Why Is My Child So Restless at Night?

Why Is My Child So Restless at Night?

Is your child restless at night? Come to Koala® Centers For Sleep & TMJ Disorders for consultation and treatment. For more information, call us or visit us online to book an appointment. We have convenient locations across the U.S. in Bloomington IL, Peoria/Dunlap IL, Lafayette IN, Mishawaka IN, Kansas City MO, El Paso TX and Wausau WI.

Why Is My Child So Restless at Night? - Koala Center for Sleep & Tmj Disorders in Bloomington IL, Peoria – Dunlap IL, Lafayette IN, Mishawaka IN, Kansas City MO, El Paso TX and Wausau WI
Why Is My Child So Restless at Night? - Koala Center for Sleep & Tmj Disorders in Bloomington IL, Peoria – Dunlap IL, Lafayette IN, Mishawaka IN, Kansas City MO, El Paso TX and Wausau WI

Table of Contents:

Why would a child be restless at night?
What is a restless sleep disorder?
What helps restlessness at night?

We have all heard the term “sleep like a baby,” and, as adults, can be envious at times of how soundly kids are able to sleep and in any position—without waking up with neck pain. However, this is not true for every child, as some children experience sleep problems, such as insomnia and restless sleep. Insomnia is the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep, which can make it difficult to get quality rest; restless sleep, or restlessness, is also quite common in children and can occur for a number of different reasons.

Why would a child be restless at night?

It is not abnormal for a child to occasionally experience sleeping problems as they grow up. There are many reasons that can contribute to restlessness at night in children, including:

Anticipation or Excitement — While adulthood is not exempt from this, children are much more likely to lose sleep over excitement or anticipation of an event or occasion, such as Christmas, a birthday party or vacation. These cases of restlessness typically only occur once in a while, prevalently the night before a big day. If a child loses sleep a few nights a year due to overexcitement, it is not cause for concern. However, if it occurs more frequently, it may be due to another reason.

Long or Late Nap — Humans are routine-driven, and this is very obvious in children. With a little bit of encouragement, it is amazing how quickly kids adapt to a new routine. The most important thing to be consistent in a routine is waking up and going to bed at the same time; this sets the foundation for the entire day and provides a level of consistency that is essential for proper development. However, as parents, we know that the unexpected happens, and sometimes it is difficult—or even impossible—to stick to the same routine every day. If a child takes a nap later than usual, they may be less tired at bedtime, leading to restlessness.

Sugar or Caffeine Consumption Before Bed — Eating sugary foods or drinking sugary or caffeinated drinks (like cola) too close to bedtime can result in restless sleep. To avoid this, it is imperative to limit sugar and caffeine consumption in the afternoons and evenings.

Side Effects of Medications — Certain medications, particularly those used to treat ADHD (attention deficit disorder) can make it hard to sleep at night as they are central nervous system stimulants. Antidepressants may also cause restlessness.

What is a restless sleep disorder?

Restless sleep occurs when a person is unable to fall asleep or stay asleep, often causing them to wake up frequently during the night. Sleep problems in children can be caused by a wide range of factors, such as genetics, environment and medication. A restless sleep disorder is characterized by recurring nights of restlessness that interferes with the ability to sleep.

What helps restlessness at night?

There are a number of things that can help restlessness at night; the exact method depends on the cause of the restlessness, its severity, as well as the overall health of the patient. There is an undeniable link between restless leg syndrome and iron deficiency; if iron is supplemented, restfulness is increased and quality of sleep is improved.

If your child is restless at night due to sleep disordered breathing, trust the professionals at Koala® Centers For Sleep & TMJ Disorders to help you find the solution. Call us today to book an appointment with one of our team!

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