Children suffer from sleep disorder at any age. Restful sleep is necessary for good performance during the day. It is found that many children are deprived of sleep due to different reasons. Sleep disorder in children may cause behavioural problems, decreased performance, social problems or other health problems in children. There are different types of sleep disorders that may affect children. Some children have problem in falling asleep, some children have abnormal behaviour during sleep and some children may show night walking during sleep. Reasons for sleep problems are different as that of adults. Sleep problems in children may produce irritability and hyperactivity in kids. Sleep disorders are common in children for whom parents have to consult the physician to get the right diagnosis and treatment. Sometimes parents fail to recognize the real problem and children suffer for a long time. Sleep disorder in children may vary according to age. If an infant wakes up frequently at night it is considered as a common problem but if a child of three years or more wakes up frequently it is not normal. Careful study has to be done to find out the sleep disorders in children. Sleep pattern varies with age.
DR. WILLMAR KINDIVAL
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Causes of sleep disorder in children
Some of the important causes of sleep disorder in children are:
- Epileptic seizures are responsible for causing sleep disorder in children. In some children, epileptic seizure may occur during night that may cause sleep disruption.
- Hyperactivity in kids can also be responsible for causing sleep disorders. Hyperactive children find it difficult to settle down in bed at night.
- Enlarged tonsils may cause breathing difficulty and it may lead to sleep disorder in children.
- Children with developmental problems may also show signs of sleep disorders. Structural abnormalities of head and neck may cause sleep problems in children.
- Children who take a nap during the day may also show sleep difficulty at night.
Signs of sleep disorders
Important signs of sleep disorders in children are:
- Children having sleep problem will snore during night or while sleeping.
- Morning headaches are common in children suffering from sleep disorders.
- Irritability in children is also common having sleep disorders.
- There is decreased performance during the daytime.
- Child falls asleep during the day quite easily.
- May produce behavioural changes.
- Disturbed mood and performance problem is common.
- Child does not take interest in day time activities.
- Memory and concentration problems are common in children with sleep disorders.
Treatment for sleep disorders
Natural therapies help in the treatment of sleep disorders in children. Natural remedies such as Kindival which is a combination of homeopathic remedies may help to prevent sleep disorders in children. Kindival is an absolutely safe remedy and may be given to children of any age having sleep disorder. The important homeopathic remedies used in Kindival include the following:
Cypripedium pubescens: This is an excellent homeopathic remedy for irritability in children. It helps to reduce the nervousness in children. It is an excellent sleep remedy for children who suffer from sleep disorders during dentition. It is indicated for children who wake up at night and are ready to play.
Magnesia carbonica: This homeopathic remedy is recommended for children who suffer from nervous weakness and irritability. It is indicated when there is gastric problem in children which may cause loss of sleep in children. There is rumbling and gurgling sound in the abdomen at night due to which child may wake up several times during sleep.
Zincum valerianicum: This homeopathic remedy is indicated for sleep disorder of any origin in children. It helps to calm down the brain and acts as an excellent tranquiliser for children. This homeopathic remedy produces no side effects even if given regularly to normalize the sleep pattern in children.
Infants below one year of age may be given one tablet may be given three times in a day. After one year, two tablets may be given three times in a day.
Home remedies for sleep disorder in children
Important and useful home remedies for sleep disorder in children are discussed below. Home remedies given here are helpful in preventing and treating the sleep disorder in children without producing any adverse effects.
- Walnuts are good for inducing sleep. Boil few seeds of walnuts in the milk and give two times in a day. This will help in the correction of sleep disorders in children quickly.
- Put eucalyptus oil in the nostril to ease breathing. It helps the child to breathe properly at night and sleep sound.
- Garlic is also an effective remedy for the treatment of sleep disorders. You can give raw garlic piece with warm water to your child before going to sleep. It has anti-inflammatory property that helps to relieve congestion in the nose and chest.
- Amla is also an important home remedy for sleep disorders. You can boil few leaves of amla in water till it reduces to half. Let it cool and then give it your child to drink before sleep. It soothes the brain and results in sound sleep.
- Yoga is also beneficial for children. You may ask your child to do some breathing exercise in the morning to relieve the congestion.
- There should be a regular time for sleeping and waking up in the morning and this routine should not break up.
- Give a bedtime story book to read or a warm bath before sleep to give relaxing sleep to your child.
- Any drinks containing caffeine could prevent your child from sleeping. Therefore, avoid giving such drinks at least six to eight hours before sleep.
- The bedroom should have sufficient darkness to induce sleep and there should not be too much noise in the house.
- Send your child to play outside the house so that he/she may get tired during the play and sleep properly at night.
- Television or video games should not be kept in children room because these things may distract your child from sleeping on time.
- Do not give heavy meals at night and try to give food about two hours before bedtime.