Many parents complain that their kids are not getting enough sleep. Sleep disorders or parasomnias affect up to 50% of children. Sleep problems can negatively affect children's performance in school, extracurricular activities, and social relationships. However, ways are available to improve children's sleep. Let's discuss the common sleep disorders in babies, infants, children along with their causes, symptoms and preventive measures.
Signs of Sleep Disorders in Children
First, try to identify whether your child has a sleep disorder or not. In the first six months, a baby wakes up several times a night. The child may need nourishment and comfort. Some children have these problems for up to 1 year. So it is difficult for you to say if your child has a sleep problem in a definite manner.
However, you can confirm that your baby has a problem if any of the three symptoms happen after he/she is above 6 months:
-If the baby wakes up more than 3 times a night, consistently.
-When the baby takes more than half an hour to settle again after he has woken up.
-If he has general difficulties with sleeping and settling, this causes you much distress as parents.
5 Common Sleep Disorders in Children
They were sleepwalking, also known as somnambulism, where the child gets up at night and walks or does other activities. But he/she naturally does not remember getting up or being engaged in the activities.
Sleepwalking generally happens during the first part of the night.
Key causes of sleepwalking:
-Hereditary; the condition may run in families
-Lack of sleep or extreme fatigue.
-Interrupted sleep or unproductive sleep
-Illness or fever.
-Certain medications-sleeping pills.
- If they go to bed with a full bladder
- Noises or touches.
- Sleep environment changes
- Head injuries.
Symptoms of sleepwalking include:
-Sitting up in bed and repeating movements
-Clumsy or awkward behaviour.
-Not responding when spoken to
-Faced difficulties waking up.
-Talking in their sleep.
-Urinating in undesirable places
Ways to help:
-Let your child relax at bedtime
-Set up the regular nap and sleep schedules and let them twig with them.
-Cut back on the number of liquids your child drinks in the evening
-Tell him/her to the bathroom before going to bed
-Avoid caffeine near bedtime
-Make sure your child's bedroom is quiet, calm, comfortable, cool and dark.
Besides, take the help of counselling, hypnosis or biofeedback for your child with a sleep disorder. If necessary, contact your doctors to help your child sleep.