How to tackle sleep disorders in kids: Top 5 things you should know
The world is battling together to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. This has resulted in a phenomenal change in work and school routines. Specially with kids, all normal routines connected to school, activities, play dates and sports are on hold. With such unprecedented changes coming on so quickly, the whole family is feeling the shift. It is particularly evident for children with neurodevelopmental issues such as Autistic Spectrum Disorder, who are often very sensitive to changes in routine. In the midst of all this and getting accustomed to the #NewNormal, optimizing sleep is especially challenging.
Good sleep is critical for all ages. It directly impacts the physical health and effective functioning of the immune system. It’s also a key promoter of emotional wellness and mental health, helping to beat back stress, depression, and anxiety. This blog will cover the reasons for and ways in which you can tackle sleep disorders.
New Routine, New Schedules
It can be difficult to adjust to a new daily schedule or lack of a schedule. Most children thrive on structure as the predictability of routine offers a sense of control. A lack of predictability can feel unsettling for children and increase risk for anxiety and worry. Anxiety is not only a problem for daytime well-being, but can also increase problems with sleep. Parents must ensure kids are getting a good night’s sleep that will help to improve the child’s mood, behavior and focus. Nap times for kids should be consistent and following a school day schedule during the day is certainly recommended.
Dialogue is essential
It is certain kids are also sensing the tension in current times. Kids are already hearing about the virus and seeing people wear the masks every day. Not talking about the pandemic can actually make kids worry more. Have a reassuring dialogue with your child and see it as an opportunity to convey the facts and set the right emotional tone. It is important to give reassurances and talk through problems during the day.
Thousands of kids suffered from insomnia or sleep disorder even before the coronavirus, and unfortunately, the pandemic creates a host of new challenges. Read further to understand what is a sleep disorder and how can one identify it.
Sleep Disorder in Kids
It is important for parents to be familiar with normal childhood sleep patterns and common sleep disorders. Epidemiologic studies indicate that up to 50% of children experience a sleep problem, and about 4% have a formal sleep disorder diagnosis. Early identification of sleep problems may prevent negative consequences, such as daytime sleepiness, irritability, behavioral problems, learning difficulties, motor vehicle crashes in teenagers, and poor academic performance.
How can you identify a sleep disorder in your child?
It is recommended that parents watch out for the below signs to identify a possible disorder:
- your child lies in bed for a longer time calling for another book, song, drink, or trip to the bathroom, for what can seem like hours
- your child only sleeps for shorter hours, even at night
- your child complains of itchy legs at night
- your child snores loudly
- learning disabilities
- Motor Vehicle crashes in teenagers
- Poor academic performance
Early detection in addition to right advice, therapy, or treatment is essential and helps in making favorable adjustments that will last a lifetime.
How to treat sleep disorders in kids
- Set your schedule and routine
- Check the light – ensure your child is exposed to the right amount of light as it plays a crucial role in helping their bodies regulate sleep in a healthy way
- Utilize Relaxation Techniques – Carry out some body based relaxation exercises to try and calm the body down before bed. Sit together and practice some breathing exercises with your kids. You can check for ample fun breathing exercises online.
- Maintain a balanced diet – it is crucial for the kid to maintain a healthy diet. Be cautious of consumption of junk foods during night time that disrupt and distract the quality and quantity of their sleep.
- Contact your healthcare professional if these problems persist in order to avoid worsening sleep or other health problems
Evolve Brain Training offers a complete solution for dealing in sleep disorders with kids. Our experts are available for remote counselling sessions. For more information on sleep disorder management and treatment in Dubai, drop your contact details and we will call you shortly!
Dr. Upasana Gala is the founder and CEO of Evolve Brain Training, a Neurofeedback-centered institute that focuses on using non-invasive brain training techniques to maximize the brain's true potential.