“What is troubling him and keeping him awake?”
This a question moms can’t help but wonder when their toddlers are having a hard time sleeping at night. Even though insomnia is more common in adults, toddlers can still have trouble sleeping at night, and difficulty waking up in the morning.
So, if your little one is tossing and turning in bed, now you will know why.
What causes insomnia in toddlers?
Insomnia in toddlers shouldn’t be taken lightly, especially since sleep is necessary for growth and development. You know that your toddler is dealing with insomnia when you start noticing behavioral problems including tantrums, mood swings, irritability aggression, or hyperactivity. Moreover, when he wakes you up at night, finds it difficult to fall asleep, wakes up early, or has trouble getting up in the morning. Furthermore, if your toddler is tired all day long and can’t concentrate, insomnia might be the problem.
But what is disturbing his sleep schedule?
- Health problems: one of the main reasons behind insomnia in toddlers is a medical/mental condition such as restless leg syndrome, sleep apnea, ADHD(Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), autism, or depression. Also, a stuffy nose or any nagging pain can keep him up at night.
- Stress: don’t be surprised as toddlers can experience stress as well! In fact, many factors can trigger stress in toddlers including family problems, moving to a new place, bullying, the arrival of a new sibling, and problems at daycare.
- Side effects of a certain medicine: some medications can disrupt your toddler’s sleep schedule.
- Poor sleeping habits: using electronics before bedtime, drinking soft drinks with caffeine, going to bed starved or full, drinking plenty of water, and even getting more sleep than necessary can cause insomnia in toddlers.
How to treat insomnia in toddlers?
We know that insomnia in toddlers can be disturbing for both the parents and kid, but there is nothing to worry about. Insomnia can be treated easily, and even without resorting to melatonin for sleep or any other medications! Here is how your little one will enjoy restful nights again:
- It is all about a proper bedtime routine…
This means that you have to ensure soothing rituals before bedtime. In other words, keep your toddler away from electronics including TV and tablets at least 1 hour before bedtime, especially since the blue light can sleep deprive him. Moreover, a warm shower, a bedtime story, and calming music can help him doze off quickly.
2. Try not to change their bedtime schedule, no matter what!
Even when on a vacation, stick to a bedtime schedule. Ensuring a consistent sleep/wake cycle and that he is getting 11-14 hours of sleep at night are crucial for toddlers.
3. The bed is only for sleeping
Help your toddler understand that the bed is only for resting and not for playing or punishment. If you don’t have a separate playroom, put toys and electronics out of reach. Moreover, avoid as much as you can using his bedroom for a time-out.
4. What your toddler eats before bedtime matters
Stay away from heavy meals and sweets before bedtime as they might cause insomnia. But at the same time don’t let him go to bed hungry as this will also keep him up at night. Hence, the best way is to stick to a healthy and light snack before bedtime.
5.“Nap time” might be the culprit
Make sure that your toddler is not napping at least 4 hours before bedtime. If he/she is energized, how do you expect them to sleep at night?
As you can see, insomnia treatment is simple! However, if this sleep disorder doesn’t fade away even after following the above tips, never use any nonprescription medications and precisely melatonin. It is better to ring a doctor as it might be more serious than you think!