What Is Childhood Insomnia (Sleeplessness)?
Insomnia (sleeplessness) is the most common sleep pr of childhood, from infancy to early adolescence, characterized by difficulty settling at night, sleeping through the nigh and waking too early in the morning. Insomnia is not one disorder but a symptom that can be caused by many different problems. In children, insomnia is most commonly caused by behavioral problems and leads to insufficient sleep and a tired child. As result, your child may experience problems during the day memory attention, or learning.
There are four main behavioral causes of childhood insomnia. It is not uncommon for a child to have a combination of more than one of these problems; in fact, he may even have a combination of all four of these common causes. In that case, the approach improving sleep is to deal with one issue at a time and to know where to start.
DonÂ’t be alarmed to read that your beautiful baby who loves breast-feed or bottle-feed all night long may have a nocturnal, eating (drinking) disorder. This ominous name is given to or of the common causes of sleeplessness in young babies and toddlers who wake frequently at night to quench their thirst. Later in life, some adults have a similar disorder where they wake to eat, which is why the name of the disorder includes both eating and drinking.
After the age of 6 months, a healthy baby can learn to com enough calories and his tummy is large enough to hold enough fluids that he doesnÂ’t need to wake frequently for a refill. However many young babies just get used to drinking more often, and t it becomes a habit that you can help him change. Some families are happy to continue this pattern until their baby eventually starts to stretch out the nighttime feeds. Other families want to help their babies to adjust their eating times so that they drink more the daytime and learn to sleep through the night.
However your child does or doesnÂ’t fall asleep can be a problem, especially if falling asleep requires an Â‘associationÂ’ with your help in some way. Some of the things we associate with falling asleep are helpful, and some are not. Associations with falling asleep that can be problematic include the presence of a parent, a specific bed that is not your childÂ’s own, music, or a pacifier.
If these associations are present when your child falls asleep at bedtime, but not at periods of natural waking during the night, your child may have difficulty falling back asleep on his own. You may find yourself having to wake up at night to recreate the same associations as when he fell asleep the first time to help him to return to sleep.