8 Causes of Difficulty Sleeping in Children and How to Overcome It

A child who has trouble sleeping and restless at night can result from stress or fatigue. To fix this, try setting a regular sleep schedule, creating a comfortable bedroom atmosphere, and creating a bedtime routine.

Table of Content

1. Causes of children having difficulty sleeping
2. How to deal with a child who has trouble sleeping
3. Handling insomnia in children

Does the child have trouble sleeping and restless at night? This condition can be caused by various factors. One day, the child may have difficulty sleeping because they are playing, while on another day it may be because of fear.

Of course, this problem cannot be ignored. Therefore, sleep is an important requirement for the growth and health of children. Check out the causes and ways to deal with children with insomnia that you can do.

Causes of children having difficulty sleeping

Children need adequate sleep. Based on their age, children aged 3-5 years need 10-13 hours of sleep each night, while children aged 6-12 years need about 9-12 hours.

Difficulty sleeping at night causes the child’s sleep time to decrease. If children’s sleep needs are not met, their growth can be disrupted. According To TED-Ed What causes insomnia? – Dan Kwartler

To help you identify the problem, here are some possible causes for your child’s insomnia :

1. Fear

Feeling scared when entering bedtime is one of the causes of toddlers having trouble sleeping. When going to bed, some children may be afraid of the dark or do not like to be alone.

Even in their imaginations, they could hear scary noises which made it even more frightening and difficult for them to fall asleep. However, with age, this fear usually fades away.

2. Late sleep

Being late to sleep due to playing gadgets, watching TV, or playing games can cause a child to have trouble sleeping. The later the child goes to bed, the more late his bedtime becomes. This can become a habit so that the child cannot go to bed early.

3. Nightmares

Nightmares can be the cause of restless sleep at night.

Nightmares in children are more common because children watch movies, TV shows, or read scary or violent stories before going to bed.

Children who have frequent nightmares, or are afraid of having nightmares, may also have trouble sleeping. This often keeps the child awake for fear of having nightmares when he falls asleep.

4. Feeling uncomfortable

Various uncomfortable conditions, such as a room that is too hot, too cold, stuffy, or noisy, can make it difficult for children to sleep.

Creating a comfortable room atmosphere is very important to help children sleep soundly. In addition, disturbing hunger can also make it difficult for children to sleep.

5. Worry and stress

Sleep disturbances in children can also come from worry and stress about various things. For example, stress due to being burdened with a lot of schoolwork, problems with friends, being scolded by parents or teachers, and so on.

In addition, too many activities can also stress children, causing a lot of thoughts and difficulty sleeping.

6. There is a big change

Major changes in life or daily routines can cause a child to be unable to sleep at night. For example, divorce, death, illness, or moving to a new city can affect a child’s ability to sleep. These changes can make your child think so much that it becomes difficult to sleep.

7. Consuming caffeine

Consumption of soda or energy drinks can cause a child to have trouble sleeping. Some types of fizzy drinks, as well as most energy drinks and high sugar, contain caffeine that can interfere with sleep.

8. Side effects of certain drugs

Children’s sleeplessness can also be due to side effects of certain medications they are taking, such as drugs used for ADHD, antidepressants, corticosteroids, and anticonvulsants. These drugs can cause insomnia in children.

In addition, there are several diseases that can cause children to have difficulty sleeping. Some of them are:

1. Sleep apnea (a sleep disorder in which breathing is disturbed)
2. Asthma that makes coughing
3. Eczema that causes itching
4. Autism, mental retardation, and Asperger’s syndrome.

How to deal with a child who has trouble sleeping

There are several things you can do to solve the problems above. Here’s how to deal with a child who has trouble sleeping properly. According To Howcast How to Treat Insomnia in Children | Insomnia

1. Practice a consistent bedtime

To overcome a child who has difficulty sleeping, apply a consistent bedtime for him. Enforcing a consistent bedtime every night can make your child’s body and mind get used to sleeping at that time.

2. Keep children away from devices

Playing with gadgets can affect a child’s mind, making it difficult for him to sleep.

Therefore, make it a habit that they no longer play gadgets, watch television, or play games for 30-60 minutes before going to bed.

3. Creating a comfortable room atmosphere

One way to deal with children with insomnia that needs to be done is to try to create a comfortable room atmosphere.

You can turn on the twinkling lights, prepare a fluffy blanket, and put your favorite doll beside him.

4. Keep children away from caffeine

We recommend that you do not let children consume drinks that contain caffeine, let alone near their bedtime. This will only make it more difficult for the child to sleep.

5. Calming the child

How to deal with children who have trouble sleeping at night can also be done by calming them down.

For example, if your child is talking about a bad dream, you can reassure him and give him the understanding that it was just a dream and nothing bad will happen to him.

6. Accompany the child

If the child is scared when going to sleep, it is best to accompany them first until they really fall asleep.

You should also ask your child what is bothering him and help him solve the problem.

7. Create a bedtime routine

Making a routine before bed is one way to deal with children having trouble sleeping at night.

When children have trouble sleeping, you can read fun story books that make them comfortable and fall asleep easily.

Handling insomnia in children

If some of the steps above are not able to overcome the cause of your child’s insomnia and restlessness at night, you should immediately take them to a doctor or psychologist for proper treatment.

Your little one may experience insomnia and require further treatment. Here are a number of treatments for insomnia in children.

1. Medical treatment

If a medical condition or sleep disorder causes your child to have insomnia, special treatment is needed to treat it.

For example, if your child has obstructive sleep apnea caused by an enlarged adenoid, they may need surgery to remove the gland. This procedure can improve his breathing during sleep.

2. Cognitive behavioral therapy

If negative thoughts and worries make it difficult for your child to sleep, then cognitive behavioral therapy is the right choice to deal with it.

This therapy can help children get rid of these negative thoughts so that they feel relaxed to sleep.

3. Drugs

Actually, sleeping pills are rarely used for children because they can cause side effects.

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