Children are known to be most innocent sleepers. Usually a sleep disorder is linked to stress and since children are not expected to be stressed, they are bound to have a sound sleep. If stress was the only reason which doesn’t allow people to get the best night sleep, probably, no children in the world would suffer from sleep disorders. But, the truth is far from reality as according to a report by National sleep Foundation, almost 69% of children aged below 10 years of age suffer from one or other kind of sleep disorder. Some of the most common sleep disorders present in children are:
- Insomnia: This is one of the most common problems in which a child faces problem in falling asleep. Apart from the initial sleeplessness, the child may also wake up frequently throughout the night. It is important to find the cause of insomnia as it can be because of some stress or a psychiatric condition of the child. Try to induce a calming environment for the child before taking him to bed.
- Night terror: A night terror is nothing more than a frightening dream but the problem with night terror is that they awaken a child. A night terror has an upsetting effect on the child and may not allow him to sleep again thus making him sleep deprived. If your child complains of nightmares, try to assure him that he is safe. You can also install a nightlight in his room.
- Sleep talking: A large number of children have a habit of talking or laughing or even screaming while being asleep. A sleep talking child is usually unaware of what he is doing. Even though this is a common problem, this is not considers serious as sleep is not disturbed.
- Sleep walking: A sleep deprived child is most likely to sleep walk. Sleep walking is most common between children of three to seven years. An average sleep walks lasts somewhere between five to 20 minutes. Even though, it doesn’t affect the child’s sleep, the child may get hurt while sleep walking.
- Snoring and sleep apnea: Snoring is usually produced by partial blockage of nasal airways while sleeping. A child who suffers from chest congestion or tonsils may snore at night. Sleep apnea is also a result of inability to breather properly while sleeping. It is a serious problem and must be addressed to the doctor at once. Sleep apnea can even cause behavioral changes in the child.
In most of the cases, this goes unnoticed and the problem gets aggravated. It is high time you analyze the sleeping pattern of your child and look for the following symptoms if present:
- Your infant or newborn is extremely irritated or fussy
- Your child snores or makes loud noise while sleeping/ breathing
- Difficulty in falling asleep
- Complains night mares or wakes up frequently during night
If any of these symptoms is resent in your child, you must acknowledge his problem and talk to a doctor to get professional help. A sleep disorder can actually have a lost lasting effect on the development of overall development of a healthy personality.