Sleeping is important for everyone, but for children it’s crucial, due to the impact it can have on both their physical and mental development if they don’t get enough.
However, some children develop small but sometimes serious sleeping habits that can disrupt their night’s rest.
Below, read about these five very common child sleep problems and how they can be resolved.
Falling out of bed
Moving your youngster from a cot to a new bed can be a seamless process, but for others it can be very difficult.
With your toddler unaware of their new surroundings, rolling out of bed can become a very common habit. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to put an end to it.
Firstly, you can invest in a handmade mattress, which can be tailored to their size, and provide a guard rail around the parameter.
However, your child may grow dependent on the rail, so alternatively, place one side of their bed next to a wall to minimise the likelihood of your child falling out of bed.
Child sleepwalking is not something to be overly concerned with and usually begins when kids are between the ages of four and eight.
For children who have this habit, it usually begins one or two hours after falling asleep in the evening and can last up to 15 minutes. In most occurrences it’s harmless, but that’s not a valid reason to put up with it.
Sleepwalking can be caused by a number of different factors including fatigue, an irregular sleeping pattern, medication side effects or anxiety.
To help quash your child’s sleepwalking habit, get them in a sensible routine by sending them to sleep at the same time each night.
Others thing to help prevent sleepwalking include; avoiding giving caffeine and sugar in the evening, creating a comfortable sleep environment and ensuring that your child empties their bladder before bed.
One of the most frightening sleeping habits children can face is sleep paralysis.
Probably the most relieving thing for parents, is that sleep paralysis isn’t usually linked to any psychiatric problems. But it’s a very daunting experience for anybody who witnesses or experiences it. Hallucinations can accompany the condition.
Children who experience this condition feel the inability to move despite feeling awake. This often occurs in between stages of sleep.
Like many sleep conditions, to treat sleep paralysis you need to improve your bedtime routine. In addition to this, antidepressants may have to be prescribed if your child’s poor sleeping pattern is brought on by anxiety or stress.
Wetting the bed
An unfortunate habit that parents have to deal with is their child wetting the bed.
An involuntary habit, it usually occurs with children around the age of five or six, and is usually hereditary. This is nothing to panic about as a parent, with children usually outgrowing it.
If you’re concerned about your child’s bedwetting, don’t blame them as this can only cause them unnecessary pressure. You should also make sure that they use the toilet before they go to bed to limit the chances of bedwetting.
Finally, ask your paediatrician about your child’s behaviours. This will allow them to follow their progress, and they’ll be able to rule out if there’s a medical condition causing it.
Sleep apnoea in children is the interruption of a normal breathing pattern during sleep.
When their breathing becomes too irregular, their sleep can be disrupted. Symptoms include noisy breathing, gasping due to breathing being interrupted and loud snoring.
Sleep apnoea usually occurs in older males, but if you child suffers from it, it could be down to a hereditary condition. If left untreated, it can lead to ADHD and behavioural problems as your child gets older.
So now you know some techniques to try if your child is suffering from one of these common sleeping habits.
If these treatment tips aren’t putting an end to your child’s troublesome habits, get in touch with a doctor or paediatrician to rule out any potential medical condition.