Adults aren’t the only ones who struggle with insomnia; sleep aids for children are sometimes needed. There are many possible reasons for a child to wake up during the night or to have difficulty getting to sleep in the first place.
It’s important to find a remedy for sleeplessness because children require between 8 and 12 hours of sleep, depending on their age.
Symptoms of Insomnia in Children
Children of varying ages who don’t get proper rest exhibit a range of symptoms, including the following:
- Temper tantrums
These symptoms will be intensified if they continue, which is why safe, available sleep aids for children should be used as needed.
Possible Causes of Insomnia in Children
It can be more difficult to identify complicated reasons for insomnia in infants, since they can’t tell you what the problem is. But finding the right sleep aids for children can also be a challenge. Even as children get older and are able to communicate, they still may not realize that certain physical symptoms exist and are creating insomnia.
Among the common reasons for insomnia in children are the following:
- Aches and pains caused by some type of injury
- Fear of sleeping due to nightmares
- Bedtime routines which energize the body rather than calm and prepare the body for rest
- Childhood illnesses such as influenza (the “flu”), measles, chickenpox, and mumps
- Teething, which causes a child to be cranky and restless and can cause fever and skin rashes
- Breathing problems caused by nasal blockage, asthma, pneumonia, or some other medical ailment
- Stimulants in the child’s diet or in the environment such as caffeine in soft drinks or nicotine through the inhalation of tobacco smoke
- Itchy and/or burning skin caused by sunburn, diaper rash, eczema, a skin rash, psoriasis, or hives
- An excess of sugary foods, which create “sugar highs” and a search for sleep aids for children
- Mental and emotional trauma caused by stress and/or abuse
- Stomach problems such as gas, diarrhea, constipation, and stomach cramps
- Side effects caused by certain medications
- Psychological psychiatric, or neurological disorders such as autism, anxiety, depression, and epilepsy
- Natural growing pains which are aches and pains supposedly caused by the growth of bones in young children, though so far growing pains aren’t medically proven to exist
Whatever the reasons for children to have insomnia, sleeplessness should be addressed with all seriousness. Ongoing insomnia could stunt physical and mental development as well as daily functionality and social skills. Medicinal sleep aids for children are available if other actions don’t prove to be helpful.
Routines Can Serve as Sleep Aids for Children
Neither a drug nor any other type of medication may be necessary to remedy a child’s sleep problems. Steps as natural as establishing a routine can save a trip to the pharmacy in search of helpful products which serve as sleep aids for children. The following are some steps which could lead to a successful bedtime routine and good night’s sleep:
- Set a particular bedtime and don’t allow children to stay up late except in extreme circumstances.
- Past early afternoon, don’t allow children to eat or drink food or beverages which contain caffeine.
- Go on family walks at night after dinner. Many children today simply don’t get enough exercise to be nicely fatigued and ready for bed.
- Remove distractions from children’s bedrooms, such as video games and televisions. When the bedroom is limited to being a place for sleep and relaxing activities, sleepiness can be more easily triggered.
- Eat meals at least two hours before the children go to bed, and avoid bedtime snacks.
- Limit the length of daytime naps or eliminate them altogether if nap time seem to cause sleeplessness at night.
- Play soft music when your children are tucked in bed because soothing tunes can calm the mind and settle nerves. A ceiling fan or some other type of rhythmic noise can have the same effect.
- Set the room temperature to cool since doing so promotes restful sleep.
Safe Alternatives to Prescription Sleep Aids for Children
Sleep medications are very rarely the best sleep aids for children and should be avoided if at all possible. If a sensible bedtime routine and proper nutrition don’t solve the problem, herbs can be helpful in the care of children with insomnia.
Parents should be aware that while some herbs are virtually harmless, others can have an effect on the usefulness of prescriptions drugs. For example, chamomile tea and lemon balm are both considered to be natural sedatives which are virtually harmless. St. John’s Wort, on the other hand, can interfere with the effectiveness of anti-cancer medications and blood thinners.
It may be wise to consult a physician with any questions, but there are numerous herbs which could serve as natural sleep aids for children.
Category: Natural Sleep Aids