Why Your Kids Have Trouble Sleeping

When kids can't sleep, sometimes all it takes are the reassuring words from mom and dad, a little tweak in their routine, and the right topical support to soothe their discomfort.

Remember how your kids jumped with infectious cheer upon hearing the news of the class suspensions? And how their smiles grew wide and bright as their minds began to think of all the exciting activities they could do? Some of them were happy to play with their toys a bit longer. Meanwhile, others danced as they tuned in to their favorite noon-time show. But it wasn't just your kids that got something out of the situation. For parents, watching them safe and happy was surely a consoling gift amidst the rapidly changing world.

Those days almost seem like a lifetime ago now. The first week-long suspension turned into months, and now it's been over a year since staying at home was something new. As you've gradually made peace with the remote work setup, you may have also witnessed the challenges your kids faced with online classes and asynchronous learning. The time spent at home certainly gave more opportunities to get to know your kids a bit better. It may even seem that you now have a stronger radar when it comes to your child's mood and behavior.

Which brings the question, are there any changes in your kids' temper that fuel your worries these days? If you've also observed some shifts in your child's disposition, don't worry, we're here to help you navigate your way through.

If they've been looking more tired, irritable, or tend to space out a lot these days, you'd be wise to look first into their sleeping habits.

A recent study from Italy revealed that younger kids seem to have more trouble sleeping since the COVID-19 outbreak due to increased feelings of anxiety and sleep disturbances during bedtime. Your child may also be affected by such fears, but the best way to know is to ask them what's wrong.

Time for a sit-down.

They may be young, but you'd be surprised how articulate some 4-year-olds can be when it comes to their feelings. Go ahead and ask them to sit down for a talk. This gesture creates a safe space for them to be more communicative while also boosting trust in you as their parent.

But to help you prepare for whatever worries your child, we've listed down some of the common reasons why your kid may be losing sleep.

Potential causes and what you can do

1. There might be something causing them stress.

As young as they are, children are also susceptible to stress from various sources. Challenging schoolwork or sudden changes in their environment like new sleeping arrangements can all contribute to the stress they might be feeling. Without a proper way to assuage fears and anxious feelings, children are left to deal with these issues on their own at the cost of their time for sleep.

What can help:

Offer them verbal support and physical assurances in the form of hugs and pats on the back to let them know they're heard and understood. Initiate the conversation and listen to what they have to say.

Sometimes, their sleep troubles can also be rooted in their active imagination come nighttime. When these episodes occur, avoid brushing them aside and invalidating their fears unintentionally. Take your time to explain and soothe their worries.

2. They might be eating too much sugar.

Sugar-laced and caffeinated drinks, like soda and sweetened beverages, during the day can delay your child's sleep time. Of course, a small portion of sweets wouldn't hurt from time to time. But make sure they get these treats hours before bedtime, so they are way past the sugar craze once it's time for bed.

What you can do:

It's no secret that most kids are naturally inclined to enjoy sugary treats like candy. So as a parent, it's all about instilling discipline. When and how much they're allowed to eat these delights must be clear. Take your time to explain the reasons why this type of food is unhealthy. As another alternative, you can also switch out sodas off their diet entirely and look for fresh and fruity drinks for their snack.

3. Poor nighttime habits may be delaying their sleep.

Tablets and other small gadgets can be a parent's helpful ally to get their kid's attention. But long hours in front of these digital screens can also have dire effects when not monitored properly. Studies show that students who use electronic devices before bedtime are more likely to have poorer sleep quality. Mobile devices emit blue light that keeps the mind awake and hinders the release of melatonin that helps induce sleep.

Does your kid have the habit of borrowing your smartphone before going to sleep? If that's the case, then it might be time for a change.

What you can do:

If it's certain pre-bedtime activities that cause your kid to lose sleep, it's time to start building better nighttime habits. Having a routine they can follow will help their minds and bodies feel more at ease by bedtime. Cutting down TV time and having a No Screen rule will keep them away from blue light. But if your kid seems a bit fussy and needs more assistance to wind down, soothing scents may help to lull their senses.

You can opt to use Vicks Baby Rub, which contains the calming fragrances of eucalyptus, rosemary, and lavender. Gently massage the ointment on their chest, neck, and back to wrap them up in the soothing embrace of Vicks.

4. They might have too little exercise.

How your child spends their time throughout the day can also affect their behavior at night. Watching scary movies, for example, can fuel their imagination and fears during nighttime. Or perhaps they may need more opportunities for exercise to release their energy in the day.

A body of studies suggests that engaging in physical activity is effective in regulating one's sleep cycle. So if your child shows signs of insomnia, it might do them good to have more daytime exercises.

What you can do:

How about creating more active morning routines with the family? Starting your day with a good round of physical activity will prepare your mindset for the day ahead. Engage in moderate-intensity aerobic exercises like jogging or brisk walking around the block. These are great ways to expend your energy while also enjoying the fresh outdoor air. But when it's too hot outside, a fun dance session indoors may also be a great alternative.

5. There may be medical reasons causing their sleep troubles.

Parents need to keep a close eye on sleep disorders or other medical issues interrupting their child's sleep. For example, having sleep apnea can disrupt their child's breathing, or restless leg syndrome can cause involuntary movement of their limbs. When your kid is dealing with a medical concern that's beyond your control, it's best to immediately consult with the pediatrician for your next course of action.

What can help:

Once you've consulted your child's doctor and have acquired the necessary treatments, you can provide additional support by creating a better environment for them to sleep in. Fluffing their pillows, diffusing fragrances, and placing a calming night light in their rooms can help prepare them for a good night's sleep. Children suffering from itchiness caused by eczema can also find relief in Elica Cream and Ointment. It delivers a 24-hour fast relief formula that takes away the painful discomfort of itchy skin.

We're no stranger to the benefits of a complete and restful 8-hour sleep. But for parents, it's another kind of joy to see their kids taking on their day in the best shape and mood. If your child has been feeling off lately, don't hesitate to reach out and ask what's wrong. Chances are, all they need are just your calming words, warm hugs, and maybe the soothing touch of Elica cream and ointment during bedtime.

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