You may often see your child does not want to take a nap or wakes up to play in the middle of the night. Do not worry, the condition of children having trouble sleeping at night does often occur. By the way, why do children have trouble sleeping at night? Well, let us learn the causes and how to overcome it.
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Causes of Difficulty Sleeping in Children
There is no definitive theory on why children have trouble sleeping. Actually, this problem can be overcome by slightly changing daily habits or activities, so that the children can sleep better at night. Based on the research, there are some factors that often cause sleep problems in children.
Here are some causes of difficulty sleeping in children:
1. Children’s Diet Influences the Quality of Night’s Sleep
Usually, children who do not eat regularly, and tend to be fed when they ask for it, will get hungry easily. Their stomachs will not tolerate being empty for long periods of time, such as when they sleep at night. For this case, mom can implement a regular eating pattern (3 x meals, 2 x snacks) that will make your child consume more food during active hours. Thus, your child’s stomach is well-filled when she/he sleeps at night.
Exhausted children are at risk of having difficulty sleeping well. As a mom, you can try to make a routine of sleeping and resting during the day for your child so that her/his body can avoid fatigue. At night, make it a habit to dim the lights when going to sleep. Also, dim lights will make your child sleep better.
3. Excessive Stimulation Can Be One of the Factors Insomnia in Children
Stimulating your child to be active is good for her/his growth. But, before bedtime at night, you should try to make your child more relaxed. Reading a storybook or playing lullaby music will be an effective solution to make your child’s brain and body more relaxed, until finally falling asleep.
4. Your Child Feels Uncomfortable
Usually, children tend to have trouble sleeping when they are feeling uncomfortable. For this case, mom can try to check whether your child is cold, hot, or the nightgown she/he is wearing is uncomfortable.
How to Overcome Children Having Trouble Sleeping at Night?
Children will be more relaxed and easier to sleep if they are used to a bedtime routine. If your child has trouble sleeping at night, mom can make a relaxing time for the child about 15-20 minutes before bedtime. Also, mom can use this relaxing time to read your child a story, give your child a warm bath before bed, or just hold your child while chatting. This way will be effective in making your child more relaxed before bed.
In addition, mom can create an atmosphere that makes your child’s rest comfortable. Wear soft cotton pajamas which are comfortable, and keep the room temperature not too cold or hot. Do not forget to turn off the TV and turn on a dim light, so that your child understands the difference between day and night.
Here are 7 ways to overcome children having trouble sleeping at night:
- Besides making your child relax and calm down, mom should also relax. The mother’s calm feeling will rub off on the child. If your child does not want to stop moving, mom can try to leave her/him alone for about 5-10 minutes. Usually, the child will become calmer, and start looking for mom to feel comfortable.
- If your child wakes up during the night, leave your child alone for a while, wait for her/him to calm down. Keep the atmosphere calm and dim so that your child feels sleepy and falls asleep quickly.
- If your child has trouble sleeping due to a declining health condition, you must consult a doctor. If left unchecked, sleeplessness will slow down the recovery.
- Create a fixed schedule. Do not try to change your child’s sleep schedule, for example at nap time. This can be the reason why children have trouble sleeping.
- Mom can limit nap time. For example, 30 minutes and under 3 pm.
- Take care of your child’s food. Mom must limit the intake of caffeine and foods that make children active at night, such as chocolate.
- Another way to overcome child insomnia is to get used to a child sleeping independently. Let your child sleep on her/his own without any special rituals. Aside from that, mom can also do therapy for your child with Lullaby for children, like the song of Good Night Sleep Tight.