The problem of insomnia in children: causes and methods of treatment

For the health of children, and especially their nervous system, full sound sleep is crucial. Parents often begin to worry about noticing sleep disorders in their child, and not in vain, because insomnia causes not only discomfort to the baby and his family, but also significantly affects the health and quality of life in general.

Sleep disturbances and insomnia

Difficulties in falling asleep are a frequent problem for children, especially young children, but they are quickly solved and do not cause serious inconvenience, which cannot be said about insomnia. This phenomenon occurs quite rarely and manifests sleep disorders for a long period of time.For a better understanding of the physiology of insomnia, you should familiarize yourself with the stages of falling asleep:

  1. Surface   sleep, which is characterized by the fact that a person quickly falls asleep and also quickly goes out of sleep in the presence of irritating factors in the environment.
  2. The second stage marks the transition to deep sleep, while the heart rate decreases, the eyes stop moving and the brain rhythm slows down.
  3. Deep sleep, in which the restoration of the body and its complete relaxation. In this stage, people have dreams, they may unknowingly talk or move around.
  4. The final stage of deep sleep, which is dominated by delta waves. Waking up in this stage, people are not immediately aware of their location.
  5. Rapid sleep, which prepares the body to wake up. During this stage, the eyes begin to move again, the brain is activated, and the person himself can roll over.

Insomnia is associated with insufficient passage through the stages of deep and fast sleep, it lasts from several days to several weeks, and maybe longer. At the same time, the child cannot sleep for a long time, often does not sleep at night or rises early in the morning without an obvious desire to sleep.

Leading to insomnia in children

Sometimes insomnia occurs as an independent phenomenon, and sometimes it is a consequence of other disorders or situations.

Among the main causes of insomnia in children are:

  • The presence of stress factors.

Children are even more stressed than adults, and there are many reasons for this: relocation, quarrels of parents, the emergence of a new family member, problems in kindergarten or school. To exclude any reason, you need to frankly talk with your child about his feelings and experiences, to understand what is happening to him emotionally.

  • Taking some medication.

Separate groups of drugs can influence sleep processes and cause insomnia, which must be taken into account when starting treatment for children.

  • Problems in the field of psychology and physiology.

Depression and anxiety disorders are common causes of difficulty sleeping. In addition, the presence of chronic pain, muscle cramps, asthma and other similar diseases significantly affects healthy sleep.

  • Consumption of caffeinated foods.

Caffeine is a famous stimulant and it is contained not only in coffee, but also in black and green tea, carbonated energy drinks, as well as cocoa from which children’s drinks and chocolate are made.

  • The atmosphere of the house.

Silence and calmness are necessary for any person for a healthy and sound sleep. Children are more emotional and excitable, and therefore, a few hours before bedtime, you need to switch to quiet games, turn off the TV and computer.

Manifestation and diagnosis of childhood insomnia

Due to regular sleep deprivation due to sleep disorders, children may feel the negative effects of fatigue, which can also be regarded as symptoms of insomnia:

  • early awakening and subsequent sleepiness throughout the day;
  • problems with concentration, even with the most simple tasks;
  • the assumption of ridiculous mistakes due to carelessness;
  • aggressive behavior;
  • irritability and quick mood changes;
  • excessive activity, behind which lies real fatigue;
  • memory problems when learning new material;
  • difficulty with discipline.

Special methods for the diagnosis of insomnia do not exist, diagnosis is made by monitoring and identifying causal relationships between poor sleep and changing behavior, the effectiveness of cognitive functions. If any of these symptoms appear for a long time, it is necessary to show the child to the doctor.

Treating children for insomnia

Treatment   children suffering from insomnia, is reduced to a change in the home environment to a more favorable, creating a calm atmosphere that promotes good healthy sleep. Most medications for insomnia are contraindicated for children, and therefore they are prescribed as a last resort and under the strict supervision of the attending physician.

Non-drug treatments for insomnia:

  • Psychotherapy.

This method is used for insomnia for psychological reasons. For this, the psychotherapist needs to work with the whole family, identify the real cause of the problem and give recommendations for its elimination. Sleep disturbances can occur due to lack of attention from parents or too noisy environments. In this case, it is recommended to create a bedtime ritual, engage in soothing games in the evening, and listen to relaxing music.

  • Changing lifestyle.

The whole family should switch to the new mode, it should also create a pleasant relaxing atmosphere in the bedroom, a comfortable microclimate, remove noisy watches from it, equipment and dim the lights.

  • Compliance with the mode of the day.

This is a very important point in the treatment of sleep disorders and other problems with the nervous system. You should go to sleep and wake up at a clearly set time, both on weekdays and on weekends.

  • Calm games   before bedtime.

Read good fairy tales with your child, take a warm bath and have a massage – it will relax him and speed up the process of falling asleep.

Treatment of insomnia in children folk remedies also comes down to, to calm the child at bedtime:

  • a glass of warm milk has a calming effect on children;
  • chamomile tea without sugar helps to relax and strengthens sleep;
  • aromatherapy with soothing essential oils will help the child to fall asleep faster, however, the choice of fragrance should be taken responsibly – not all of them are suitable for children;
  • Sleep bag filled with soothing herbs and placed at the head of the bed will make sleep stronger and healthier.

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