Mental health

Why your child may feel anxious before bed | CNN

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When her daughter was 6 years old, Kelceymarie Warner began to notice her child’s restlessness at bedtime. His body would be more rigid, and he would have too much air if you pushed the thing too fast, he really needed to be taken to the circuit slowly.

Warner, who is a parent of four young daughters, believes that sticking to a daily routine is the best way for her children to have a smooth transition to sleep. But when her 6-year-old had trouble sleeping, Warner had to expand her routine.

Warner is not alone many parents know all too well what a nighttime struggle it can be to get their little ones to bed.

A new CS Mott Children’s Hospital Community Survey on Children’s Health confirms this widespread problem, revealing that one in four parents said their child has trouble sleeping because worried or worried. More than a third of parents report that their child does not sleep through the night and often or sometimes wakes up upset or crying.

“From 1 to 6 years old, children change a lot. The different stages they go through can often be seen in advance: They are afraid of the dark, or as children grow and their imaginations growing up … a pediatric scientist at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. It could be all kinds of things, and often with children, and I would argue with adults, some of those worries seem to come out at night.”

The Mott Poll was conducted in February with 781 parents who have at least one child between the ages of 1 and 6.

Almost half of them reported that their child leaves their bed and moves into a parent’s bed some or most nights, while 1 in 3 parents say their child often or sometimes others he insists on staying in the room until the child goes to sleep.

But some of these practices may cause more problems than the temporary help they provide, Clark said. Although a child may feel safe knowing that a parent is in the room, he may later wake up and not be able to go back to sleep alone, he added.

Warner says her child’s anxiety at bedtime is likely due to the big changes that happened when her youngest daughter was in the neonatal intensive care unit for three months.

“My husband and I had traveled long hours during the day and even at night because we wanted to have a new baby who was born three months early—but we needed to be there with our other children. I think he’s really struggling with a big change in his schedule, and that’s just what caused this very difficult time for him.”

Warner began incorporating things into her daughter’s bedtime routine that would promote relaxation and stimulation, such as drinking herbal tea after a bath, reading a story along with saying nightly promises like “I’m loved” and “I’m precious.”

The new schedule took longer than usual, sometimes up to an hour, but now, more than a year later, her daughter is able to do parts of the schedule on her own, and you can hold your own, Warner. said. He had posted his advice to other parents who might be facing the same situation on his TikTok account in 2023.

The most important thing to getting kids to sleep is being consistent and sticking to a bedtime routine, Mott co-director Poll Clark said. 90 percent of the parents interviewed reported that they have a stable and consistent sleep schedule.

But about 27 percent reported that it was difficult for their child to fall asleep, and those parents were more likely to not have a regular bedtime routine. stay in the room until the child falls asleep and they stay watching television or video.

Dr. Lauren Hartstein, assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry, said: “We know that young children relate to consistency and routine, and getting ready for bed helps their body and their brain know that this is the onset of sleep at the University of Arizona and circadian health in childhood and he was not involved in Mott’s investigation.

Hartstein recommends reducing the use of media at night, especially avoiding good news that can stimulate the child’s brain and make it difficult to calm down.

A January 2022 study that Hartstein led found that children in this age group have more light-headedness at night than adults, can interfere with the child’s production of natural melatonin, a hormone that regulates the sleep cycle. Parents may find it helpful to turn off the lights an hour before bed, which can trigger the feeling that it’s time to get ready for bed sooner, he added.

In regards to staying in the child’s room until he falls asleep, Clark recommends leaving the room and coming back to check every few minutes, which lets the child know that there is someone who will make sure they are safe every now and then, but not stay in the room. forever.

It is common for young children to have trouble sleeping, especially when they are of school age children begin to reduce or decrease sleep time, Hartstein said. If parents are very worried or see their child struggling during the day because they are sleepy, they should talk to their pediatrician.

The survey also found 1 in 5 parents often or sometimes give their child melatonin before bed, which is surprising given the young ages 1 to 6, Clark he said. “It is clear that this is something that people feel the need to try with young children. So, I think it’s a sign of how sleep problems can affect the whole family.”

It is not recommended to give melatonin to younger children age 3, since most sleep problems with children that age are behavioral, according to Boston Children’s Hospital. If a parent is considering giving their child melatonin, they should talk to their pediatrician first, Hartstein said.

(Another) concern is that what you’re teaching them is that if they can’t sleep, they should just take medicine, and by the time they really have to develop these good sleep habits they’re going to be continue childhood,” he added.

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