Insomnia in Children: Tips to overcome sleep problems in children

Proper sleep of at least 9 hours is crucial for children and adolescents. Sleep problems such as insomnia can have adverse effects on children’s performance in school, extracurricular activities, and maintaining social relationships. Absence of rest in youngsters might cause:

  • behavior problems, impulsive behavior
  • accidents and injuries
  • mood problems, overreacting
  • concentration, memory, and learning problems
  • slower reaction times, performance problems

Not only insomnia but there are also other sleep disorders that may affect children. A study estimated that about 50 percents of kids are likely to experience a sleep problem. According to the same research, common sleep disorders include:

  • sleepwalking (17 percent)
  • obstructive sleep apnea (1 to 5 percent)
  • sleep terrors (1 to 6.5 percent)
  • confusional arousal (in kids of up to 13 years: 17.3 percent, in adolescents older than 15 years: 2.9 to 4.2 percent)
  • nightmares (10 to 50 percent in children of 3 to 5 years)
  • restless leg syndrome (2 percent)
  • delayed sleep phase disorder (specifically 7 to 16 percent in adults)
  • delayed sleep phase disorder (specifically 7 to 16 percent in adults)
  • social a sleeping disorder of youth (10 to 30 percent)

If a kid has a sleep disorder, it can affect the whole family. But there are measures to help improve children’s sleep. You may try the tips we will talk about in this blog or consult a healthcare professional.

How would I know if my child has insomnia?

Firstly, check with a pediatrician if your child has any of the following signs:

  • trouble falling asleep
  • snoring, restless sleep
  • breathing pauses during sleep
  • problems with sleeping through the night
  • unexplained reduction in daytime performance
  • difficulty staying awake during the day
  • bedwetting, teeth grinding
  • difficulty waking up in the morning

What can cause insomnia in children?

Mostly insomnia is a symptom that is caused by some other problem. Possible causes of insomnia in children can include:

  • anxiety or stress
  • another rest problem (like rest apnea or anxious legs disorder)
  • a medical, mental condition, or development problem such as depression, asthma, autism, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
    caffeine, found in several types of soda and energy drinks
  • specific medications, such as antidepressants or steroids

Tips to overcome sleep problems in children

Parents and caregivers can play an active role in improving their children’s sleep quality. Simple measures, such as finding a new mattress, can add to your child’s comfort throughout the night. Experts also recommend maintaining proper sleep hygiene to help the child get the required rest.

Create a routine

If you understand the relevance of a schedule, you might also promote them in your child. A consistent bedtime routine makes the body and mind of your child believe that it is time to settle down and prepare for sleep. An adequate sleep schedule syncs with your child’s natural biological clock and promotes dozing off with regularity.

You can add three to four relaxing activities in your child’s nighttime schedule, such as putting on PJs, a warm bath, brushing teeth, and reading. Bedtime routines give children a sense of familiarity and comfort, which acts upon the uncertainty of insomnia.

Also, try to stay consistent with the bedtime routine even during weekends and festive times. Alteration in bedtimes during the holidays will make it more challenging for kids to maintain a regular weekday schedule.

Ask them to exercise.

Physical activity is an effective way to help individuals of all ages fall asleep in no time and stay asleep. Experts recommend children spend at least an hour exercising per day. But ensure to avoid performing any vigorous activity within two hours of bedtime. Otherwise, your child might find it harder to fall asleep.

Limit their screen time

The excessive use of screens has made it challenging to implement a proper sleep schedule, but it is most required to limit screen time. Mobile phones, TVs, and tablets emit a blue light that suppresses the effect of melatonin, a hormone that promotes sleep. And, children are more vulnerable to these types of light from screens.

Screen time also causes brain stimulation, making it challenging to wind down for sleep. It would help if you kept the electronic devices out of your child’s bedroom and ideally asked them not to use them within an hour of bedtime.

Do not let them sleep with a pet.

While it is soothing or tempting children to snuggle pets (especially cats or dogs) in bed, a pet’s movements and noise can disrupt their sleep. It can also awaken them during the night from a peaceful summer.

Try having your pet sleep outside the child’s bedroom for a few nights and check if that helps. To ensure the transition turns out well, include saying goodnight even to the pets in the bedtime routine.

Steps to overcome bedtime worry

Unfortunately, anxiety in childhood is steadily rising. Stress can disrupt sleep in all ages, so anything that can help reduce worrying thoughts before bed is helpful. You can aid your little one manage their concerns by following some simple methods.

Mindfulness Exercises

Meditation and other mindfulness exercises can calm the nervous system and reduce stress hormones. You can ask your child to participate with you in meditations. Easy activities include simple breathing techniques, guided imagery, or body awareness.

Maintain a Journal

Please encourage your child to express their feelings by writing in a journal. It can help keep the anxious thoughts out of the head and onto paper. Also, mentioning good things that happened in the day can help them focus on positivity and feel more secure.

Bottom Line

Sleep is as necessary as proper diet and exercise to maintain a healthy lifestyle and lead a fulfilling life. Your little ones need to get an adequate amount of good sleep to grow, learn, and function well. If you spot insomnia or any other sleep disorder early, you should make adjustments or get treatment, advice, or therapy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *