What to do if your Child Wakes Up in the Middle of the Night?

1,896 Views Updated: 29 Apr 2018
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What to do if your Child Wakes Up in the Middle of the Night?

Night waking in children is very common.  In fact, it is a usual process of the normal sleep cycle. Good sleepers are very well aware of handling this situation and they can easily fall back to sound sleep without much difficulty. As children do not master the skill of falling back to sleep after night waking, they struggle a lot.

As a result, parents too suffer from this problem. Many parents usually do not understand this concept. They worry a lot about this issue and often it is the common complaint among the new parents. If your child wakes up in the night, do not worry. Try to understand the reasons and act accordingly to solve the problem. 

Here are few common reasons that make your child wake up in middle of the night. By addressing these problems, you can handle the issue with an ease.

#1. Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety is very common among younger children. This is the most common cause that disturbs good night’s sleep of a child. This type of anxiety usually fades away as your child grows older. If the anxiety level is normal, by implementing few techniques you can ease this problem. Whenever you are going away from them, try to assure them that you are returning very soon. When your child is free from separation anxiety, night waking of your child can be greatly reduced.

#2. Nightmares

Nightmares are the common causes of fear and night waking of your child. Your child wakes up with fear and starts crying when she or he experiences a nightmare. These scary episodes are quite common in most of the homes. Many factors result in nightmares. Listening to a horror story, watching a displeasing movie or TV program and feeling stressful throughout the day are few of the factors that are responsible for developing nightmares. As soon as you notice that your child has just had a nightmare, hug your child. Physical reassurance plays an important role in calming your child’s disturbed emotional state. Do not ask them about the nightmare. By giving a warm bath before bedtime and by telling inspiring story nightmares can be prevented.

#3. Irritable or Full Bladders

Problems in urinary tract make your child wake up during the night. Also, an urge to urination disturbs the sleep of your child. Hence, it is recommended to avoid feeding more fluids to your children before bedtime. Children may wake up if they have any problems in the urinary tract. Girls are more prone to this problem. Try to identify if trips to the bathroom are the main reason behind the problem.

#4. Heartburn

Avoid offering your child any foods that are rich in acidic content. Also, make sure to avoid offering the foods that are difficult to digest. These kinds of food result in heartburn. As a result, your child might wake up in the midnight due to uneasiness caused by the heartburn. If you suspect that your child is suffering from heartburn, seek immediate medical advice.

#5. Night Terrors

Night terrors are similar to nightmares. These are also disruptive and distressing. Night terrors disturb your child’s sleep. These are quite common in young children. You should not confuse nightmares with night terrors. Night terrors may last from few minutes to one hour. A child moves or even talks during the night terror. This may also put the life of your child at risk. To prevent injuries, make sure to lock all doors of your house and close all the windows at night. By helping your child to follow a regular bedtime routine, you can help your child to sleep well. Involve your children in mind-calming activities like puzzles and relaxing exercises for warding off night terrors.

#6. Stress

Like adults, children also experience stress-related sleep troubles. Children who have been the victim of witnessing upsetting events are more likely to wake up in the midnight. Increased levels of stress disturb the sleep of your child. Excess production of stress hormone is the main reason. All you have to do is to make your child participate in mind-calming activities.

Good night sleep is very important for children. If you are noticing frequent disturbances to the sleep of your children, make sure to consult the doctor. In addition to the above-stated reasons, few underlying health conditions result in trouble sleeping. Parents are advised to understand the reasons and take actions appropriately to address the problem. 

(Image Courtesy: Rock 'N' Rattle, 2. Very Well, 3. HQ Home Decor Ideas, 4. Harvard University, 5. Medical Daily, 6. Valley Sleep Center; Boldsky (Feature Image Courtesy )
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