As parents, it is comforting to see that your child is energetic and full of life. But if this extends to the wee hours of the morning resulting in your child resisting sleep, this usually becomes a source of frustration. Insomnia is fairly common and is easily cured once addressed. Here are some helpful tips for insomnia in children.
Insomnia may manifest itself differently in every child. There are cases wherein your child is just restless before going to sleep or it may be that he awakens frequently and experiencing shallow sleep. Generally, there are two types of insomnia, acute and chronic. Acute insomnia has short term implications and will only last for a few weeks. Chronic insomnia on the other hand lasts for a couple of months or so and is usually caused by a more serious underlying psychological or medical condition. In both cases, treatment is available and this article’s aim is to help you help your child sleep.
Constant Worry and Illnesses
The two main causes of insomnia in children are stress and sickness. Stress may be brought about by various factors such as a change in environment or a personal problem. If you have moved to a different house or are vacationing out of town, reassure your child that he is safe in his new surroundings. Issues within the family may also affect children. Therefore, if possible, parents should not involve children in their altercations, and if unavoidable especially in cases such as divorce, explain to your children that they should not blame themselves for their parents’ actions. Schoolwork and friends may also be causing stress in your kids. Depression and anxiety attacks will surely not help your kids sleep through the night. Be involved and guide them through any hurdles they might face.
Certain illnesses may also have an impact on their sleep. Asthma may lead to your child coughing all night and he or she may need a higher dosage of medication. Skin allergies may irritate him while asleep and his itching might disturb his sleep. Snoring or sleep apnea may also cause him to awaken frequently during the night. These illnesses should be addressed by your family physician so that your child can have a worry-free sleep. However, be forewarned that certain medications may also be causing your child’s insomnia. Consult with your doctor on your child’s condition so that the proper medicine can be prescribed.
Bedtime To-Do List
For kids aged 6-12, they’d need an average of 11 hours of sleep a night. A tall order for parents with children experiencing insomnia and should mean extra effort on your part as parents. Most of the helpful tips for insomnia in children focus on your nighttime activities. You can make your nighttime routine fun without being taxing on your child. The first thing you need to do is appoint a sleeping hour for your kids and stick with it. You could plan pre-sleeping activities such as reading their favorite books and listening to relaxing music to calm their senses. Do these activities regularly so that your child will be able to adjust his or her body to the appointed sleeping time and not resist sleep when it comes. Remember to dim the lights in the bedroom as this will foster a sleeping environment. Another tip is to avoid doing high energy activities in the bedroom such as watching television and horsing around. Remind your child that the bed is a place for sleeping and not for reading and schoolwork. If your child is experiencing nightmares, always make sure that you are just there and do your best to make them feel secure.
Some Daytime Preps
To ensure that your child’s nighttime sleep is not disturbed, cut down on your child’s napping hours in the afternoon. If your child is not tired, allow him to do some other quiet activities. This will help in his anticipating sleep at the appointed sleeping time. Also, try to limit your child’s intake of caffeine as this may cause sleeplessness at night.
Although insomnia is a common problem, it is curable and should not be a source of frustration. Follow these helpful tips for insomnia in children to help you in your mission to keep sleeplessness at bay.
Tiffany is a Medical Student and also works as a fitness coach in part-time. She is also a writer and writes on health and fitness articles. Tiffany loves to engage with users and help them provide various useful information on General Health. She provides researched-based information and also featured on various blogs and magazines.