Sleep Disorders In Children Often Differ To Those Of Adults.
Sleep disorders in children are more common than is realized by most people, in fact around 42% of children in the US suffer from sleep disorders in one form or another. For instance sleep apnea is recognized as a common disorder amongst children of all age groups, with the most affected being the 3 to 6 years old. Figures show that in the US there are between 1.4 to 2 million children who suffer from sleep apnea alone.
Some different sleep disorders in children, including sleepwalking and bruxism:
* One common sleep disorder in children is sleepwalking also known as somnambulism, this is generally harmless if special care is taken to provide a safe sleeping environment. Sleeping children can some times be heard talking in their sleep or sleep with their eyes open, and strange as these disorders seem, will not harm the child most of the time.
* Sleep disorders in children may also take the form of Bruxism which is a destructive habit of grinding and gnashing the teeth while they are asleep, this can be a very disturbing disorder that can also cause dental problems. Children also often bang their heads or roll their heads, this usually happens when they are about to fall asleep. Again this is another sleep disorder that is usually harmless and they will soon outgrow it, before becoming teenagers.
* Other sleep disorders in children include nocturnal asthma and nocturnal seizures that are often very scary and stressful for everyone, including the child and parents, and needs medical treatment to get it under control. Also, sleep apnea can attack children, including premature newborns and also, the elderly.
* Yet another problem is heartburn which can be dangerous and although not seen as a sleep disorder can often run along side some of the common sleep disorders in children. The danger arises in the sleeping children when stomach acids regurgitates into the throat, whilst this can be due to an underlying medical problem it can also be eating food to close to bed time.
RLS, also known as restless leg syndrome is also a disorder that children can suffer from which is very stressful and irritating, this ailment can help to bring on nightmares, sleepwalking and insomnia.
A few of the sleep problems mentioned above can cause or lead to ALTE which is another name for Apparent Life Threatening Event, which is where a child looks lifeless, limp and pale in color. With this particular sleep problem it will be quite hard to wake the child and once awake they may be very listless, this is not a very nice experience for all involved.
However, the most scary and probably the least understood of the sleep disorders in children is SIDS or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, unfortunately there aren’t many if any treatments available for this disorder.