Poor sleep at night can seriously affect overall health, especially growth and development of young children.
When children do not get enough sleep, they will lead to loss of appetite, slow growth, difficulty in caring for them, and cause many difficulties for parents.
Finding out the reasons why children do not sleep deeply will help parents find effective methods to help children sleep better.
1. How often do babies sleep?
* From 0-3 months: sleep during this period is especially necessary for the growth and development of babies.
At this age, children only wake up to eat or look at activities around them, then go to sleep.
* From 3-12 months: when 6 months old, babies will sleep all night, and stay up longer during the day.
As babies get closer to their first birthday, they usually sleep more steadily at night with a nap or two during the day.
* From 12 months of age and older: As a toddler, babies usually sleep longer instead of two naps during the day. When it comes to preschool age, the baby will be completely weaned.
2. Causes of disruption to sleep in children
At most stages of development, physical and cognitive changes can cause difficulty falling asleep, or falling asleep in young children.
Babies may have separation anxiety disorder and want to be cuddled and cuddled in the middle of the night.
This usually occurs in children aged 8-12 months, and disappears by the time the baby is 2 years old.
Children learning words can wake up when their minds urge them to say the names of objects around them.
Even the act of stretching arms and legs can wake a baby up at night.
Sleep disruption can also be caused by a day of excitement or fatigue that makes the baby feel too restless to sleep well.
In addition, caffeinated foods and beverages are also the main contributors to difficulty falling asleep, or falling asleep in children.
In addition, new surroundings, or changes in children’s habits, also contribute to disrupted sleep.
There are several other causes of this problem, including illness, sleep apnea, allergies, sleepwalking, nightmares, or restless legs syndrome.
Sleep apnea: This is a very dangerous condition because babies can stop breathing for 10 seconds or more while sleeping.
In most cases, your child won’t know this is happening.
With sleep apnea, children often have symptoms such as loud snoring, open mouth sleep, and excessive sleepiness during the day.
Furthermore, this condition can also lead to learning and behavior problems, and even affect heart health in children.
Restless leg syndrome (RLS): Although this is considered a common problem in adults, some studies have shown that it can start in childhood.
When children have this syndrome, children will feel their legs are shaking, shaking or have the feeling of crawling, causing them to frequently change positions in bed.
Nightmares: nightmares are more common in children than adults, causing children to wake up suddenly in a state of fear, agitation, screaming, crying, and sometimes sleepwalking.
When they wake up, they are often not really awake, not even remembering how the nightmare happened.
Most nightmares will occur during NREM sleep – about 90 minutes after the baby sleeps.
* Allergies and asthma: stuffy nose caused by allergies, colds or asthma can make it difficult for children to breathe. In babies, conditions such as colic, earache, teething pain, or acid reflux can interfere with a child’s sleep.
* Medicines: some cold and allergy medicines can adversely affect the quality of sleep in children. Ideally, you should see your doctor to get advice on how to change the medicine and how much medicine to use for your child.
3. How to make children sleep better?
Your baby will be more likely to fall asleep if you follow some of the following methods:
Put your baby on his back to sleep: sleeping in this position will significantly reduce the risk of sudden infant death (SIDS syndrome).
Turn off light devices in the room: babies 3-6 months old have already started to react to light, so blue light from the phone, television or computer screens can make it difficult for them to sleep.
Use a stuffed animal: the softness of a stuffed animal will help your baby feel safe, warm and comfortable while sleeping.
Reduce stress before bedtime: High levels of the hormone cortisol in the body cause stress for children and make it difficult for them to fall asleep.
Parents should try to keep their children calm and comfortable before bed, which will help reduce excess cortisol in their child’s body.