Sleep Disorders in Children, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

Is a Sleep Disorder a Mental Illness?
May 8, 2024

What are Sleep Disorders in Children?

Sleep disorders in children are problems that affect how they sleep. These can include trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or having poor sleep quality. Some common sleep disorders in children are insomnia (difficulty falling asleep), sleep apnea (interrupted breathing during sleep), and nightmares or night terrors.

These issues can make it hard for children to get enough rest, which may affect their mood, behavior, and ability to concentrate during the day. It’s important for parents to recognize signs of sleep problems in children and seek help from a doctor if needed.

Sleep Disorders in Children, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

Symptoms of Sleep Disorders in Children

Sleep disorders in children can show various symptoms.

  • Some children may have trouble falling asleep, often taking a long time to do so.
  • Others might wake up frequently during the night or wake up very early and not be able to go back to sleep.
  • You might notice your child snoring loudly, breathing irregularly, or even stopping breathing briefly during sleep, which could indicate sleep apnea.
  • Restlessness or unusual movements during sleep can be signs of restless leg syndrome or periodic limb movement disorder.
  • children with sleep disorders might seem excessively sleepy during the day, have trouble concentrating, or display moodiness or irritability.

Causes of Sleep Disorders in Children

Sleep disorders in children can stem from various factors. Common causes include

  • irregular sleep schedules
  • excessive screen time before bed
  • anxiety or stress
  • medical conditions like sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome
  • environmental factors such as noise or light disturbances. Poor sleep hygiene practices, like consuming caffeine or large meals before bedtime, can also interfere with a child’s ability to fall asleep or stay asleep.

Treatment of Sleep Disorders in Children

Treating sleep disorders in children involves creating a consistent bedtime routine, ensuring a comfortable sleep environment, lifestyle changes, limiting screen time before bed, and promoting relaxation techniques like reading or gentle music.

Encouraging regular exercise during the day can also help.  Parents should maintain patience and consistency in implementing these strategies, as it may take time for improvements to be seen.

Dr. Rahul Mathur
Consultant Neuropsychiatris

Skip to toolbar