My child does not sleep well. Help!

My child does not sleep well. Help!

If your child does not sleep well, obviously you do not sleep well either and this is how a long chain of complications originates that have fatigue as a common denominator.

Children need more sleep than adults because their bodies are growing and their brains are storing an enormous amount of information.

In newborns, insomnia is a common problem, since it usually takes a couple of months for the baby to adjust his biological clock to get into the habit of sleeping at night.

Sleep patterns (circadian rhythms) are regulated by light and dark; the child begins to develop a cycle around six weeks of age, and most achieve a regular pattern between three and six months.

In later stages, the reasons for childhood insomnia are more varied and may be due to physical or psychological disorders, bad habits or negative conditions of the context in which the child lives. In any of the cases it is very important to take measures and make the necessary corrections because a good rest is necessary for a full and healthy development.

If your child has trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, then he is suffering from insomnia.

Infant insomnia what causes it?

The first thing is to rule out any health problem that can disrupt sleep. Talk to your pediatrician if you notice any of these symptoms:

• Your baby is extremely irritated and very often.

• The child has trouble breathing or snores very loudly.

• You have difficulty sleeping and staying asleep, especially if you see that during the day you have drowsiness or behavior problems.

• You wake up abruptly or unusual.

Insomnia can also be caused by specific physical problems such as a stomach, headache or muscle pain, as well as any other feeling of discomfort; As long as it is not recurring, there is nothing to worry about.

On the contrary, if the cause is a severe emotional disorder such as stress, anxiety or depression, it is very important to find the causes that generate these moods and to remedy it before they can cause serious health problems in the future.

In the case of adolescents, we must not ignore the possible consumption of substances such as alcohol, tobacco or any drug that affects rest and of course, health.

Why are you afraid to go to sleep?

Somniphobia or sleep phobia is very common and occurs because the child believes that something bad may happen to him while sleeping. This type of fear usually appears between 2 and 4 years of age, which is when you are developing your imagination.

The darkness of the night added to its ability to imagine monsters or evil characters is the perfect combination to develop somniphobia and like other phobias, it can cause physical discomfort when the child knows that bedtime is approaching.

This condition tends to diminish as it grows and establishes a clearer difference between the real world and the fantasy world, and is usually overcome by around 8 years of age.

But if the fear is increasing or becomes chronic, it is recommended that you consult your pediatrician or a child psychologist to help you overcome it.

If the child is afraid to sleep because he thinks something bad is going to happen to him, he is suffering from somniphobia or sleep phobia.

Insomnia and health problems

That the child does not sleep the number of hours that her body needs can cause behavioral and health disorders such as the following:

• Difficulty concentrating, fatigue and tiredness during the day.

• Is in a bad mood or easily irritated.

• Insomnia can contribute to anxiety by increasing levels of cortisol, the hormone that causes stress.

• Disorders of metabolism and the production of hormones necessary for its normal development.

• Inadequate sleep can accelerate the development of insulin resistance, a risk factor for diabetes.

• Immune system disorders.

Remember that in addition to the number of hours your child sleeps, the quality of sleep is also very important.

Sleep hygiene in children

When night falls, the body and mind need to relax to prepare for bedtime; hence establishing a routine is a good way for this transition to be successful. This is what is called sleep hygiene.

If you allow him to watch television, play with the console, use the computer or mobile phone until late, his rest will be greatly affected since it is proven that the light from these devices causes the brain to automatically associate it with the day, altering the normal cycle of the biological clock.

On the other hand, if parents show poor sleeping habits and stay up late, the little ones will want to do it too. Getting enough sleep should be a family priority.

Insomnia is hereditary; if the parents have suffered from insomnia problems, the child is likely to have them too.

Here are some tips to help your child get the hours they need:

• Prepare the environment: make sure that the bedroom is dark or dim, with a cool and calm temperature, without distractions such as televisions.

• Do not start giving him solid foods before 6 months of age, his digestive system will not digest them and sleep will be affected by a tummy ache.

• You can give your child a doll, stuffed animal or other object (a small pillow or blanket) that transmits security and peace.

• Establish a routine to prepare her for sleep: a bath before bed, brushing her teeth, and reading a story to her in bed.

• Set a bedtime for the whole family, which can vary on the weekend or during school vacation periods.

• Avoid giving caffeinated beverages at least six hours before going to sleep and limit your intake during the day.

• Learn to identify sleep problems, the most common of which are difficulty falling asleep, waking up during the night, resisting going to sleep, sleep apnea syndrome, snoring, and loud and heavy breathing while sleeping.

If you feel you need professional support, write to me. I’m to help you!

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