Sleep Disorders and Solutions for Children

Introduction

The health of the nation is one of the major concerns of the modern healthcare sector. There are multiple attempts to reduce the incidence of various diseases and ensure that people will benefit from the improved quality of life. From this perspective, the well-being of children acquires the top priority as one of the guarantees of further evolution of society. Today, there is a focus on the in-depth investigation of the central problems that might emerge in this age group and ways to solve them.

Unfortunately, regardless of these efforts, there are still many undesired states or health issues that should be eliminated to achieve success because of their negative impact on the development of a child. Sleeping disorder belongs to this very cohort as it deprives and individuals of healthy and refreshing rest and contributes to the emergence of multiple psychological issues.

Background

The significance of the selected problem is evidenced by the fact that up to 50% of all children will face various sleep problems. For instance, statistics show that insomnia, episodes of unusual behaviors during sleep, snoring, and some associated fears frequently emerge in children of different ages and result in the development of new and more complex problems (Buxton et al. 18). Unfortunately, the majority of parents disregard these health issues as only 1% of them address a child’s pediatrician and ask for some assistance (Buxton et al. 18).

Nevertheless, child sleep disorders might have a critical effect on the quality of their lives and further evolution. Considering the fact that the bigger part of all these problems is treatable, it becomes fundamental to diagnose a child, recognize the main causes for the emergence of this health issue, and provide the appropriate intervention to promote better health.

In general, a sleep disorder can be determined as a child’s inability or difficulties with falling asleep because of various reasons. A healthy child needs at least 9 hours per night to recover and engage in developing activities (Buxton et al. 18). However, if some problems emerge, the further deterioration of the state of the individual’s health becomes inevitable and might precondition severe complications.

There are two basic reasons for the appearance of this sort of problem such as physiologic and psychologic ones. In the first case, a child might suffer from trauma, injury, or some illness supported by snoring, apnea, and other similar problems. In the second one, there can be a host of psychological disorders preventing a child from falling asleep. These might include stress, fears, a high level of anxiety, and hyperactivity. Every one of these factors should be analyzed with the primary aim to find an appropriate answer and improve the state of an individual.

Family Chaos

Regarding the significance and the scope of the problem, there are multiple research works devoted to its investigation and analysis of the main reasons for the emergence of problematic situations. Thus, a family can be one of the central sources for the appearance of inappropriate sleep behaviors in children. For instance, Boles et al. are sure that there is a direct correlation between family functioning and disorders of this sort (114). In their study among 72 low-income Hispanic and African-American households, they evaluate the quality of children’s sleeping patterns and outline their correlation with family chaos or inappropriate conduct (Boles et al. 115).

Results show that there is a direct correlation between these two issues as poor child emotional and behavioral functioning as an outcome from problems in his/her home environment cultivate higher levels of bedtime resistance and shortening of rest duration (Boles et al. 114). The quality of sleep also decreases as an individual starts to experience a high level of stress and cannot feel emotionally safe. Researchers also conclude that there is a high risk of the development of obesity and other diseases among children belonging to this very category.

In such a way, there is credible evidence that psychological problems associated with poor family functioning can become one of the major causes for the emergence and development of bedtime resistance and inappropriate sleep patterns.

The question is also complicated by the fact that in the majority of families representing this cohort children’s problem with falling asleep remains undiscovered or disregarded because of the lack of emotional support or attention devoted to a child (Boles et al. 117). It results in the appearance and development of new psychological and physiological problems deteriorating the health of an individual and preventing him/her from an appropriate growth which becomes a serious problem of modern communities characterized by an increased incidence of multiple undesired issues.

Hyperactivity

Another possible cause for the poor sleep patterns in children is mental disorders of neurodevelopmental types that are characterized by a set of problems. Speaking about this possible reason, Tong et al. outline the existing correlation between attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and sleep problems. In accordance with their assumption, individuals who have difficulties with paying attention to particular issues, excessive activity, or inability to act regarding the situation might also show bedtime resistance patterns and inability to fall asleep.

Having analyzed data from 934 students provided by their parents, Tong et al. prove the idea that ADHD symptoms significantly impact the sleep duration of children, its quality, and their ability to recover (Tong et al.). The problem becomes especially significant if a child does not have a fixed schedule or special bedtime activities that prepare him/her for sleep. Additionally, emotional games and interactions can precondition new problems and undesired states.

The given idea proves the increased importance of psychological and emotional aspects regarding the appropriate sleep behaviors in children. Being not able to manage his/her emotions effectively, a child might experience hardships with going to bed or reducing anxiety levels. ADHD symptoms might serve as a particular trigger contributing to the further sophistication of the situation and the emergence of new problems of this sort (Tong et al.).

