Sleep Anxiety in Children

Tips on How to Relieve Sleep Anxiety in Children

Does your child get fearful or anxious while sleeping? Could this be because of the sleep anxiety? Yes, there are many children who suffer from this anxiety and therefore find it difficult to sleep. Read on, to know more...
PsycholoGenie Staff
Last Updated: Apr 9, 2018
Does your child get worried when you ask him/her to go to sleep? Does your child experience difficulty in falling asleep, and is always fearful of going to bed? Could it be possible that your child is suffering from sleep anxiety? Sleep anxiety in children is a condition wherein the child fears and worries about going to sleep. This condition can cause a lot of problems for the child, as the anxiety related to sleep may cause hindrance to the overall development of the child. We all know how lethargic and inattentive our body and mind can become, if we don't sleep properly all night! Similarly, imagine the effect lack of sleep can have on a child's mind. So how can you make sure that the reason why your child isn't sleeping properly is because of anxiety? Keep reading to find all your answers.

Causes of Sleep Anxiety during Childhood

What according to you, could be the reason behind your child suffering from sleep anxiety? Well, there could be many factors that could be contributing to this. It could be fear of the boogeyman and other mythical creatures that we mentioned about in our stories. It could be fear of the dark, or separation anxiety? Mentioned below are the most common causes of why your child is resisting to go to bed. Have a look...
  • Separation anxiety is known to be the most common cause of sleep anxiety in children because most children fear of being alone by themselves, without their parent or guardian being with them.
  • Another reason could be bullying by school kids or any other disturbing thoughts related to pressure at school, or any other outside influence which may make them feel as if they are stuck in this trouble forever.
  • Intelligence is also another factor that can cause sleep anxiety. The heightened intelligence of your child can make him or her more aware of the surroundings and the threats. The understanding of being alone without any elder to protect them can cause sleep anxiety.
  • Another cause of sleep anxiety may include depression, hyperactivity or attention deficit disorder.
Symptoms of Sleep Anxiety in Children

There are various signs and symptoms that may help you identify whether your child is suffering from this problem or not. First and foremost, you will automatically notice the resistance of your child when he or she is asked to sleep. Have a look at some additional symptoms and signs of sleep anxiety among kids.
  • Bed wetting
  • Nightmares
  • Sleepwalking
  • Suddenly waking up in the middle of the night
  • Talking while sleeping
  • Grinding teeth while sleeping
  • Crying in the middle of the night and refusing to go back to sleep
Remedies to Cure Sleep Anxiety in Children

The first and foremost step to cure this problem is to identify the main cause behind this problem. Is it because of separation anxiety, or because of being upset with some school bullies? You must speak to your child about the same. Even though the cause may appear minor to us adults, for kids who live in a world of their own, the minor problem may seem to be like a potential threat. Mentioned below are some effective remedies to help your child overcome this problem.
  • Make sure that you give your child a cozy and comfortable bed setting so that they feel relaxed, calm and cozy while sleeping.
  • It would be a good idea to spend some time with your kid before bed time. Talk about the worries and fears that he or she has, read out a bed time story to your kid and make them fall asleep while you are present.
  • Your prime focus should be to calm the child down. You can gently scratch your child's scalp with your fingertips, or may be give a nice back massage. This will help them calm down and relax.
  • Give your child and glass of warm milk to drink. This grandma tip proves to be of great help, and a bed time story followed by this would definitely help your child sleep at ease.
  • Another important remedy to help your child sleep in time is to establish a fixed routine. Make sure that you set a fixed sleep time for your child so that the body and mind gets used to it.
Sleep anxiety in children may be cured by these simple and effective tips, or may require a professional help. If you feel that this condition has become too disturbing for your child, then do not fail to get in touch with a health care specialist as soon as possible. There are various techniques that are efficiently designed to help solve sleeping disorders in children. Make sure that you don't neglect the sleep disturbances that your child is suffering from, because if you take things lightly now, they may become more complicated later on. Take care.