Sleep Disorders In Children - Types, Signs & Treatments

Sleep Disorders

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Did you know that your child’s brain develops only when he is sleeping? That’s why experts stress the importance of good sleep for young kids. A child ideally should have 9-12 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night.

Growing children tend to be active and energetic, and burn calories much faster than adults. Therefore, they need more sleep than adults. But what if your kid is affected by a sleep disorder? Keep reading to find out.

Can Sleep Disorders Affect Children?

Sleep disorders are getting more common today. Most people may not really know about it, but sleep disorders can and do affect children too.

  • If a growing child does not get optimum sleep, they can experience negative impacts in the overall quality of their life.
  • It has been found that boys are more likely to be affected by these disorders, and often, sleeping disorders in kids may occur due to an underlying psychological or physiological condition.

Types of Sleep Disorders in Children:

There are many different types of sleep disorders noted in children. The most common ones include the following.

  1. Sleepwalking
  2. Night terrors
  3. Snoring
  4. Rhythmic movement disorders
  5. Limit setter sleep disorder
  6. Nightmares
  7. Obstructive sleep apnea
  8. Insufficient sleep syndrome
  9. Sleep onset difficulty

[ Read: Common Sleep Problems In Children ]

Signs of Sleep Disorders in Children:

Like all body conditions, sleeplessness too has its own symptoms and signs. If your child experiences any of the following, it is clear that he is differing from sleeping disorders.

  1. Snoring
  2. Looking terrified and sweating during the night
  3. Choking or coughing at night
  4. Breathing noisily
  5. Breathing through the mouth
  6. Difficulty in staying awake during the day
  7. Decrease in daytime activities and performance
  8. Difficulty in falling asleep
  9. Sleepwalking

It has been found that pediatric sleep disorders tend to decrease the quality of life in general, and are thought to have many negative impacts on a child’s health.

  1. Accidents
  2. Slower reaction time
  3. Problems in performance at school
  4. Moody behaviour
  5. Memory and concentration problems
  6. Learning problems
  7. Injuries
  8. Decreased social performance

[ Read: How Much Sleep Do Kids Need ]

How To Improve Your Child’s Sleep:

Sleeping should be a natural state when night time arrives. As a parent, you can definitely take certain simple steps that will definitely improve the quality of sleep of your child.

1. Get your child examined by a healthcare provider, especially if your child sleep disturbances tend to interfere with his day to day activities.

2. Understand your child’s sleeping habits- keep track of times when he goes off to sleep easily.

3. Avoid giving your child any foods or drinks that contain caffeine 5-6 hours before bedtime.

4. Try to create a relaxing atmosphere at home during bedtime. Take him for a bath or read out a bedtime story, or simply just give him a warm hug.

5. Try and establish a regular bedtime routine for your child. This pattern will program him to fall asleep more easily and at a particular time.

6. Make sure the temperature and the atmosphere in the room is cool and comfortable.

7. Avoid allowing your kid to play after dinner. Involving him in physical activities will leave him energetic, which may cause him to have trouble falling asleep easily.

8. Avoid giving your child large meals too close to bedtime.

9. Keep the noise level of the house down. Establish a quiet time limit after 8pm.

10. Make sure you don’t expose your child to television, mobile phone and other gadgets and instruments during bedtime. Use of these are thought to affect sleep cycles.

11. Put your child to sleep while he appears tired, but is still awake.

12. Also, if you find your child experiencing sleep difficulties persistently, you may want to get him checked by a professional physician.

We hope this article provided you valuable advice about sleep disorders in kids. If you have further questions, it is best to contact your doctor or pediatrician.

Did any of the above approaches help you establish a good sleep routine for your child? Do let us know in the comments section below.