There are a significant number of factors that may be influencing your children to keep an eye out all night. Remember that good sleep means healthy development.
Adela has not hit an eye for three nights, her parents don’t understand why she doesn’t have the energy to get up and go to school. When she told me the reason for her dark circles, together we called her parents to tell them the truth.
Can a six-year-old girl have insomnia? The answer is yes. Childhood insomnia happens more often than you might think. There are a significant number of factors that may be influencing your children to keep an eye out all night. Some of the most common symptoms that will give you some clues to know if your child is not sleeping are: negative attitude all day, irritability, hyperactivity, aggressiveness, forgetfulness, poor concentration, sadness and depressive symptoms. Some causes of childhood insomnia are the following:
1. Sleep apnea
The same occurs when they do not breathe correctly during their sleep. If you notice that your child is tired in the morning even though he managed to fall asleep, this may be a probable cause of childhood insomnia. If you suspect that this could be happening to your child, consult your pediatrician.
Every day the number of children with childhood stress increases, and the reasons that may be triggering it can be varied: from family problems, loss of a loved one – be it a family member or a pet -, feeling pressured by the school rhythm, fear to get bad grades, little time to recreate. Every child reacts differently to stress and one of them is insomnia.
3. Excess of technology
Overexposure to video games, long hours in front of the television, added to junk foods, full of sugary carbohydrates, are a fatal combination that prevents your children from sleeping well. So much technology affects the production of the hormone melatonin, which regulates our sleep cycles. At the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York, they concluded that “prolonged exposure to this type of electronic device, whose lights emitted by the screens causes insomnia or sleep interruption at night (sic). Light, sounds and images are stimuli that your children cannot control adequately, generating neuronal overexcitation that produces a state of wakefulness and alertness. That is why it establishes schedules and rules to be in contact with technology.
4. Childish fears
Children from a very young age experience a series of fears typical of the evolutionary stages they go through: from fear of strangers entering the house and something happens, to noises, the darkness of the room or imaginary monsters. With cognitive development, these fears change since between the ages of 6 and 11, children begin to distinguish internal representations from objective reality. Thus, the fears in the school stage begin to be more realistic, such as fear that something will happen to the parents, suffer an accident, rejection by their friends, family fights, school failure. All of these reasons generate enough anxiety to keep them awake at night. That is why it is necessary to talk with your child and analyze together what she is afraid of, in order to find a way to solve it.
5. Changes in the home
A move, the unemployment of one of the parents, the birth of a brother, a sudden divorce, are some of the possible changes that generate a lot of anguish and restlessness. Children are not always emotionally prepared to face certain situations, since they do not have the necessary maturity and do not have the internal tools to sustain the situations that they are going to face and experience. Any change that the child is not prepared for is reason enough not to shut an eye all night and be an owl in the home.
6. Fear of death
This is a more common fear than you think. Children in the presence of a sick relative, an older grandfather, a little brother born with difficulties, begin to make conjectures about what may happen. Due to the bombardment of dire news in the media, children are beginning to fear that something will happen at home. That is why it is advisable that you provide your children with all the information that they can understand at their age and personality, to avoid that fear of loss prevents them from resting properly and sleeping without worries.
Childhood insomnia is more and more frequent but that is why you should not naturalize it. If your child suffers from insomnia, ask yourself if any of these reasons may be at work and, if so, take action! Remember that good sleep means healthy development.