Sleep Disorders In Children – We Give You the Lowdown

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As a parent, it may be easy to overlook whether a child might have Sleep disorders. Constant sleepiness during the day time or inability to sleep during the general hours of the night may seem like an ordinary circumstance children may regularly go through but as a parent, should look into the possibility that such will affect you and your child’s health and quality of life.

What is Sleep Disorder?

Sleeping disorder is any form of condition that alters the way you sleep. Aside from affecting your quality of life, you will encounter changes in your safety and health due to the irregular sleeping patterns that this disease will cause. All will result in your child having difficulty sleeping which will lead to sleepiness in the daytime as your sleep and wake cycle have irregularities and eventually affect their day to day activities.

Common types of Sleep Disorders

As mentioned earlier, there are different types of sleep diseases which categorizes the symptoms you encounter such as breathing, sleepiness during the day or your general behavior at night. What is good news for everyone is most of these disorders have treatment available for children.

Sleepwalking

Occurs when your child wakes up partly from their sleep, walks around but are technically still sleeping. Some indication of triggers can be from deprivation of sleep, sleep apnea or certain medications. Sleepwalking usually happens at the age of four to eight years old and is usually outgrown.

Nightmares

When the brain is very active during sleep, nightmares may occur and will give your child vivid images that may seem real and emotions may be triggered because of this . This occurs during the child’s REM or Rapid Eye Movement sleep as sometimes these may occur for a very long time causing such images/nightmares. Although we cannot determine what actually triggers nightmares for children as this can be rooted from traumatic events, injuries or sudden changes they are encountering, encouraging a good night’s sleep by making sure your child is comfortable in their soft bed, implementing a sleep routine that gives security such as a snuggle from you, snuggle, quiet talk or talking about the pleasant things that happened during their day may prevent nightmares happening to your child.

Behavioral insomnia of childhood

This is a disorder whereas a child might develop difficulty in initiating sleep when certain conditions are not present during their bedtime. It can be a teddy bear that they usually hug,  your singing a lullaby or a rocking motion that they usually get from you  as you help them fall asleep. Most parents will fail to set certain boundaries and will give in their child’s wishes however. Setting boundaries, expectations and gradual conditioning to your child’s sleeping conditions are certain activities that may help prevent your child from having behavioral insomnias.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apneas are usually occurrences where your child undergoes sleep-related paradoxical breathing. Snoring is one indicator that your child has obstructive sleep apnea but can be contributed to how your child is positioned when sleeping. By having an unusual sleeping position, your child is likely to have irregular ventilation and sleep patterns mainly due to an upper airway obstruction. All children are usually medically screened for snoring and the parents should always ensure a continuous positive airway pressure should be offered to those children with Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

Restless legs syndrome

As the name suggests, this is a condition where your child experiences urges to move their legs during sleep. Although it is quite uncertain how a child gets Restless leg syndrome, medical research shows a possibility of iron deficiency that causes your child to involuntarily move their legs during sleep. Most occurrences worsen although out the night. Other possible triggers for Restless Legs syndrome is associated with negative mood, adhd or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and decreased cognition.

 

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