Insomnia in children develops at any time from infancy to youth. As children go through many phases while growing up, they may experience insomnia for a while. Often this problem gets sorted out with time. But many times, it develops into complicated issues if it continues for a more extended period.
For the treatment of insomnia and to prevent it from turning into a complicated issue, various tips, remedies, and treatments are advised by doctors. Some of them work really well while some fail badly. It depends upon the underlying reason that results in disrupted sleep or sleeplessness in children. Hence, treating the cause is more important than treating the symptoms.
To treat insomnia in children, it is critical to know what insomnia in children is and what are its causes.
Symptoms and Treatment of Childhood Insomnia
Insomnia in Children
Insomnia develops in children when they face trouble sleeping. They stay awake for most of the night, which makes them lazy and sleepy all day. This, in turn, affects their performance all day. Insomnia may last for a few days or sometimes even for months. This results in a negative impact on their daytime performance and makes them slow in showing reactions.
Symptoms of Insomnia in Children
Symptoms of insomnia in children are stated below:
● Refusal to go to bed and to insist on delaying lights out.
● Frequent breaks after lights out for drinks, bathroom or sometimes hugs.
● Face problem in going to sleep after tucked in.
● Difficulty going back to sleep after waking up.
● Rising in the morning before time.
● Refusal to follow a proper sleep routine.
● Difficulty in getting up for school.
Moreover, it has been observed that children who face insomnia experience its symptoms during the day. The daytime symptoms are listed below:
- Feeling tired during the day.
- Can not focus in school, lacks attention.
- Unable to concentrate for a more extended period
- Face difficulties in memorizing
- Facing problems with family.
- Getting aggressive.
- Becoming hyperactive.
- Lack of motivation to work.
- Losing impulse control.
- Unable to make good decisions.
- Getting frustrated quite quickly.
Just like adults get cranky and moody when they lack sleep, children too cannot control their mood without ample sleep. It has been seen that less sleep can show signs of ADHD. Thus, sleep deprivation affects their behaviour also.
That being said, once you recognize the problem faced by your child, the first thing that comes to mind is a simple question. How did this happen?
Well, here is your answer. Below are some causes for insomnia that might help you understand this better.
Causes of Insomnia:
- Consuming a lot of sweet foods.
- Watching TV or using digital screens right before going to sleep.
- Stress could also be a problem. As astonishing as it sounds, kids also go through stress. It is frequently caused by issues inside the house or outside it ( for example, in school). They might face problems with friends or experience peer pressure. Or perhaps, a new baby brother might be the cause. Even changes in their environment or sleeping setting might also disrupt them.
- Consuming caffeine. These caffeinated drinks keep children wide awake during the night.
- Drugs used to treat ADHD can also cause insomnia.
How to Treat Insomnia in Children
Surprisingly, a good routine with good habits ensures that a child has a peaceful night’s sleep.
- First and foremost, restrict the bed just for sleep. You could also motivate them to sit on the bed while performing pre-sleep time tasks such as reading a book.
- Their bed must be highly comfortable. Noise disrupts sleep. Hence, ensure a peaceful environment.
- An empty stomach must not go to sleep. Likewise, an overloaded stomach also must not.
- Pay proper attention to your child’s diet. Add more leafy greens and fruits and reduce high sugar and high sodium food intake.
- Get your child checked for vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Lack of melatonin production causes insomnia.
- Melatonin supplements such as melatonin gummies for kids are very effective to treat insomnia. Try reliable brands such as Zarbee’s, Natrol kids, and Gummies Garden.
- A regular sleep routine is important to follow. The same practice makes it easier for the kid to wake up and fall asleep on time.
- Limit the use of gadgets, especially before bedtime. Blue light emitted by the screens troubles the natural circadian rhythm. Hence the child can not fall asleep quickly.
- Take time out for your children. Few kids don’t go to sleep quickly as they need their parents’ attention.
- Include exercise in your kid’s daily routine. Exercise plays a vital role in keeping restlessness away at night.
- Expose your child to natural light the moment they wake up. As you open the blinds, it signifies that the day has begun.
Hence, observe your child and treat them accordingly. Every child is different, and each of them experiences different symptoms of insomnia. To make sure that your kid gets enough sleep at night, darken the area where they sleep. If your child is scared of the dark, then use a night bulb. Darkness helps stimulate the production of melatonin, vital for inducing sleep. Follow these steps to ensure a peaceful night’s sleep.