Is your child frequently waking you up at night? Are they agitated before going to bed? You aren't the only one who feels this way. Sleep issues in children are frequent, some children may not be tired when it is time to go to bed, whilst others have difficulty falling asleep without their parents, and some may frequently wake up in the middle of the night.
Trouble having a good sleep may end up a child feeling sleepy, lethargic, and less energetic, on the other hand having a good sleep at night completely relaxes a child and makes them ready for the next day with full energy. Hence it is important to understand the bedtime challenges in children.
Coping with childhood sleep challenges:
Aside from daytime behaviors and bedtime rituals, children often face other challenges to get a good night's sleep. Other sleep issues that children struggle with include fear of the dark, terrible nightmares, night terrors, sleepwalking, and bedwetting.
- Bedtime fears and sleep anxiety: Most children have a fear of the dark while going to bed at night. So, while the thought of monsters under the bed may seem ridiculous to you, it might be terrifying to your child. How should we respond? Whilst it is critical to allow your child to communicate their fears without ignoring or ridiculing them, it's also critical not to validate or support their concerns. Instead of using "fairy dust" to scare away monsters, explain to your child how their imagination might fool them into mistaking everyday objects like shadows or creaking sounds for something terrible.
- Nightmares: Sleep terrors usually strike in the first third to first half of the night. Most children are more likely to have nightmares as a result of their fear of the dark. Furthermore, any troubles, they're dealing with during the day can also lead to disturbing dreams at night. Sleepwalking can occur as a result of a sleep terror. In case of night terrors, avoid waking up your child, wait patiently until the terror has stopped, and then gently put them back to sleep.
- Night terrors: Night terrors are prevalent in children. They are scary or frightening dreams that cause them to wake up suddenly, terrified, screaming, and yelling. Most children don't remember the incident since they aren't fully awake. It usually occurs during non-REM sleep, which occurs about 90 minutes after a child falls asleep. There is no cure for night terrors, but sticking to a sleep routine and limiting overnight disruptions will help to reduce the likelihood of them occurring.
- Insomnia: If your child has trouble sleeping more than three times per week for several months and it adversely affects their daytime functioning, it could be an indication of insomnia or another sleep issue.
- Sleepwalking: Many sleepwalkers talk, sit up in bed, or make repetitive actions like fumbling with clothing or scratching their eyes in addition to getting out of bed. While your child's actions may scare you, they are unaware of what they are doing and will most likely forget about it the next morning.
- Bedwetting: In spite of being able to use the bathroom correctly during the day, some young children may struggle with nighttime bladder control issues, which can be embarrassing and stressful. Bed-wetting occurs usually in children two to four years of age. It can, however, be continued with school-aged children as well. To cope with bedwetting, minimize your child's nighttime fluid consumption and ensure your child uses the bathroom before getting into bed.
While most children outgrow these challenges, there are several strategies to manage your child's sleep issues and guarantee that they—and you—get a good night's sleep. Recommended ways to help children get the rest they need:
- Set a regular bedtime routine, and don’t vary from it.
- Give your child a warm bath or read a story before going to bed.
- Make sure the temperature in the bedroom is comfortable.
- Make sure the bedroom is quiet.
- Avoid giving children large meals and sugary treats before bedtime.
- Start the sleep routine early so that the child is away from screens for at least 1 hour before lights out.
Many sleep issues in children are linked to daytime behavior and bedtime habits, which you can help your child to change. With a little patience and discipline, Kindersteps can assist your child to overcome their sleep challenges and help them get a good night's sleep. For more such tips you can download our app now.