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Slaying the Dragons of Child Insomnia

Slaying the Dragons of Child Insomnia

 

Slaying the Dragons of Child Insomnia

 

The value of sleep can’t be underestimated. It is extremely important for everyone, but especially for young children. According to NIH-NHLBI (the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute), your body works when you sleep to foster physical and mental health. It is a restorative process, so your heart and blood vessels can be repaired and healed while you sleep. It can also boost brain activity. “In children and teens, sleep also helps support growth and development.”

Children who get enough sleep can better consolidate their memories and benefit from the proper development of their cognitive and other brain functions. Conversely, those who don’t get enough sleep are likely to become cranky and may experience stunted brain and physical development.

You may not believe it, but children can suffer from insomnia. For young children, it is called pediatric insomnia. Considering the health value of sleep, you need to discover and treat the cause of your child’s sleeplessness. To do that with confidence, it is best to seek the help of a professional.

 

Insomnia: The Dragon to Slay

The dragons or monsters under your child’s bed may not be real, but pediatric insomnia is. Metaphorically, you need to “kill the monster” to help your little one enjoy the benefits of peaceful sleep night after night. The first step is knowing what’s causing your child to toss and turn.

Some sleep problems are common among children. According to WebMD, these sleep problems fall into two categories: dyssomnias and parasomnias. Dyssomias include sleep-onset difficulties, limit-setting sleep disorder, inadequate sleep hygiene, insufficient sleep syndrome, snoring, and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). On the other hand, some examples of parasomnias are sleepwalking, night terrors, nightmares, and rhythmic movement disorders.

All these disorders can make your children suffer from lack of sleep. WebMD defines insomnia as “a disruption of the sleep cycle that includes difficulties with getting to sleep, difficulty staying asleep, and possibly early morning awakenings.” Insomnia in children may last for a few nights to weeks on end. If they are experiencing bad dreams or nightmares/night terrors, it is understandable that they dread sleep.

 

Depression and Anxiety: Are These Your Child’s Dragons?

There are a number of reasons or factors that may cause your child to lose or dread sleep. These are cited in Cleveland Clinic’s “Insomnia in Children”: stress, use of stimulants, medical conditions, medications, neurodevelopmental disorders, and other environmental factors. Insomnia can also be a sign of an emotional condition.

If an emotional condition, such as anxiety or depression, is causing your child to fear sleep, it will be most helpful to diagnose and treat that underlying condition. Depression can occur even in children younger than two years old. It often co-occurs with insomnia, making your child listless, unhappy, unwilling to eat, etc. Insomnia can also be triggered by anxiety, which puts your child in a “fight or flight” state that prevents sleep. Children with anxiety or extreme fears may not want to sleep on their own. They may also experience bad dreams and night terrors.

Know that it isn’t easy to recognize the signs of anxiety or depression. The younger your child is, the more challenging the task can be. Nevertheless, you must be able to help your child overcome any of these conditions if they exist. To help your child properly, enlist the help of a therapist.

 

Freeing Your Child from Insomnia

Is your child’s tendency to sleep less a reason for you to worry? Isn’t it just a “passing phase”? Being sleep-deprived isn’t a minor concern for anyone, especially for children. According to Children’s National Medical Center director Judith Owens, M.D., “persisting insomnia over an extended period may affect their brain, causing a drop in their IQ, memory problems, decreased attention span, and impairment in their functioning during the day.” Immediate attention is critical before sleep deprivation impairs your little one’s neural processes.

What could be causing your child’s insomnia? As a parent, you want to help your child get enough sleep. If your strategies aren’t working, it is time to consult an expert therapist contracted with Carolina Counseling Services — Pinehurst, NC.

Sleep is important to your child’s physical and mental health and development. If an emotional condition triggers insomnia, “counting sheep” and other strategies may not work. The condition has to be addressed for insomnia to go away for good. Call Carolina Counseling Services — Pinehurst, NC. Let us help your child “slay that dragon” for once and for all, so he or she can have fun in dreamland again.

 


Serving Areas: Carolina Counseling Services

Counties: Moore county, NC, Lee County, Hoke County, Chatham County

Areas: Pinehurst NC, West End NC, Taylortown NC, Seven Lakes NC, Eagle Springs NC, Jackson Springs NC, Foxfire NC, Candor NC, Norman NC, Ellerbe NC, Rockingham NC

Zip Codes: 27281, 27376, 28315, 28347, 28350, 28373, 28374, 28387, 28388, 28394

Kelly ErkenBrack, LCSW

Specializes in: (Ages 3+) Children, Teens, Adults, Couples and Families. Anxiety, Depression, Grief and Loss, Mood Disorders, Trauma, Adjustments and Life Transitions, ADHD, Behavioral Issues, Parenting, Relationship Concerns, Self Esteem
Insurance: BCBSTricare Standard, Medicare and Cash
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Counseling Information

How Do I Set Up my FIRST Appointment?

  • Call: 910-687-5034 (Fastest way to schedule)
  • Text: (910) 308-3291 (Reply will be via phone)
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  • Appointment scheduling for NEW clients: Mon-Fri 8:30am-5pm
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Carolina Counseling Services – Pinehurst, NC

45 Dowd Circle Suite 5
PinehurstNC 28374