Child insomnia can be difficult to recognize at first because common symptoms could be mistaken for just general child restlessness. However, you should be careful not to misidentify these symptoms, as they could be the root cause of why your child isn’t getting the sleep that they need.
Typically, children need more sleep than adults, with some requiring about 10-11 hours per day. When children don’t receive the proper amount of rest, they have reduced energy and become more exhausted throughout the day. When this happens, it could lead to major problems like decreased performance in school, depression, low attention span, and much more.
What Causes Child Insomnia?
There are many root causes of child insomnia, with some being more readily recognizable than others. It is quite important to know the symptoms so that you can be prepared if your child shows any of them.
Stress is one major trigger of child insomnia, which can spring about from a number of sources, depending on circumstances. School can trigger stress in a big way, so having a discussion with your child about how school is going for them or whether they are being bullied can go a long way in identifying the problem.
Certain medications can also carry insomnia-inducing side effects, like medicine specifically designed to treat ADD/ADHD or depression. You should talk to your pediatrician to find out if any medication is interfering with your child’s ability to sleep.
Caffeine, along with sugary stimulants before bed, can also induce insomnia. You’ll want to limit intake around nighttime. If your children are consuming too much soda, coffee, energy drinks, etc., they may not be able to sleep well at night.
A noisy environment can also severely mess up sleep cycles. If your child does not have a quiet place to sleep, this could manifest itself as sleep deprivation. You should be aware of how much noise is going on around bedtime and make sure things are nice and quiet.
Another thing to be aware of is temperature. Being too hot or too cold could make sleep that much harder, also inducing insomnia. Make sure to be aware and ask your child if they aren’t feeling comfortable at night and be sure that temperatures are set appropriately.
What Are Some Symptoms?
Symptoms of child insomnia can range from a wide variety, with some being more noticeable than others. If your child is going through depression or has issues with aggression, it might be tied to a lack of sleep.
General sleepiness throughout the day is another clear sign because a lack of sleep can very well contribute to exhaustion throughout the day.
Irritability and mood swings are also something to pay attention to, as well as shorter attention spans and accidents caused by a lack of focus.
Being aware of how your child performs when deprived of sleep is vital to understanding child insomnia.
How To Fix It?
You can help ease the symptoms of insomnia by simply solving some of the root problems. If your child is going through stress, try to figure out the cause of that and help work it out with them. Make sure their environment is cool and quiet enough so that they can fall soundly asleep.
Medication can both cause and help address sleep deprivation. Be sure to check in with a pediatrician as they will know what’s right for your child better than anyone else can.
Be careful before getting sleeping pills for your child, as sometimes they come with side effects like worsened insomnia, heartburn, addiction, and more.
And, finally, one of the simplest solutions may be to provide a more comfortable sleep space for your child. Getting a better mattress might help with insomnia if your child’s current one isn’t performing as well as you’d like it to.
Be sure to have an open discussion with your child about this, as it can help you to understand the problems that they are going through. Knowing what exactly they are contending with could go a long way in solving the problem long term.
Tackling child insomnia can be daunting at first, but there are ways to help identify and control this problem. Insomnia doesn’t come about from just anywhere, as it almost always has a root cause. Finding out what this cause is, is instrumental in fixing it.
If you are ever unsure of what to do to help your child, you can talk directly with a pediatrician to get advice or prescriptions to help alleviate suffering. Hopefully, this article has given you the right tips in helping you to deal with this problem head on.