Childhood Insomnia: Exploring the Silent Epidemic ( 7+ Tips )


Last Updated on January 31, 2024 by Daniele Lima

Understand the causes and learn solutions that combat lack of sleep (Insomnia) in children

  Insomnia is certainly a more than common problem in most families nowadays, with agitation, problems and worries, ending up causing sleep disorders in some adults. But what about children, does childhood insomnia have the same causes and the same types of treatment?

  According to data reported on the institute where I am20% to 30% of children under the age of 5 suffer from a lack of quality sleep. What cannot be ignored is that insomnia in childhood can also cause physical and emotional damage that can be very harmful and uncomfortable for the child.

  In this article, you can learn to understand childhood insomnia as a silent epidemic, analyzing the causes, impacts and strategies on how to combat it.

What is childhood insomnia?

  Childhood insomnia is a sleep disorder that affects children and babies, causing them to have difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep at night, or waking up too early in the morning, resulting in insufficient, poor-quality sleep.

  Childhood insomnia can be chaotic for both children and parents because it can cause health, behavioral, and cognitive development problems.

  It can generate stress, frustration, poor quality of life due to fatigue, excessive irritability and these symptoms affect both children and parents who are often woken up during the night due to the child not being able to sleep and ending up asking for help.

Causes of childhood insomnia

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  Several causes can contribute to childhood insomnia, making it a subtle and silent enemy that acts little by little and affects many families around the world. Some common reasons include:

Irregular sleeping habits

  Irregular sleep patterns in childhood are a common problem faced by many parents and caregivers. These sleep irregularities can affect both children and their caregivers. This is because a lack of adequate sleep can lead to a variety of health and behavioral problems.

  Changes in sleep schedule, nighttime fear, apneaof sleep and even the lack of a routine during the day can greatly interfere with the quality of children’s sleep.

Anxiety and stress

 Anxiety can cause restless sleep due to frequent movement and position changes, which can affect sleep quality. Children who don’t get enough sleep due to anxiety or stress can be irritable and tired during the day, which can affect their school performance and overall behavior.

  Stress and anxiety can cause nightmares or night terrors, which can cause children to wake up during the night and have difficulty going back to sleep. Anxious children often have difficulty relaxing and turning off their thoughts before bed. This can cause you to worry about past or future events and may take longer to fall asleep.

Excessive use of electronics

  Excessive use of electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, computers and video games can contribute to insomnia in children in several ways. Blue light emitted by electronic devices is known to inhibit the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep. When children use these devices at night, especially before bed, the blue light can interfere with their body’s ability to transition into the relaxed state needed for sleep.

  Electronic device use often includes stimulating activities such as games, social media, and videos. These activities keep children’s minds active and can prevent them from getting enough sleep.

Inadequate nutrition

  Malnutrition can contribute to insomnia in children in several ways. It is important to remember that insomnia in children can have many different causes and contributing factors, a diet with low nutritional value is one of them.

  When children consume foods or drinks high in caffeine, such as soda, chocolate, or tea, especially before bed, it can interfere with sleep. Caffeine is a stimulant that increases alertness and makes it difficult to fall asleep.

  A diet high in refined sugars and processed foods can cause your blood sugar to fluctuate, causing energy fluctuations throughout the day. As a result, children may have difficulty relaxing and sleeping at night.

  Eating very heavy or fatty foods late at night can cause stomach discomfort and heartburn, which can make it difficult for your child to get enough rest to sleep.

Health problems

  Childhood insomnia can be triggered by several illnesses and medical conditions that affect children’s well-being. It is important to recognize that the relationship between the disease and childhood insomnia may vary depending on the severity of the condition, the child’s age and other individual factors.

  It is important to note that the relationship between the disease and childhood insomnia may be bidirectional. In other words, insomnia can also worsen the symptoms of some diseases, making the situation even more challenging.

  Some of these health problems may be: asthma, gastroesophageal reflux, allergies, toothache, chronic infections, psychiatric or developmental neurological disorders. Therefore, monitoring by a professional is extremely important in these cases.

  Now that we have presented some causes of childhood insomnia, let’s talk about coping techniques against this disorder:

Sleep Routine

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  Choose regular bedtimes and wake-up times for your child every day, including weekends. Helps regulate your child’s biological clock.

  The child’s room should be dark, quiet and cool. Use light-blocking curtains, white noise, or soft music if necessary.

  Establish a relaxation routine before bed that includes activities like reading a book, taking a warm bath, or practicing calming breathing techniques. Avoid stimulants such as electronic games, cell phones and television before bed.

Practice Relaxation

 Making the child relax can be an effective alternative against insomnia and there are several ways to carry out these procedures.

   Teach your child to relax their muscles, starting at their feet and working their way up to their head. Ask them to tense and release each muscle group, focusing on the feeling of relaxation. It can help reduce tension and promote relaxation.

  Teach your child to breathe deeply and slowly. You can play breathing games like blowing bubbles through a straw or counting to four as you breathe in and out. Deep breathing helps calm the nervous system.

  A light massage before bed can be very relaxing for children. Use gentle movements

  These are just some of the ways you can calm and relax your child and all of these procedures can be done with soft music in the background.

Encourage physical activity

  Stimulating physical activity in children as part of a strategy to combat childhood insomnia can be an effective approach, as long as it is done appropriately, taking into account the individual needs of each of them.

  Create a consistent schedule of physical activity, including outdoor play, sports, walking and swimming. Make sure the childexercise every day. If possible, exercise during the day to avoid physical activity before bed to avoid agitation.

  Make sure the physical activity you choose is appropriate for each child’s age and development. Games that involve exercise may be appropriate for younger children, while organized sports may be appropriate for older children.

  Some children may become very agitated during physical activity and have difficulty relaxing or falling asleep. Watch for signs of overstimulation and help her calm down at bedtime.Remember that each child is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. The important thing is to observe them, to perform the exercises that bring beneficial results for each individual case.

Know how to deal with anxiety

   Knowing how to act on anxiety in children and combat insomnia in children requires a sensitive and thorough approach

  Help her overcome anxiety by talking, know how to talk to the child about any fears or concerns during the day. Make her feel comfortable talking and try to overcome difficulties together.

  Set aside time for “quiet talk” before bed so your child can share her thoughts and concerns. Remember that it may take time to overcome your child’s anxiety, so showing empathy, love, and support during this process will help. extremely important to obtain positive results.


  Now you know some causes and treatments that you can do at home with your child, thus combating childhood insomnia. Your participation is essential for a good result overall, as the discomfort caused by insomnia in children directly affects the adults responsible for it as well. Remembering that each case is different and in some cases, there may be a need for professional assistance.

  Forprevent insomniain children due a conditions medical underlying, It isimportant that parents andresponsible work in close collaboration withdoctors, such as pediatricians and sleep specialists.

   Treatment of the disorder oftenhe can to help improve symptoms of poor sleepof one child,allowing you sleep better It ispromoting O your well-being.

  This entire process will be valid and rewarding, even though it may require time and effort, as having a quality night’s sleep is vital for everyone, especially for children, who are at such an important stage of development.

Beat Childhood Insomnia: 7+ Top Tips for Restful Nights!