Insomnia is disturbed sleep, when one finds it difficult to fall asleep or to stay asleep for long duration. Child cannot get deep sleep as a result child wakes up early. This sleep is not refreshing hence child remains drowsy, inactive during the day.
Insomnia can be short-term or long term. Short term insomnia lasts from few days to few weeks. It may not require any treatment. Problem is resolved on its own or when causative factors are removed. Long term insomnia occurs more frequently in a week and may last for months.
Causes Of Insomnia In Children
- Indiscipline is one of the most common reasons for insomnia in children. Watching television till late at night, reading horror stories at bedtime can lead to insomnia.
- Drinking tea, coffee or energy drinks in excess will affect the sleep as these drinks contain caffeine.
- If there is noise in the bedroom or if the bedroom is excessively cold or hot then children may not be able to sleep in such atmosphere.
- Stress is another important reason for insomnia. Children are stressed due to increasing competition, pressure of studying and doing well in all sphere of life due to peer as well as parental pressure.
- Medicines used for treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, convulsions, depression etc. can cause insomnia.
- Certain medical conditions like asthmatic attack during night, itching due to eczema, blocked nose due to cold result in sleeplessness.
- Muscle cramps, growing pain, snoring, restless leg syndrome are causes of disturbed sleep. Autism, Down’s syndrome, Asperger’s syndrome and depression are also associated with insomnia.
Symptoms Of Insomnia In Children
Child will have difficulty in falling asleep and staying asleep.
Child will not be able to concentrate on work or studies. One may observe depression or hyperactivity in child. Mood swings and aggressiveness is seen in such children.
Natural Remedies For Insomnia In Children
- Good sleeping habits should be instilled in children. Bed time and waking time should be strictly followed so as to maintain regular schedule.
- Atmosphere in the bedroom should be maintained to calm, quiet and peaceful.
- Do not allow them to take caffeinated drinks after 7 pm.
- Do not allow children to watch TV or play computer games at bedtime.
- Have good communication with children to develop good rapport with them.
- Do not pressurize children for anything. Help them to have stress free life.
- Consult the doctor to rule out any medical condition that may be causing insomnia. Medication is given only for special cases.