A child with a sleep disorder can impact your entire household. Sleep is important to you and your child's health, and it's necessary to ensure that you get enough sleep to meet your duties and responsibilities throughout the day. It can be tough at first to distinguish between a child sleep disorder, misbehavior, fear and insecurity. You may not be able to sort it all out at first, but knowing the signs of a sleep disorder can help. Here are some signs to look for so that you can seek medical help when you need to:
Sign #1: Snoring with Loud and Noisy Breathing
Sleep apnea is one type of disorder that can affect a toddler sleep habits. It's when your toddler stops breathing for 10 or more seconds while he is asleep due to a blockage of air flow. Your child will have a sleep disorder if he suffers from sleep apnea. You can monitor it by checking on your child after he falls asleep for about two hours. Listen for loud and noisy breathing coupled with snoring. Count how many seconds go by before he breathes normally. Contact your health care provider if you suspect that your toddler has sleep apnea. The remedies that experts recommend range from herbal remedies to removing the tonsils.
Sign #2: Inconsolable Crying
One symptom of a child sleep disorder is when your child wakes up during the night and cries for an extended period of time. No matter what you do, you cannot console him. It could be that your child is experiencing night terrors. It's important to determine first whether there are any medical issues present, such as an earache. The tell tale sign of night terrors is anxiety. Many children sit up and appear to be in a state of anxiety or confusion. Children as young as three years old can experience night terrors.
Sign #3: Unusual Bedwetting
Bedwetting does not become a sleep disorder until a certain point. For boys, that point is beyond age 7 and for girls it's beyond age 6. There may be underlying issues that cause the bedwetting, which makes it necessary to consult with a medical provider. Your child may be under stress, or it could be an infection. There could also be a structural problem that a doctor needs to address. If you suspect that it's a behavior problem and not a sleep disorder, then you can try various techniques, such as setting an alarm and giving your child bed wetting diapers to wear at night.
Sign #4: Sleepwalking and Sleep Talking
You're going to be able to detect sleepwalking more readily than other disorders. Your child will get out of bed and walk throughout your home while he is still asleep. If you try to engage your child in conversation, his speech will be slurred and you won't be able to understand him. The primary concern with this sleep disorder is safety. You have to ensure that your child won't fall down stairs or climb out of windows. He will outgrow this child sleep disorder in time.
If you observe any of these signs, then you may be dealing with a child sleep disorder. Making the distinction between a sleep disorder and a behavioral problem can help you choose the right solutions.
Daphne Mallory, Esq. is the co-owner of Mallory Writing Services and has written more than 100 articles helping home based business owners and entrepreneurs start and market their business.