Silent Night: Treating Insomnia in Infants and Children
There are some people who have problems falling asleep each and every night. If they do, chances are they are afflicted by a psychological sleeping disorder called insomnia. Usually, people suffering from insomnia blame this for too much stress, worries, depression and a very worrisome life.
People mostly believe that these feelings cannot be experienced by infants and children because they are too young to worry about anything. Based on this reasoning, some people think that insomnia would not occur in children. But this is not true. Just like adults, insomnia can also happen to children and infants.
Children have different sleeping habits and time patterns. For infants who are one week old, the average length of sleep per day is 16 hours. There are parents that believe that babies who sleep less are geniuses or have a high I.Q. But there is no scientific evidence to support this belief. Babies usually wake once every evening at the minimum. Unless breast fed, infants can go back to sleep on their own.
Insomnia or sleeping disorders can be defined in the following parameters:
• Having a hard time to sleep at night
• A person who wakes up very early
• A person who wakes up often at night
This ailment can cause the feeling of tiredness and drowsiness even after waking up in the morning. A person with insomnia also has a hard time concentrating.
Other terms for insomnia are Wakefulness, Sleeplessness and Dysomnia.
Infants usually wake up frequently at night. At the sixth month, babies basically have a normalized nocturnal pattern by being asleep the whole night. When the infant reaches a year old, he or she sleeps at a rate of 16 hours per 24 hours. The baby will sleep during daytime from 2 to 3 hours.
Reasons why babies suffer from insomnia:
• They want their parents to notice them
• They may be suffering from digestive ailments or infantile colic which is a condition where babies cry for more than 3 hours a day.
• Infants that are often hungry
• Their teeth are beginning to grow
• They may be ill or afflicted by a disease
Here are some tips in curing insomnia for infants:
• Try not to comfort the baby immediately when crying at night. It would be best to wait until the infant stops crying on his or her own. Constant attention can b