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Are children vulnerable to suffer from insomnia?

It is commonly known that children tend to suffer from sleeping complications, but what it could be hard to understand is how young kids can deal with such a complicated sleep disorder like insomnia. In most cases, this specific disorder is experimented on by adults because of dealing with constant stress and anxiety; therefore, why some children present this same condition?

Less than half of children in the American population are sleeping the adequate amount of hours that they required according to their age; that means that more than the other half is having difficulties in achieving an optimal sleep cycle.

The number of hours children should be sleeping varies depending on the age they have, and according to the National Sleep Foundation these are the average hours children need to sleep:

AGERECOMMENDED HOURS TO SLEEP
Infants 0 to 12 months 12 – 16 hours
Toddlers 1 – 2 years old 11 – 14 hours
Children 3 – 12 years old 9 – 13 hours
Teenagers 13 – 17 years old 8 – 12 hours

There could be plenty of causes why those children are not accomplishing proper sleep; nevertheless, when a child is not able to go to sleep at a reasonable time, the main reason leads to the lack of strict betimes routines; parents or guardians should be in charge of setting up rules and habits that encourage children to go to sleep at a decent hour and without any interruptions.

Tips to establish an effective nighttime routine

Sometimes it could be difficult to know how to start establishing new healthy nighttime habits to promote an efficient sleep time; fortunately here are some basic simple suggestions that we can start practicing to prevent any complicated sleeping disorder:

  • Set up a strict bedtime and wake up time; even on weekends and vacations
  • Practice regular exercise early in the day, or not too close to their bedtime
  • Restrict the use of electronic devices after they bedtime
  • Establish relaxation techniques that children can apply 20 to 60 min before going to sleep
  • Forbid or avoid the consumption of caffeine or sugary drinks
  • Provide them a light dinner like a glass of warm milk with fruit, that is at least 1 or 2 hours before their bedtime
  • Make sure their bed is comfortable enough with an appropriate mattress, bedsheets, and of course pillows the help them rest pleasantly.

When following these habits you will start noticing significant changes in your child’s health, mood, and of course their energy. However, if the sleep difficulties continue to present more than three times per week or even during several months; it will be highly probable that your child is suffering from insomnia; if that is the case the best suggestion is to visit a sleep specialist as soon as possible.

Why children suffer from insomnia?

It could be hard to believe that young children are also vulnerable to experiment this kind of sleep disorder; nevertheless, there might be some circumstances that are causing this situation:

  • Stress: this has always been one of the main reasons why people tend to get sick, and children are not exempt from having to struggle with stressful situations; sometimes there could be external circumstances like being bullied, marital problems from their parents, having to deal a drastic change in their family life, for example, a new home or a new sibling; in this cases, it is highly recommended that a psychology professional takes care of their emotions to solve the way they are feeling.
  • Medications: if children are going through another health problem that requires them to take specific medication, that could also be affecting their sleeping cycle; it is necessary to talk to their doctor and let them know about the complications that they are experimenting in the way the sleep, to know what measures to take and help them sleep correctly, otherwise it will be possible that other health issues start presenting.

Children require constant monitoring in almost every task they perform, we as parents need to be aware of what could be causing any kind of health issue; not being able to sleep is one of the most important biological needs that we need to keep in optimal condition if we want our children to maintain healthy.

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