Insomnia in Children

Every child is entitled to enough sleep daily irrespective of the surrounding circumstances. Sleep disorder is likely to affect the child physically, emotionally, psychologically and even mentally. Basically, we more usually suffer as a result of insomnia in our children since at this situation they just can’t sleep and therefore we have to stay awake as well as we try to help them out in this extremely difficult situation. When you find that it has become so difficult for your little one is not able to catch sleep or stays awake during weird hours of the night, and then it’s obvious that he/she might be suffering from insomnia. In this article we shall discuss various aspects around this topic on insomnia in children which I bet will surely be useful to you. Lack of enough sleep might end up affecting a kid’s mood and behavior and therefore need to be controlled.

insomnia in children
insomnia in children

Causes of Insomnia in Children

Just like in adults, insomnia in children makes them have problems going to sleep, difficult remaining asleep or getting peaceful sleep for normal hours. In order to increase a child’s productivity or efficiency during the day, enough amount of sleep is very necessary. There are various causes of insomnia in children and the below are a few factors that cause insomnia.

Going to bed late: Kids may end up going to sleep so late due to a number of aspects. This could be they got very tight schedules and unfinished duties until it’s too late, they could be busy watching TV or even playing games. From scientific research, a child of ages between 6 and 12 should have about 10-12 hours of sleep per night. If the child goes to sleep so late, he or she might end up suffering from insomnia.

Stress : Stress is universal and kids are not an exception in this. Kids suffer from stress just like any other person. It’s therefore very important to take keen interest in the status of the kid to know when they are suffering from stress. A stressed kid will easily suffer from insomnia since the kid’s mind isn’t at peace. Stress on children may be caused by worries related to his/her school life, uncomfortable climate in the house among other factors that the child might not be able to avoid.

Use of caffeine or other stimulants: Caffeine is well known for giving one sleepless night. Giving your child caffeine containing substances such as coffee, tea and soda is a major cause of insomnia in children. If you administer caffeine containing products to your child 4 hours to bed time, its most likely the child might end up experiencing insomnia since this substances makes the mind remain active and therefore not able to rest even when you really want to.

Effects of some medications: Some medications administered to your child might be a major cause of insomnia which makes the child experience sleepless nights. In most cases, the child will eventually spend mostly of his sleep hours awake and therefore experience insomnia.

Health-related causes: There are various health conditions that will eventually cause insomnia in children. When a baby is unwell, he or she is bound to experience struggles in catching sleep, staying asleep or even having comfortable sleep. It’s obvious that the child will not sleep at all when he/she is unwell. Child’s health is paramount in this case and should the child go unwell, you are assured the child might not sleep throughout the night.  It’s therefore important to seek medical attention so that the child will not continue suffering from insomnia.

Environmental factors: A child will need some comfortable environment to sleep in. Such factors such as cold, heat, noise and light can disrupt child’s sleep thus causing insomnia. An uncomfortable mattress or basically beddings can as well cause insomnia in children.

insomnia in children
insomnia in children

Symptoms of Childhood Insomnia

Sleep problem: This is capped by difficulty in falling asleep, or basically waking up earlier than needed.

Being sleepy during the day: Drowsiness during the day may be caused by various factors and insomnia is one of the major factors that contribute to it. When one appears sleepy during the day and can’t concentrate, there are high possibilities the child is suffering from insomnia. This will be an indication that one did not have enough sleep during the night.

Irritability/mood swings: A person suffering from insomnia will most likely end up having mood swings and easily irritable. This is caused majorly by fatigue resulting from lack of enough sleep.

Depression: Depression can be caused by lack of enough sleep. Well, when you can’t fall asleep for normal hours, this translates to the mind being active for more hours than necessary. A child’s mind requires enough rest and if it’s not given enough rest, this will eventually translate to depression.

Making errors or having accidents: When suffering from insomnia, the child might be prone to making many errors for example when writing if he is studying or even keep on forgetting. He is also so prone to accidents like topping over or falling down when he is in this state.

insomnia in children
insomnia in children

Childhood insomnia treatment  

In most cases, parents tend to prefer use of prescriptions for insomnia in children treatment. However, it’s also important to consider the psychological mode of medications as well as medical conditions that could be treated. For instance, if your kid has obstructive sleep and often snores so much at night and more often encounters breathing failure, this calls for a check up on his tonsils and if possible removal of adenoids. Well, we will therefore seek to understand the psychological and the professional treatment of insomnia in children here in.

Institute good sleep hygiene habits: This practice includes but is not limited to restricted time spent in bed per night and should be for sleeping, maintain a constant sleeping schedule which means going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day, avoiding caffeine containing products just before going to bed. When this is observed, there are high chances your child will have enough sound sleep all night without much disturbance. But this works when all other external factors are held constant.

Comfortable sleeping environment: Ensuring that the child’s bedroom is quiet, calm and comfortable for the baby to sleep will also act as child insomnia medication. A cool environment will out rightly grant a comfortable sleeping environment and therefore most likely to help the child get sound sleep all night long. Additionally, parents are also requested not to engage in unfriendly arguments with the children just before bedtime so as to allow them enough rest time and grant them some comfortable moments to rest in the night.

Teach children how to relax: The child might end up so tired after the day’s activities and therefore needs to know how to relax in order to realize some deep sleep. Therefore, it’s very important for the parent to guide the child through the relaxation process for him to have some comfortable sleep.

Remove clocks from the bedroom: This will help reduce disruptions when the child is asleep. A clock may end up causing unnecessary anxiety to the child and this may cause insomnia all together. Removing clocks from his bedroom gives him some humble moments in bed with less disruptions thus smooth comfortable sleep. In addition, phones and other sound producing toys should be removed from the child’s bedroom to ensure the child’s sleep is not disturbed by anything.

insomnia in children
insomnia in children

Regular sleeping patterns: Setting bed time for the child helps in achieving some good rest and these patterns helps the child fall asleep and wake up without any strains. Basically, children between ages 6-12 need about 10-11 hours of sleep and the teens require at least 9 hours. If a program set is followed, there are high chances that this child will not experience insomnia.

The above are some psychological/behavioral child insomnia medication. In addition to these, we have the prescriptive way on how to help a child with insomnia as basically involves use of sleeping pills to fight insomnia.

Use of sleep pills: The sleeping pills approved for use on children are, Ambien CR and Lunesta. If the behavioral medication or procedures does not seem to work, these two products can help induce sound sleep on your child. However, there are other medications that can be used when necessary but should be used after doctor’s prescription. These include Amitriptyline, antihistamines and Remeron, Melatonic, clonidine and Risperdal.

insomnia in children
insomnia in children

Conclusion

The body of a child needs enough rest to rejuvenate and prepare for more activities. It’s very important for the parents to keep track of sleep patterns of the child and incase of deviation from the same, attention should be put more so if the child might be suffering from sleep insomnia. At the same time, insomnia in children may be a symptom that the child could be undergoing some other form of ailment and should therefore receive some medical attention if the recommendation above does not seem to help.

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