Is your child having a lot of trouble falling and staying asleep during the night? There are many common sleep problems that your child may have. Understanding sleep problems, and how to solve them, can help your child get the rest they need. Louise Duncan, of Petite Dreamers, knows what you are dealing with and she can help.
What Sleep Problems Affect Children?
Sleep problems are common in young children. Bedtime fears, sleepwalking, bed wetting, and insomnia can disrupt childrens’ sleeping cycles. Some children may not be tired at a designated bedtime and others struggle to fall asleep without a parent nearby. Some children have no trouble falling asleep, but wake up throughout the night and find it difficult to fall back asleep.
A child who is not able to sleep well can be a struggle for parents. Parents need to get their sleep, but they may be sleep deprived because they are up with a child who is suffering from insomnia.
Sleep problems can often be attributed to the behaviors of the child during the day. Patience and discipline can help your child get over sleep difficulties so they can get the rest that they desperately need.
How Much Sleep Does My Child Need?
Children need more sleep than adults because of their growth rate and new cell production. The amount of sleep depends on the age of the child, but some guidelines include:
- Infants from four to 12 months need 12 to 16 hours of sleep, including naps.
- Toddlers from one to two need 11 to 14 hours, including naps.
- Children three to five need 10 to 13 hours, including naps.
- Children six to 12 need 9 to 12 hours
- Teens 18 and under need 8 to 12 hours.
Some children need less sleep than others. Cutting down on naps or letting a child stay up a little later may help them to sleep better at night.
How to Cope with Insomnia
If your child is displaying signs of insomnia it can become a big challenge. A child who has insomnia is not just falling back to sleep like other children who wake up because they need something. Ongoing problems with insomnia can cause serious stress for parents. Some of the steps that you can use to help cope with insomnia in a child include:
- Make the room comfortable and only use the bed when it is time to sleep. When your child is in their bed they are there to sleep. Do not allow playing or other activities on the bed.
- Keep the same sleep schedule, even when friends come over on the weekends.
- Keep your child from going to bed too hungry or full.
- Encourage your child to be active. Regular exercise helps prevent restlessness at night. An hour of activity is the minimum.
- Encourage natural light exposure as early in the morning as possible, as it helps with the sleep cycle.
- Set limits on electronics: The blue light emitted from tablets, phones, TV, and video games can disrupt the child’s Circadian rhythm and make it harder to sleep. Electronics should be shut down an hour before bedtime and never taken to bed.
At Petite Dreamers, we understand that it can be frustrating when you have a child who struggles with sleeping through the night. If you have tried everything in your power, and nothing is working well enough, you need the right team on your side. Contact our sleep professionals today to see how we can help your child overcome insomnia and help you with coping mechanisms.