Similar to issues associated with family chaos, poor sleep among children with this sort of mental disorder also often remains unnoticed and disregarded because of the existence of other stressful situations or low awareness levels among parents (Tong et al.). However, it becomes critical to introduce appropriate intervention to prevent the further complication of the situation and the development of a set of undesired effects in children.

Stress

Finally, there is a direct correlation between the level of stress and sleep disorders in children. There are various reasons why children might face this problem including problems in school, too high level of activity, problematic relations with peers, inability to engage in particular activities, or tensions within a family (Katz and Malow 89). However, in many cases, children’s stress often goes unnoticed by parents who do not possess the needed level of competence to evaluate their child’s behavior and give the right diagnosis (Katz and Malow 89).

Nevertheless, chronic stress can precondition the development of negative complications both psychological and physiological ones deteriorating the quality of individuals’ lives and resulting in poor sleeping patterns. Additionally, regarding the tendency towards the increase in the number of information available to children and a higher level of expectations from society and parents, the situation can become even worse because of the future increase in stress levels (Katz and Malow 101). For this reason, it becomes one of the most topical reasons discussed in terms of child sleep disorders.

Possible Solutions

As it has already been stated, the majority of sleep problems among children can be solved and eliminated if parents consult with a specialist and discuss the existing questions. Regarding the main causes mentioned above, one of the central methods to improve the situation is to establish a good climate in the family. Emotional stability is a key aspect that is needed to guarantee children’s beneficial development and their becoming healthy individuals with multiple opportunities for further growth (Katz and Malow 145).

As far as family chaos and high-stress levels are significant reasons impacting children’s sleeping patterns, it is fundamental to reconsider undesired behaviors and create an environment cultivating higher emotional stability levels. It can also demand consultations with a psychologist to find the core of all problems and discusses the ways in which the situation can be improved. It can become a potent intervention aimed at the elimination of psychological barriers preventing a child from a healthy sleep and future evolution.

The second possible intervention can presuppose a decrease of anxiety levels among children via the creation of appropriate conditions for their rest. As far as sleep disorders are often associated with bedtime resistance patterns and children’s inability to act appropriately in different situations, activities aimed at the establishment of regular time for bed each night can have a positive impact on the case. It will help to familiarize a child with particular rules and timeframes devoted to games and rest. Adhering to these guidelines, he/she will be able to monitor time and realize the current necessity to go to bed (Alli).

Additionally, multiple researchers admit the positive impact of relaxing bedtime routine on individuals who have various sorts of disorders or too high anxiety levels (Buxton et al. 22). For instance, a warm bath can help to relax and feel the desire to fall asleep (Buxton et al. 20). Parents can read stories and reduce the noise level in the house to create an appropriate atmosphere. Finally, it is critical not to disregard sleep problems in children as it is a fundamental element of their health that should be considered to ensure that a child will continue to develop and grow.

Conclusion

Altogether, sleep disorders can be considered an important problem that might significantly deteriorate the health of a child and precondition the appearance of multiple undesired conditions. Unfortunately, in many cases, they remain unnoticed because of the lack of knowledge or awareness related to the issue. Among the problems that stipulate the emergence of this question researchers admit tensions in a family, high level of stress, anxiety disorders, and inappropriate bedtime behaviors in children. It is critical to remember that all these problems can be solved via consultations with specialists or the introduction of schedules promoting better sleep and recovery of children. Only by eliminating all these factors, conditions beneficial for children’s development can be created.

Works Cited

Alli, Renee. “Sleep Problems in Children.WebMd, 2018. Web.

Boles, Richard, et al. “Family Chaos and Child Functioning in Relation to Sleep Problems Among Children at Risk for Obesity.Behavioral Sleep Medicine, vol. 15, no. 2, 2017, pp. 114-128. Web.

Buxton, Orfeu, et al. “Sleep in the Modern Family: Protective Family Routines for Child and Adolescent Sleep.Sleep Health, vol. 1, no. 1, 2016, pp. 15-27. Web.

Katz, Terry and Beth Ann Malow. Solving Sleep Problems in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Guide for Frazzled Families. Woodbine House, 2014.

Tong, Lian, et al. “The Moderating Roles of Bedtime Activities and Anxiety/Depression in the Relationship Between Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Symptoms and Sleep Problems in Children.” BMC Psychiatry, vol. 18, no. 298, 2018. Web.