Are you having trouble getting your child to go to sleep at night? Do you feel like you are fighting an uphill battle with your little one every single night? If so, there is a good chance that your child has what is called sleep anxiety. What does this mean to you as the parent?
Sleep anxiety in children has many causes and you may not even be aware of some of them. For example, if your child is constantly being disturbed or woken up by noises or his/her movements, that can be considered child sleep anxiety. However, if your child is constantly being kept awake by circumstances such as visitors and bright lights, this too can be considered sleep anxiety. In fact, your child may actually be suffering from a type of panic disorder. This is often referred to as “anxiety of boredom.”
What causes these episodes of anxiety? Experts believe that children have a biological tendency toward anxiety and fear. They believe that the constant bombardment of fear and panic that they receive from everyone and everything around them as kids causes them a severe case of anxiety. The theory is that these children become so accustomed to these feelings that they start expecting them and are actually quite fearful when these feelings don’t materialize.
So, how do you tell if your child is suffering from child sleep anxiety? One way to do this is to pay careful attention to your child’s behavior. Is he/she constantly waking up at night for no apparent reason? Or is there something you may be overlooking?
Take note of any changes in behavior. Does your child seem anxious or tense? Do they get depressed more often than other children? If you find these things, seek medical help. You may need to take your child’s medications or perhaps behavioral therapy. However, most cases of anxiety in children can be treated with proper medication and therapy.
To be aware of the signs of child sleep anxiety, be sure to keep an eye on your child. Are they constantly waking up at night, or do you find them sleeping soundly during the day? Be careful if your child seems very restless or hyperactive. These can be warning signs of an anxiety disorder.
If you notice any changes in behavior, see a doctor. The sooner it is treated, the easier it will be to get your child back to sleep. There are many different types of medications that are used to treat sleep anxiety in children. The most popular medications are anti-anxiety medications, such as Xanax and Klonopin, and antidepressants, such as Paxil and Prozac.
Remember, the root cause of sleep anxiety in children is simply not knowing when to relax. If your child can’t fall asleep or doesn’t feel sleepy upon being awake, then they probably are feeling anxious. Relaxation techniques such as meditation and deep-breathing exercises are a great way to treat your child’s anxiety. Once the anxiety is under control, the child can finally enjoy a good night’s sleep.