The 8 most common sleep disorders in childhood
If sleepless nights happen, even though you’ve proven that your child is not sick, you may have some sleep disorder. We described the main ones.
- Swings. Head and body movements before falling asleep or during the light sleep phase are common in babies between 9 months and 2 years to fall asleep. Do not worry; Only if the swings are very abrupt must be taken to prevent the child from getting hurt. A good idea is to pad the headboard.
- Insomnia. Childhood insomnia is the difficulty in maintaining or falling asleep. Dr. Estivill, a well-known specialist in the field, says that in 98 percent of cases, it occurs due to poor sleep habits such as lack of a bedtime; The excess of stimuli when going to bed – television, games … or the unnecessary taking of food at night. However, in other cases, insomnia is due to psychological factors that need to be diagnosed and treated. In these situations, there is an emotional problem that prevents them from sleeping: beginning of daycare, change of school, arrival of a little brother …
- Somnambulism. Eighty percent of children with somnambulism have a relative with a history and it is estimated that 15 percent of children have experienced an episode of nocturnal walking. It usually occurs between 10 and 14 years and rarely before 5. The child gets up from bed at 3 or 4 hours after having started the dream and moves around the house with awkward movements and with no clear goal. In children with genetic predisposition, it is likely that episodes appear especially in times of stress and in situations of fatigue. If you find your child wandering around the house, remember that he is fast asleep; Do not try to wake him up, take him to his bed without asking him questions. The next morning, you will not remember anything. This disorder is mild and disappears with age but if it occurs frequently, it is advisable to take measures so that the child does not get hurt on their nocturnal walks.
- Somniloquia. It is the habit of speaking asleep. It is related to states of emotional tension and occurs more frequently in nervous children. It affects one in 10 between 3 and 10 years. It should not worry parents, since it disappears over time. No treatment required.
- Bruxism. It is the technical name with which the act of grinding of the teeth is known. It is not serious, but if you do not return, it is advisable to consult with a dentist about the possibility of putting a dental bag or other measures to prevent erosion of teeth.
- Snoring. Frequent and intense snoring is caused, in the vast majority of cases, by obstructive sleep apnea, a disease that causes breathing pauses while sleeping due to airway obstruction. The obstruction can be caused by problems of vegetation or by an excessive size of the tonsils. Always consult a specialist.
- Nightmares. They are more common between 3 and 6 years. Nightmares occur in the second half of the night. The little boy wakes up in anguish, remembering perfectly what he has dreamed that allows him to reassure him to return to sleep. They may occur in isolation or repeat for a while as they are usually associated with times of restlessness in the child’s life.
- Night terrors. 96 percent of the children who suffer from them have a relative who has had them. Night terrors usually appear between the ages of two and three: in the first half of the night, the child stands up abruptly, eyes wide and with clear signs of panic. However, he is totally asleep and the next day, he does not remember anything. It is convenient to stay at his side while the calm returns and not worry despite the spectacularity of the episode because the child, nothing bad happens to him.
Many times, what we believe a sleep disorder is not such, but simple nocturnal awakenings, very normal in children under two years. However, it is recommended to consult with the pediatrician if a child under 5 years of age wakes up more than eight times per night, or at least once from this age, if he adopts strange behavior or screams while sleeping.