10 Signs of Insomnia In Children

Proper bed rest is one of the most important components of a youngster’s health, so signs of sleep disturbance may be cause for concern. Insomnia in children is diagnosed by the presence of certain symptoms, and the absence of any other possible causes for sleep interruption, such as psychiatric problems or a specific sleep disorder. The following are 10 possible signs of insomnia in children:

  1. Difficulty falling asleep. The child has a hard time getting to sleep at their usual bedtime, or can’t stay asleep. They may wake up too early in the morning as well.
  2. Daytime Sleepiness – Sleep deprivation during normal bedtime hours will cause the child to be lethargic during their waking hours. Look for indications that the child has a low energy level or seems groggy during the day.
  3. Irritability – Insufficient rest often causes the insomniac to be irritable or suffer mood swings. Like many other symptoms that can be present, diagnosis of insomnia depends upon first eliminating other potential causes.
  4. Memory Problems – The human brain processes much of the information we collectively regard as memory, while we sleep. Sleep deprivation causes memory problems because the brain is not getting enough time to do its job.
  5. Problems at School – Likewise, our learning ability is diminished from lack of sleep. If a child exhibits problems with school grades or completing assignments, insomnia could be the cause.
  6. Depression – Insomnia in children can manifest itself in the form of a depressed state of mind. The child may appear less enthusiastic about activities they would otherwise enjoy.
  7. Hyperactivity – Conversely, an insomniac child may appear restless and unable to concentrate or focus on tasks and activities. Some research, in fact, suggests a link between inadequate sleep and ADHD.
  8. Short Attention Span – Sleep deficit makes concentration more difficult. As with hyperactivity and several other signs of insomnia, this symptom is also associated with, and could possibly be indicative of, ADHD.
  9. Aggressive Behavior – As with irritability, the child’s lack of sleep can drastically alter their normal temperament. In conjunction with other symptoms as listed here, it is a possible sign of insomnia.
  10. Mistake or Accident Prone – Because the mind is not as sharp or rested, performance of routine tasks can be difficult and result in mistakes or clumsiness on the child’s part.

It’s essential to keep in mind that insomnia shares symptoms with many other medical and psychiatric  problems and is itself often a symptom of some other potentially serious root cause. If you believe your child is exhibiting any of the symptoms we’ve shared here, consult with your family physician who can help to first identify the problem, then devise a plan for treatment.

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