apply Balance topically with carrier oil. Cheer touch is another favorite for me, and one I gifted a dear friend that struggles with staying positive with her ADHD.
Oils to help kids with emotional regulation
When Little Bit was younger, we didn’t go anywhere without calmer, or as she called it, her ”calm down oil”. Now we mostly just use Calmer for sleep. However, Little Bit is often the intended recipient of Balance running in our diffuser. She also uses Balance in this bracelet and necklace. When we are on the go and emotions are running high, we use Steady, formulated specifically for kids.
Sensory Processing Sensitivity
While there are differences between ADHD and Sensory Processing sensitivity, there are overlaps as well. Read this article for more information. Here’s what that looks like in my household. After a visit to the beach, the entire family got sunburned. My husband started itching as the burn healed. He was frequently applying Solarcaine for relief. His tolerance for the irritation from the itching was minimal. It was bothering him to the point that he was shaking the car by scratching his back on the seat as I was driving down the road. His intolerance was so severe, he demanded I stop immediately, despite following family in a caravan, so he could apply more Solarcaine. However, more major injuries such as a severe cut with a knife he handles much better.
For Little Bit, the sensitivity looks more like a hangnail bothering her so much in gymnastics that she cannot focus until she gets it clipped. However, she can sustain some pretty significant falls, and bounce back up immediately, exclaiming ”I’m fine!”, and continue on with practice.
Oils to help with minor irritations
I like to use this terrashield on the girls because many effective bug sprays with high level of deet are unsafe for kids. Others may have a high toxic load. This terrashield has worked reasonably well for us, and I don’t feel worried about putting it on my kids. Follow me for more DIY essential oil recipes coming soon for itching, bruises, and allergies. Every little bit helps.
How to order your own oils
For your convenience, I have created a shopping cart for the oils I have mentioned. Here are all the oils referenced for adults. And here are all of the oils mentioned specifically for kids. You can remove any oils you don’t want. This enrollment kit contains several of the oils listed, plus more great choices. This is a way to get started, and earn wholesale pricing for a year, and explore more of the benefits.
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The content in this post is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It is merely opinion based on personal research and experience.