Stress and anxiety are seen as the most common causes of sleeping problems in adults. As the reasons of stress and anxiety pass off, sleep patterns usually tend to return back to normal. Most people usually need around six to nine hours of sleep at night to be able to function properly. Irregular patterns of sleep are also often related to depression. Some people have difficulty in sleeping when they are depressed about certain things.
In the case of children however, the causes of sleeping problems are not always clear. Today, recent studies show that a growing number of children suffer from sleepiness and other sleep disorders. It is commonly seen that 2 out of 10 children suffer from sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and insomnia. For many parents, the quality of their child’s sleep has become a major concern.
Recognizing Sleeping Problems in Children
In the past two years, the number of children being brought to physicians has raised the question of why children have been suffering from disorders on such regular basis. There are certain things that help in recognizing signs of sleeping problems in children, such as:
- Social and moral behavior – children tend to show ill signs of social and moral behaviors when they are suffering of sleep problems. Sleep deprivation is usually the cause of these adverse effects. Parents need to take this matter more seriously, and need to find out what exactly may be the cause of this. For example, the hectic lifestyle of some parents makes it difficult for them to give their children the necessary amount of time and attention they need. This could be a factor responsible for such behavior.
- Bedwetting – children suffer from sleeping problems due to various factors. Bedwetting could be one. When children regularly wet the bed, there is probably something disturbing them subconsciously that needs to be checked. Some children have this habitual bedwetting problem till a certain age, which in itself is a cause of sleep problems.
- Night terror – children often suffer of sleeping problems because of night terrors often caused due to their wild imaginations. (For example, due to images seen on TV, bruxism, stomach disorders, etc.)
Sleeplessness – children suffering of sleep problems either sleep very little at night or don’t sleep at all. They may have frequent sleep disruptions or may not be able to sleep soundly.
- Weak Health – sleeping problems make children physically and mentally weak. They tend to show signs such as drastic weight loss, growth retardation, loss of appetite, and they may also start restricting themselves socially by keeping to themselves a lot. These cause problems in social bonding and lead to more problems such as, discipline problems at school, mood swings, developing aloof natures, talking in sleep, irritability, memory loss and others.
It is very important to take immediate steps to address these problems the moment children start showing such signs as mentioned above.
Anxiety and Sleeping Problems
Sleep problems as a result of anxiety can be very difficult to handle. The non-stop chatter going on in thoughts only adds to more problems when it comes to sleep problems. Anxiety and sleep have a vicious cycle, in which the sleep problem can become more intense when attempting to solve it. This happens due to the anxiety pangs that come up when worrying about solving the problem.
People usually tend to descend to a common remedy – sleeping pills. However, this is not the best solution to turn to. Audio therapy techniques show good results though. Audio therapies show a certain degree of successful effects on both sleep problems and anxiety. They involve the use of mild sound tracks with subliminal messages, which have a very relaxing effect on the mind and body. The only disadvantage of this is that people need to wear stereo headphones while sleeping.
Potential Solutions of Sleeping Problems
Some potential solutions of sleep problems include:
- Going to bed early. This sounds a bit odd, but works well with both adult and children sleep problems. People find it difficult to drift into sleep when they have sleep problems, so they keep tossing and turning in bed for a long while before finally falling asleep. If for example they find themselves lying in bed for an hour before drifting into a sleep, going to bed an hour earlier would give them that hour’s time to toss and turn and finally fall into a sleep.
- Reading a book to fall asleep. People should make sure not to read an interesting book, or one that will be difficult to put down, or else it would stop them from going to sleep instead.
- Seeing a doctor to get the necessary prescription that will aid in going to sleep at night. While people may not want to take this option, but when suffering of chronic sleeping problems, this may be the best route of action to take.