Did you stimulate the baby?
You have stimulated your baby all day. They played, went for a walk, saw several news. The food was adequate and, at the end of the day, you followed the night ritual, but it seems that sleep is not enough for your little one!
Anxiety begins to arise in him, leading to cries and screams and, of course, resonates in you, who wants to help, but doesn’t know what else to do. Know that he may be suffering from childhood behavioral insomnia!
But what is this insomnia?
In the case of small children, the causes can vary and have biological origins, but in most cases, the problem is a consequence of behavioral factors. The International Classification of Sleep Disorders points out that, although many young children suffer from some specific issues related to sleep, childhood behavioral insomnia is present between 10% to 30% of the population. If, in cases in which the cause of insomnia is biological dysfunction (for example, adenoids, allergic symptoms, reflux or colic), the treatment may be drug-based, in the case of behavioral insomnia the “cure” involves other aspects.
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One of the main points is to acquire a look focused on the child’s sleep hygiene, including the environment, lighting, routine before going to bed, as all of this is essential for the child to be able to sleep well. The importance of sleep hygiene or the pre-sleep routine was proven in a study by the Institute of Psychology at the University of São Paulo (USP). Psychologist Renatha El Rafihi Ferreira proposed a behavioral intervention with parental counseling to assess the effects of the family’s nighttime behaviors and habits on the child’s sleep.
The study selected 62 children between 1 and 5 years old, all of whom had difficulty falling asleep. Before the study, biological causes for insomnia were ruled out. The group was divided into two, the control group and the tested children. The tests consisted of stimulating the child’s pre-sleep routine with calm and peaceful activities, 30 minutes before bedtime. The intervention also included a ban on caffeinated foods at night. Parents were instructed to take the child to bed and walk away, allowing them to sleep alone. The result was evaluated by means of actigraphy bracelets, devices that calculate night activity. The results showed that children who passed the tests showed improvement in sleep, sleeping faster and waking up less often at night.
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Interesting, right? Establishing a routine is essential, and sleep hygiene must be present in a healthy routine !!
I want you to tell me if you have any questions regarding sleep hygiene. Leave it in the comments.
Text written by Psychologist Amanda Pascoal