Children struggle to fall asleep and stay asleep for many reasons.
Sleep is one of the most important things we do as humans, but it’s also a lot more difficult for kids than adults. Children are still growing and developing at a rapid rate, making it challenging for their bodies to know when it’s time to sleep and when it’s time to snap out of that coma-like state.
In this blog post, you will learn about the different factors that can cause your child to struggle with sleeping, in addition to some helpful tips on how you as a parent can assist them when they simply cannot shut their eyes.
If you feel like your child needs more support from a specialist rather than friends or family members when it comes to sleep issues, keep reading for more information about when seeing a children’s psychologist https://www.inspirehm.com.au/ is the best option.
What is the recommended amount of sleep for kids?
The amount of sleep that’s recommended for children changes based on their age. At a newborn, a child is recommended to get around 16 hours of sleep, but this changes as they grow. By the time children reach pre-adolescence, the recommended amount of sleep is about 9 hours. For reference, this amount of sleep is about the same amount that an adult needs.
The number of hours of sleep that we need changes throughout our lives, but as children reach pre-adolescence it’s important to make sure they aren’t skipping out on too much sleep. For babies, the recommended amount of sleep is between 12-16 hours, while toddlers should sleep 11-14 hours. Pre-school aged kids need 10-13 hours, while school aged kids should get 9-11 hours. Finally, pre-teens should get 8-10 hours of sleep.
One final note before we get started: Don’t blame yourself!
As a parent, you might feel like you’re to blame for your child’s sleeplessness. If you’ve ever been a parent, you might feel that you’ve been through enough sleepless nights to understand how truly difficult it is to fall asleep and stay asleep. But the truth is, sometimes children just don’t sleep very well. Even if you’ve done everything “right” as a parent, your child might still struggle with insomnia. While there are many factors that can cause your child to have trouble sleeping, don’t place the blame on yourself.
Furthermore, if your child has access to the internet, they might see articles that tell them to “just try to relax more” or “use relaxing imagery” to combat their sleeplessness. Unfortunately, these don’t always work. If your child is truly experiencing insomnia, trying to tell them to “relax more” doesn’t make much sense.
The benefits of adequate sleep for children
If your child isn’t sleeping well, they’re missing out on many benefits that come with the ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. Lack of sleep significantly impacts the health and well being of your child. Here are just a few of the things that happen when your child doesn’t sleep enough:
- Children with sleep issues often feel depressed, anxious, and stressed
- The immune system of a child with sleep issues is weakened
- Focus, memory, and mood are negatively impacted
- Physical health problems become more prevalent
- Children with sleep issues often overeat and have a higher chance of becoming obese
There are many, many more things that can happen when children don’t sleep enough. It’s important to make sure your child is getting enough sleep if they’re having issues with insomnia.
Video game over-saturation and sleeplessness
If your child has a video game console or computer in their room, there’s a chance that the device is over-saturating their sleeping environment. When a TV or computer screen is on in a child’s room, it can emit a blue light that interferes with their circadian rhythms and causes them to stay awake. Kids commonly play video games late into the night, which is an obvious issue for those who have to wake up early for school the following day.
A child who has to wake up at 6 AM when their body is still ready for bed at 10 PM is naturally going to have trouble sleeping. If your child is a gamer and is having issues with sleeping, consider removing their video game consoles from their room. It’s also a good idea to disable or limit the amount of time they have access to their gaming devices.
Lack of routine and bedtime rituals
When we were young, we had a bedtime routine. A parent would read us a bedtime story, we would brush our teeth and wash our faces, and then we would crawl into bed. Kids who are experiencing insomnia may not have a bedtime routine or any sort of ritual to get them ready for bed. If your child has difficulty falling asleep, try adding a bedtime routine to your family’s daily schedule. Make sure that each member of the family has their own bedtime routine, as this can help kids feel more in control of their day.
Try to make the bedtime ritual about more than just sleep. Make it about relaxation, about letting go of the stresses of the day. Try to incorporate whatever works for your child to get them ready for sleep. Whether it’s reading a book, taking a bath, meditating, or whatever works for them, try to make the bedtime ritual special.
Anxiety, stress and trauma from experiences
Young children are not equipped to understand the stresses of the world around them. They generally don’t have jobs and they don’t have to worry about paying bills. Therefore, it can be very difficult for children to deal with stressful situations. In many cases, a child’s insomnia can be caused by anxiety and trauma from experiences. If your child has experienced a traumatic event or if they are facing a lot of stress in their daily lives, this can cause insomnia.
Try to reduce the amount of stress in your child’s life. If they’re in school, see if you can get them some help. Try to engage with your child, try to figure out what’s bothering them. And if you can’t do that because it’s not appropriate, then get them some help.
Depression and mood disorders
When a child has been in a depressed state for a long period of time, they might have trouble sleeping. If your child is suffering from an untreated mood disorder, they might have trouble sleeping. In these cases, it’s important to seek help from a medical professional. If your child has been depressed for a long period of time, it might be hard to correct their insomnia. If your child is suffering from depression, talk to their doctor about what you can do to help them.
This article looked at the many factors that can cause your child to struggle with sleeping. From lack of routine and bedtime rituals to anxiety, stress, and trauma from experiences, there are many things that can impact your child’s ability to sleep. There are also several steps you can take to help your child sleep better. It’s important for children to get enough sleep, as it can positively impact their health and well-being. With some extra attention and care, you can help your child get the rest they need.