Tag Archive | "Sleeping Problems"

Fighting Off Late-night Visits

It is two in the morning and you are already tired but you wake up to realize that your  child has crawled into your bed and apparently wants to join you because of having trouble getting back to sleep.

Interestingly, studies have shown that all individuals regardless of age do not actually sleep through the night and at some points do wake up. The problem primarily exists when a person has difficulty going back to sleep; when a child to suffer this kind of problem, there are helpful things parents can consider. There are different factors to be on the lookout for as some children are not keen on verbalizing what really bothers them unless they are patiently asked or coerced. These late-night visits should be investigated as these could mean an expected anxiety on an upcoming examination, the natural fear of children specifically toddlers that death is imminent and that the earth could swallow them or an alien could visit them because of the movies they have watched and even peer problems. Alternatively, anything that is deemed as a deviation from the normal things that your child is accustomed to such as a vacation, a change in schedule or an illness could also be reasons for late-night visits.

Inasmuch as it would be great to have your child beside you when a visit occurs, the change in frequency should already warrant you to act on a possibly long term problem that could develop into something more serious. Foremost, you can actually share your room with your child. Sharing your room actually means that your child has to familiarize his self onto reclining in a sleeping bag you will have to locate somewhere in the room and definitely not in your bed. With this setup, your child will realize that the bed he is accustomed to is way better and he will definitely revert to his own bed.


As the first option may not be appealing to some, develop a good plan and that would entail you to really wake up in the middle of the night, carry or accompany your child back to his own room, pat him gently with a kiss and then leave. This could be a routine you will have to establish to time and again for your child to be able to establish his sleeping habit. It is also beneficial if sleeping aids are avoided. This is because these aids in the form of a stuffed toy, a fave music or anything else might actually hinder your child from dozing off again if he wakes up in the middle of the night. You can also reward your child for being able to sleep in his own room and not disturbing you. Although this may seem bribing at first glance, parents will appreciate this strategy of giving gifts for a child who has accomplished something.

Finally, give into those late-night tugs by getting into a crisis discussion with your child. Assure your child about how safe your house is and how he can combat his fears by praying.

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Sleeping Problems for Big Kids

When a child gets restless in bed, wake up in the middle of the night or stay wide awake during sleeping hours, he could be suffering from a sleeping disorder. Adults are not the only ones who experience sleeping problems, children as young as 2 years old can also have this experience. Toddlers, preschoolers and school-age children who have sleeping problems might have difficulty falling asleep, maintaining sleep or both. These children might also have frequent nightmares, teeth grinding, jaw clenching, bed wetting while sleeping.

 During the day, children with sleeping problems appear fatigued and stressed out. Generally they feel very tired and sleepy. The 2 main reasons for sleeping problems in children are poor sleeping habits and anxiety. Starting at 2 years old, children will already develop a regular sleeping habit. This includes sleeping and waking time as well as the bedtime routines the child does such as brushing his teeth, taking a bath and praying.

Regular sleeping habits are initially taught by the parents and once the child gets accustomed to this activity he can already do it on his own. In some cases, children have certain fears regarding sleep. Sleeping anxiety develops when the child doesn’t feel comfortable being alone in his room or sleeping in the dark. This can also occur when the child doesn’t want to be separated from his parents.

Anxiety will cause a certain degree of stress on the child’s sleeping habits. Children with sleeping anxiety usually experience nightmares, scary dreams, sleep terrors, sleep walking and bed wetting. Children need to get at least 8 to 9 hours of sleep per day. Getting enough rest and sleep facilitates normal growth and development. A child who lacks sleep might experience mood changes, behavioral problems, and stunted growth as well as learning and concentration difficulties. To avoid these negative effects, here are some tips to help children overcome sleeping problems.

  1. Encourage a positive bedtime routine – A positive bedtime routine focuses on preparing the child for a calm and relaxing sleep. Making the child’s room conducive to sleep by providing adequate ventilation, lighting and temperature. A night lamp will help some children sleep better. Avoid doing active play and activities a few hours before sleep. Caffeinated beverages such as coffee, soda and tea must also be avoided during bedtome.
  2. Sleep Training – Children can be taught how to sleep properly but in doing so, parents need to be extra patient since children learn at different paces. To train children how to sleep, parents can demonstrate comfortable positions while lying on the bed. Parents can also teach the child to count sheep if he doesn’t feel sleepy yet.
  3. A glass of warm milk – Drinking milk has a lot of health benefits and having a restful sleep is one of them. Milk contains tryptophan, a substance that can make people sleepy. Drinking milk not only makes the bones stronger, it can also help children sleep better.
  4. Medicines – Under the doctor’s supervision, parents can try giving sleeping pills to manage their child’s sleeping problems. Antihistamines can also be given to help children sleep.

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How to Solve Your Child’s Sleeping Problems

As much as children would want to play, they also need to get enough rest and sleep in order to grow and develop properly. Children at different age groups have different thoughts and feelings toward sleep. Toddlers and pre-schoolers hate to sleep; they would rather play outside the whole day than take their afternoon nap. On the other hand, some school age children might use sleep as an alibi to miss homework or attendance from school. Most of the time, children consider sleep as an activity they must do every day. Sleeping, like eating, bathing and playing, is part of their regular routine. When does sleep become a problem to children? Similar to adults, children also experience sleeping disorders. They can have nightmares, excessive sleep and insomnias. Children approximately need 9 to 12 hours of sleep every day, younger kids especially newborns and infants need more hours. When this number of sleeping hours is not met, the child’s growth and development is disrupted. Several medical conditions, such as headaches, high blood pressure and poor appetite can potentially develop if the child has problems sleeping. There are many factors that contribute to sleeping disorders in children. Factors like diet, physical activity, medications and the environment affect sleep in children. Food items such chocolate and candies can make kids awake and alert. A child who eats these things at night will have difficulty falling asleep. A very noisy and loud atmosphere doesn’t help; it only distracts the child from sleeping. Here are some tips that can help solve sleeping problems in children.

  1.  Set a reasonable sleeping and waking schedule – The parent and child must both agree on a sleeping schedule. The number of hours should also be included. For example. A 7 year old child who already goes to school, should sleep at 9pm and wake up at 6am. With this schedule, the child will get sufficient sleeping hours.
  2. Offer a warm bath before bedtime – Contrary to belief, warm baths before bedtime can actually soothe and relax children. Making this activity as part of the daily routine can facilitate sleep.
  3. Bedtime can become a bonding time – Parents and children can bond during bedtime. Parents can read a story before tucking the child in bed or they can talk about how the child’s day went. This activity doesn’t only help with the child’s sleeping problems; it can also make his relationship with his parent stronger.
  4.  Provide an environment that is conducive for rest and sleep – The child’s room must be well ventilated and must have the right temperature, not too cold or too hot. Some children prefer a well-lit room while others can sleep better if it’s dark. The atmosphere in the room must be calm, serene and quiet.
  5. Avoid giving foods that can affect sleep – Caffeinated drinks such as soda, coffee and tea must be avoided at least three hours before bedtime. These drinks will make falling asleep difficult. Drinking a warm glass of milk is encouraged; milk contains tryptophan, a substance that can facilitate sleep.

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