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How To Treat Sleep Anxiety in Kids

Dr. Shayna Smith Profile Photo

Written by Dr. Shayna Smith on May 13, 2021

Many parents know the bliss of finally putting their kids down to sleep and enjoying some quiet time at the end of the day. It’s good for kids, too – children need much more sleep than adults so they can grow to their full potential.

But sometimes, kids just can’t fall asleep. In other cases, they might have difficulty staying asleep after getting into bed for an hour or so. Either way, the root cause might be sleep anxiety: a condition where your child is too worried or anxious to fall asleep.

If your child is currently experiencing sleep anxiety, no need to worry. We’ll explore how you can help your child’s restlessness through homeopathic remedies, lifestyle adjustments, and positive sleep habits.

What is Sleep Anxiety in Kids?

Sleep anxiety is a really common experience for growing kids. We’ve all probably laid awake in bed at one time or another wondering whether we will be able to fall asleep. For kids who don’t have the same life experience as adults, sleep can be strange and even a little scary.

Sleep anxiety can be worrying and unnerving for kids, but it can also be frustrating and difficult to understand for adults. Furthermore, ongoing sleep anxiety can disrupt your daily schedules, leading your child to be tired and cranky throughout the next day. In the worst-case scenarios, sleep anxiety can spill over from one night to another, causing your child to be progressively more tired, dysfunctional, and cranky as the issue continues.

Learning to understand and handle sleep anxiety is important if your child is struggling with this issue right now.

Why Does Sleep Anxiety Affect Kids?

Sleep anxiety is different for every child. Children can experience anxiety surrounding sleep because:

  • They don’t like losing awareness when they sleep
  • They are afraid that they won’t wake up after falling asleep
  • They don’t like the physical sensation of falling asleep
  • They’re afraid of nightmares or night terrors, especially if they have had them before

The list goes on. But although sleep anxiety is common in kids, there are also plenty of solutions you can use to help your child sleep more soundly and look forward to rest at the end of each day.

Ways to Treat Sleep Anxiety in Kids

No two kids experience the exact same sleep anxiety. With this in mind, don’t worry if you have to try multiple sleep anxiety treatments before finding the perfect combo for your child.

Homeopathic Remedies

We’d first recommend that you try a clean homeopathic remedy.

Genexa’s Kids’ Sleepology medicine is a perfect example. It’s a homeopathic medicine made clean - meaning it has no synthetic inactive ingredients - and it’s designed to help promote deep and restfull sleep, whether caused by nervousness, worry, exhaustion, and more. Even better, it’s easy for your kids to take since it comes in organic and chewable tablets. It can help to soothe and calm your children down, promoting relaxation and sweet dreams.

Kids’ Sleepology only uses organic sleep-healthy ingredients like alfalfa, chamomile, and purple passionflower -- Genexa never puts unnecessary chemicals and additives into any of their formulas, and is proud to be a pioneer in clean medicine made with people in mind.

Put Down the Screens Before Bed

More kids than ever before stare at screens right up until bed. Even though technology can be great, especially for entertainment, it's terrible when it comes to promoting good sleep habits.

In fact, most electronic screens emit blue light that our brains are fooled into thinking is the same light that we see when the sun comes up. Sometimes this makes sleep impossible since our brains start producing a wake-up hormone instead of a sleepiness hormone.

This process can happen for kids as well. Have your kids avoid any screens for about an hour before bed. That includes tablets and TV. This might have two beneficial effects: it will prevent screen light from hijacking their brains’ natural hormone production and it might calm them down versus keeping them awake and stimulated. Many popular kids’ games and TV programs are exciting and mentally stimulating by design, after all.

Talk Before Bed

If your child is having difficulty sleeping because of thoughts or fears, the oldest trick in the book might just work: talking to them! Sometimes kids just need to get their thoughts out of their heads or express certain anxieties before they can fall asleep peacefully. Adults are the same way.

If you’ve noticed that your child has difficulty sleeping, snuggle up next to them and let them tell you about anything that is on their minds. Chances are that they’ll either consciously or subconsciously express what’s bothering them, giving you an opportunity to alleviate any fears and reassure them into relaxing and feeling just a little safer.

Keep a Routine Bedtime

Children thrive on routine, and this is doubly true when it comes to bedtime. To help with certain types of sleep anxiety, make bedtime a routine occurrence every night. Mandate that lights go out in your home by a certain time and stick with it for a couple of weeks.

Some kids experience sleep anxiety since it feels unregulated or sudden if it isn’t scheduled. They aren’t prepared to stop moving around and playing for multiple hours. But a regular bedtime can help get them used to sleeping at a regular time mentally, plus help train their bodies to expect sleep at a certain hour.

Avoid Stimulants Before Bed

Try to avoid giving your child any stimulating foods or drinks up to a few hours before bed. We don’t just mean caffeine (which should certainly be avoided for obvious reasons). We also suggest avoiding things like chocolate, which contains a lot of sugar, or even sugary sports drinks that can give them a similar sugar rush.

Many children can experience anxiety due to the side effects of medications as well. If you suspect a medication is behind your child's sleep anxiety, speak to your doctor and ask about alternative options.

Summary

In the end, there’s no one perfect solution for easing sleep anxiety in kids. You’ll have to talk to your child and work with your pediatrician to find a perfect strategy that works for your child’s needs.

Fortunately, there are plenty of potential solutions to try out. You can combine many of these to double down on helping your little one. Sleep anxiety can be tough to deal with, but it’s definitely workable with the right attitude and the right ingredients.

With clean medicine formulated with real ingredients, Genexa is here to help you clean up your medicine cabinet for the 21st century with everything you need and nothing you don’t.



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