Parenting Information

Mommy, I Can't Sleep! Sleep Disturbance in Children


"Just turn the lights off and go to sleep"

Do you find yourself saying this to your child?Well, you're not alone!! Sleep problems are some of the most common problems parents face with their children. Some parents struggle with getting their child to sleep through the night. New parents worry about how to help their child learn good sleep habits that last a lifetime. And still others wonder if their child's sleep difficulties are chronic and are concerned that their child may be going through their days sleep-deprived.

Studies reveal that a significant number of children have some form of a sleep disturbance. Sleep disturbances among children and adolescents are common. Prolonged changes in sleep patterns, if left untreated, can result in significant emotional, behavioral, and cognitive impairment and can put your child at risk for poor school performance, accidents, and social or medical problems. The key is to identify changes in sleep, and to know when to seek assistance.

Sleep disturbance can take several forms including:

? difficulty falling asleep
? trouble staying asleep
? frequently awakening

There also are other variations of sleep issues known as parasomnias, e.g., night terrors or sleepwalking.

To alleviate your child's sleep disturbance, try these simple steps:

? Keep bedtime at the same time each night: This helps your child establish a structure and enforces a predictable routine.

? Monitor unnecessary environmental stimuli: Minimize the light and noise in the child's bedroom (music, lights)

? Encourage pre-bedtime relaxation: Children respond well to activities that allow them to wind down such as a warm bath, massage or aromatherapy

? Share some activity: Dedicate time to reading a bedtime story or talking about your child's day and encouraging meditation and reflection

? Plan the transition: Ease the child into new processes by discussing changes and comforting their transition into healthy sleep habits

Sleep in its natural form is the only way our bodies can re-charge. Beyond resting, sleep serves many functions including memory preservation. If your child is not receiving the quality and quantity of sleep that is required (typically 8-12 hours each night is optimal), the toll can be enormous. Performance in school, interacting with others and activities of daily living may diminish in quality. The origins of a sleep disturbance may range from anxiety tied to emotional conflicts, such as fear of an upcoming test or excitement over a speaking part in the school play, to medical issues such as apnea. It is important that the underlying issue be addressed, no matter the source, to resolve the sleep disturbance and give your child their best shot at life.

Remember always to take into account where your child is in their developmental stage, because some sleep issues are age-appropriate. If you have exhausted the suggestions listed above, then possibly the need for professional intervention is warranted. You are the expert when it comes to your child and their sleep patterns. If you have a concern, trust your instinct and seek professional advice.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Dr. Charles Sophy currently serves as Medical Director for the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), which is responsible for the health, safety and welfare of nearly 40,000 foster children. He also has a private psychiatry practice in Beverly Hills, California. Dr. Sophy has lectured extensively and is an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California Los Angeles Neuro-Psychiatric Institute. His lectures and teachings are consistently ranked as among the best by those in attendance.

Dr. Charles Sophy, author of the "Keep 'Em Off My Couch" blog, provides real simple answers for solving life's biggest problems. He specializes in improving the mental health of children. To contact Dr. Sophy, visit his blog at http://drsophy.com

  


MORE RESOURCES:

South Bay Parenting: Drought shaming brings guilt for planting a patch of dirt
The Daily Breeze
Just as my husband and I finally got around to landscaping the sliver of planter in front of our house, the drought hit full force. Which meant that as every other Californian was ripping out their greenery, we were poised to plant. The unfortunate ...

and more »


The Inquisitr

Ben Affleck: Old-Fashioned Parenting Caused Marriage Trouble, Says Source
The Inquisitr
In the midst of one of the most high-profile breakups this year, an undisclosed source opened up about Ben Affleck and his parenting style, claiming that his old-fashioned values played a huge part in the demise of his marriage. According to People, an ...
Jennifer Garner And Ben Affleck Are Vacationing Together In The BahamaVanity Fair
Jennifer Garner-Ben Affleck Divorce Caused By Actor's Gambling, Drinking ...Yibada (English Edition)
Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner on family vacation in Bahamas after announcing ...New York Daily News
Hollywood Take -AsiaOne
all 146 news articles »


Yahoo Parenting

Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck's Ambitious Co-Parenting Strategy
Yahoo Parenting
“This couple is taking a very sensitive and selfless approach to divorce,” Fran Walfish, PsyD, a psychotherapist in Beverly Hills, Calif., tells Yahoo Parenting. “Given their children's young ages, it's very helpful to present traumatic information ...
Ben Affleck & Jennifer Garner Take Their Kids To The Bahamas Amidst Divorce ...PerezHilton.com
Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner Head to the Bahamas With Their Kids in Wake ...E! Online
Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner Will Keep Living TogetherNew York Magazine
Extra -Daily Mail
all 667 news articles »


Chron.com (blog)

Helicopter Parenting: PDiddy loses his cool with son's football coach
Chron.com (blog)
PDiddy may have lost his temper, but he is not the first overzealous parent to do so, especially when it comes to competitive events like sports and beauty pageants. Has helicopter parenting become an epidemic and what is it really teaching our children?



Church to give parenting classes due to high number of Hancock C - WMC ...
WMC Action News 5
A child advocacy group says while Hancock County has the highest number of children in foster care in the state, there are limited options for people to take the parenting classes often ordered by the court to get their children back. Hope Haven ...

and more »


Parenting classes being offered for Spanish speakers
The Union of Grass Valley
Class facilitator Meg Luce didn't know when the first Spanish Triple P Parenting class started this spring. Fortunately, Leyda Morales, English Language Learning Manager of Grass Valley Schools, was there to translate. Spanish Triple P is a first-time ...



Yahoo Parenting

18 Secrets to Having a Strong Marriage While Parenting a Child With Special ...
Yahoo Parenting
... couples balance their marriages with raising children with special needs, so they decided to reach out to the people who do it every day. They asked their readers to share secrets to maintaining a strong marriage while parenting a child with ...



Billings Gazette

Why I'm not reading parenting research anymore
Billings Gazette
Today I reached my parenting research breaking point. It started out this morning, when I witnessed an extremely cruel attack on a mom who was talking about her struggles as a working mama. A stay-at-home mom wrote a lengthy response criticizing her ...



RVA Parenting: Best ways to drop the baby weight
WWBT NBC12 News
Erica Porter also provided Sarah with some easy exercises you can do at home, quickly, without any equipment, and in a small space. Click here to watch the workout tips so you can try them at home. We also just launched an RVA Parenting Facebook group!



NEWS.com.au

Gender-neutral parenting catching on, but not everyone's convinced
NEWS.com.au
The parenting trend also rules out toys and clothing that are exclusive to boys and girls, and includes gender-neutral first names. TELL US: What do you think? Child experts say the parenting technique has the ability to empower children and build a ...

and more »

Google News

Article List | Index | Site Map
All logos, trademarks and articles on this site are property and copyright of their respective owner(s).
The comments are property of their posters, all the rest is Copyright © 2006 CanadaSEEK.com - All Rights Reserved.