Sleep is essential for a child’s health and wellbeing. A rested child is more happy, energetic, and productive. Adequate sleep improves a child’s behavior, ability to learn, focus and concentrate on things, and overall physical health. Also, the child’s mental health improves, and his attitude towards life, in general, becomes positive, and he accepts his situation better.
Can Lack of Sleep in Children Lead to Psychological Problems?
Sleep deprivation in children can cause a lot of health problems. These health problems range from physical issues to mental and psychological issues. These can be overcome by increasing the quality and quantity of your child’s sleep. One way to boost sleep is by increasing melatonin or aiding melatonin production in your child’s body.
This can be made possible by incorporating melatonin supplements into your child’s diet. Melatonin gummies for kids at Gummies Garden, Nature’s Made, Garden of Life, etc., are loved by children. However, you should be extra careful while choosing the right brand as acid burn marks on the tongue and nausea have been reported after use. Moreover, overconsumption of melatonin may lead to headaches, nausea, and drowsiness. Currently, the highest rating gummy vitamins are available at the Gummies Garden website. They are safe to consume as they contain a carefully administered and recommended dose of melatonin.
They happily consume these due to their likeness to the famous gummy bears.
Impacts of Sleep Deprivation on Kids Health
The Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine conducted a study that stated a lasting impact of a child’s sleep problems. Less than adequate sleep has an increased risk of depression, anxiety, and aggressive behavior issues.
The NIH (National Institute of Health) have researched common signs of anxiety, they are:
- Excessive worrying over daily issues of trifle importance.
- Sweating, trembling, having headaches or stomach aches.
- Start keeping to themselves and socially withdraw themselves.
- Avoiding situations, hiding instead of facing issues.
- Having behavioral problems in the classroom.
Depression due to Sleep Deprivation
In the early twentieth century, a study was published in the Journal of Sleep. It found that depression cases in children are increased in severity if they are also facing sleep disorders. Signs of depression in children due to sleep deprivation include:
- Inability to perform daily tasks
- Not interested in recreational activities
- Feeling hopeless and discouraged
- Feeling grief-stricken and sad for no reason
- Having fatigue and tiredness
- Having eating disorders, either eating too much or too less
- Having Suicidal thoughts
Children experiencing mental disorders usually experience sleep problems. In addition, ADHD children also report severe sleep disorders.
Induction of Aggressive Behavior due to lack of sleep
Sleep deprivation has also been reported to induce violent and aggressive behavior in children. The symptoms of poor sleep leading to aggressive behavior in children are:
- Having frequent fights
- Damaging and destroying things
- Screaming and yelling
- Threatening others
- Causing self-harm, hurting themselves intentionally
- Being angry at everything and everyone
Relationship between Sleep and Mental Health of Children
A good night’s sleep can influence the physical and mental health of a child. It can leave a child exhausted and irritable. The long-term effects of lack of sleep on a child’s psychological and physical health are of serious concern. It is interconnected with chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart diseases, etc. Besides unfavourable physical consequences, sleep deprivation can also cause psychiatric problems in kids, leading to anxiety, depression, bipolar disorders, etc.
There is a complex relationship between sleep and mental health. Sleep problems lead to the severity of mental health issues. It triggers psychological concerns and worsens mental health problems. Our sleep pattern has a connection with our mental status and neurological functioning.
Stress due to Sleep Deprivation
Sleep deprivation can cause a child to toss and turn in his bed. This builds up stress and irritability. The child is left overthinking about life’s issues and has frequent mood changes. This causes a child to develop a disturbed personality, unable to cope with minor daily stresses.
Anxiety due to Sleep Deprivation
Sleep disturbance tends to increase anxiety in children. It develops anxiety disorder in children and teenagers who struggle to fall asleep each night. This anxiety can build up if left untreated. Chronic sleep disorder leaves a person unable to cope with anxiety issues. It creates a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and affects 80% of children with sleep disorders.
Anxiety causes a person to feel troubled and agitated. Acute sleep disorder increases distress, and anxiety levels in children and adversely affects their mental and physical health.
Sleep problems can also play a role in worsening the condition of people who have bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is a brain disorder where a person suffers from intense emotional states, mood swings, and energy levels frequently for a specific period each week. It disturbs the sleep-wake cycle in children causing damage to their circadian rhythms.
Sleep problems also induce a common psychiatric condition known as ADHD or Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. It is a mental health disorder that causes impulsive and hyperactive behaviour in children. Children who have ADHD find it difficult to focus on the task at hand. They also are unable to sit still. It can also cause difficulty in walking, daytime sleepiness, breathing issues while sleeping, etc.
The treatment of ADHD assesses sleep patterns and addresses issues to eliminate sleep deprivation. Improving the quality of sleep can have a drastic reformation and improvement in ADHD condition.
The above discussion shows the undeniable connection between sleep and the psychological health of a child. Relieving sleep disorders and improving sleep quality can prove to help ease the mental health condition. It is advisable to address sleep issues early on to maintain the child’s overall mental, psychological, and physical health.