Toddler Sleep Problems And How To Deal With Them
Toddler sleep problems are sometimes hard to deal with. It may be difficult to realize that at a young age your child can develop sleep problems.
I am not talking about occasional waking up at night or nights when it seems nothing will help to put your toddler to sleep. Some of the issues may seem minor to you but they can be very significant to your toddler.
If you haven’t noticed your toddler sees and hears everything around him. That being said sometimes the atmosphere surrounding your child could be stressful enough to set off sleep problems.
For example, things like a new daycare, a new brother or sister on the way, and slight illnesses such as allergies and colds can affect your child’s sleep.
However, some toddler sleep problems could be more serious and may require medication to help solve them.
Snoring might seem like a minor issue. However, a toddler that has sleep apnea almost always snores. Sleep Apnea is where your toddler stops breathing for a period of time when they sleep.
This could happen several times a night. The most common cause of sleep apnea in children is big tonsils or adenoids. This is called obstructive sleep apnea.
So it is important to notice what is happening with your toddler while he is snoring. If he seems to be struggling to breathe and has restless sleep he may have sleep apnea.
Discuss this issue with your doctor. He may suggest a sleep study to find out exactly what is going with your child’s sleep.
Restless Leg Syndrome
Restless leg syndrome normally occurs in older adults. However, toddlers can also develop this as well.
Restless Leg Syndrome is an urge to move your legs due to significant discomfort. It has been described as pulling, drawing, wormy, tingling, itchy, and painful. It can be very difficult to identify in toddlers.
You may associate the symptoms with fidgeting or growing pains. Some things that you can try to help alleviate the symptoms are stretching before bed and avoiding caffeine for your child.
We have all had insomnia at some time during our lives. However, it is hard to imagine your toddler having insomnia especially when its main cause is anxiety and depression.
Therefore, a toddler’s insomnia can be attributed to behavioral issues, stress, and just not being able to shut down at night. Good sleep habits will generally help the situation.
But, if insomnia continues discuss with your child’s doctor. Because lack of sleep in your toddler could cause daytime behavior and learning problems.
If you have never experienced a night terror in your toddler, the first one will be scary.
Night terrors are periods of crying, screaming, thrashing, or fear of sleep that happen to children ages 3 to 12. Night terrors normally happen about 90 minutes after your toddler falls asleep.
They are triggered by sleep deprivation, stress, depression, restless leg syndrome, and sleep apnea. However, they tend to run in the family.
Symptoms to be aware of are:
- Fast heart rate
- Fast Breathing
- DIalated Pupils
Your toddler may experience the following during a night terror episode:
- Sit up in bed
- Flail around
- Not talk
- Look awake but confused
- Not respond when talked to
This can be very scary to you when you first experience your toddler having a night terror incident.
Mason was sleeping in my bed the other night and he started having a night terror. He woke up screaming and trying to hit the headboard of my bed.
Of course, this woke me up. I was concerned he was going to hurt himself the way he was flailing around. He would not respond to me and acted like I wasn’t there.
The only thing I could do is place a pillow where he was swinging so that he would not get hurt. After a few minutes, he settled down.
Even though I could not wake him he was back to sleeping peacefully within a few minutes. I asked him the next morning what he was mad at and did not know what I was talking about.
So, I guess I will never know what he was fighting. He has a couple of night terrors but this one seemed to be the worst so far.
Otherwise known as somniloquy, sleep talking is a parasomnia in which a child talks in his sleep. Parasomnia is a disorder that disrupts sleep.
Ok that our medical lesson for the day I will stop using big words. Researchers have found that sleep talking is more prevalent in boys than girls.
Sleep talking usually doesn’t last long and normally goes away by early teens. Now with that said, If you think that your toddler’s sleep talking is affecting his sleep discuss with your toddler’s doctor.
Your toddler’s sleep is very important to his development. Unlike an adult, your child needs a certain number of hours each day to grow.
I have tried to address some toddler sleep problems that may cause concern. Most of these problems are not serious in nature if they only happen occasionally.
However, if you notice these toddler sleep problems increasing in a number of episodes by all means please discuss with your toddler’s doctor.
I realize that I have mentioned your doctor quite a bit here instead of giving ill-advised advice here It is best to discuss with a professional. You know your child and if he is experiencing abnormal behavior.
Thank you for reading and I hope I was able to leave something for you. If you have any experience that would like to share or want to leave a comment or a question.
Leave them below and I will certainly get back in a timely manner.
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