Causes, effects and treatment of insomnia in adolescents and children


Insomnia often worries not only adults, but also and adolescents. It is noted that about a quarter of the percent of children under the age of five suffer from insomnia. In order to choose a suitable treatment method and avoid negative consequences for the fragile organism, it is important to correctly establish the causes and stage of insomnia.

More about the disease

Insomnia is also called: dissomnia, agripnia. The phenomenon is expressed in a problematic bedtime and violation of the integrity of the rest, the main feature of which is a short period of deep sleep.

Duration depends on the characteristics of the organism. On average, the ratio of deep and light sleep should be about 3: 7.

If an adult needs 7–9 hours of night rest for productive work, then children and adolescents should sleep an average of 10 hours each day.

Signs at different ages

Insomnia in children is usually manifested in the inability to fall asleep quickly or by short, disturbing sleep, due to which even greater fatigue is felt instead of replenishing forces.

In nursing babies, signs of disturbance are: constant crying, sensitive dreams, from which insignificant noise can lead, and constant awakening without obvious reasons with unexplained hysteria.

In children of primary school age, the disease is expressed in frequent nightmares from viewing relevant content, impressions from quarrels and phantoms of non-existent monsters in the dark.

Teens can not fall asleep on time due to an overabundance of unnecessary thoughts in my head. Late bedtime is accompanied by a knocked down regime, which means that staying in bed varies from 4-6 hours on weekdays to 12-14 hours on weekends. In both cases, the teenager’s sleep disturbance is followed by an acute state of fatigue. For the same reason, he can constantly snap, be angry, angry at his parents for no reason.

The causes of this condition

Most often, the disorder occurs due to the inability of the brain to relax. This may be a general overstrain or inner experiences. Difficulties are experienced by those who dined before they go to bed.

Causes in childhood

In childhood, it is especially important to monitor the quality of sleep: the growth hormone, which is responsible for physical and mental development, is most actively produced in a dream.

Children’s insomnia is often triggered by and psychological trauma. For a child of preschool age, it can be scary fairy tales before bedtime without a happy ending, frightening cartoons and books. Conflicts of parents, their illness or too strict (sometimes violent) attitude towards a student of 8-10 years become a good push for a negative impression. Moving and changing places of study are also psychologically complex events and the cause of insomnia in children.

The excess of stress due to the loss of the ability to logical solutions. The student becomes unable to deal with atypical situations.

In adolescence

At the age of puberty, the hormone responsible for falling asleep, melatonin, is produced more slowly than in children and adults. This causes insomnia.

Teenage insomnia occurs due to many factors:

  • An excess of stress due to hormone jumps.
  • Inadequate parental control over the regime on weekends and vacations.
  • Excess load at school.
  • Adolescent maximalism, because of which reality is perceived more emotionally.
  • Small nat. activity.
  • Addiction to addictions.
  • Poor .

Insomnia in adolescents is a dangerous phenomenon that should be a signal to parents. We need to talk and find out the causes of anxiety, offer our help and support.

Diagnosis of the disease

The study of symptoms in children and adolescents is carried out in order to avoid the risk of primary diseases, for which agripnia is only a side effect.

The attending physician interviews the patient, including studying his personality: the temperament and stereotype of the person, the type of activity and workload, and the peculiarities of the national mentality. In addition to the anamnesis, the doctor prescribes polysomnographic and psychological research.

Treatment of sleep disorders

After the diagnosis, it is time to pick up the treatment and strictly follow it. You can focus on traditional medicine (prescription drugs and non-prescription options), and resorting to folk remedies (homemade soothing drinks).

In addition, it makes sense to do procedures that can help to improve sleep.

Traditional medicine

The essence of drugs for insomnia is the same: the components of the drug inhibit the activity of the brain and have a slight sedative effect on the .

There are three types of hypnotics in time of action:

  1. Short-term (help to fall asleep faster, but do not affect the quality).
  2. With an average effect (affecting the rate of withdrawal, and quality).
  3. With a long action (struggling with short-term deep sleep and nightly ascents).

Prescription drugs are divided into the following categories:

Causes, effects and treatment of insomnia in adolescents and children

  1. Barbiturates (based on barbituric acid). They are prescribed for the severe stage of insomnia, they prolong the cycle of deep sleep. Perhaps addictive after prolonged use. Side effects include a lethargic condition, irritation after waking, muscle pain, migraine. Preparations: Phenobarbital – from 130 rub. per pack of 6 tablets, Reladorm – from 500 rubles. per pack
  2. Tranquilizers. Relieve emotional stress that causes insomnia. Habituation from reception occurs less frequently. Options: Phenazepam – from 80 rubles. for 50 tablets, Sibazon – from 60 rubles. for pills and from 800 rubles. for ampoules.
  3. Based on melatonin. Artificially introduced hormone helps to cope with negative emotions, promotes easy awakening and good mood, and also reduces the number of nightly awakenings. Medicines: Circadin – from 650 rubles. for 21 pills, Malarena – from 350 rubles. for 30 tablets.
  4. Drugs of group Z. Do not have negative consequences, but with long-term use are addictive. Medicines: Zolpidem – from 800 rubles., Ivadal – from 2500 rubles.

As for the non-prescription options – it can be soothing on the basis of herbs: valerian, motherwort, St. John’s wort broth. Novo-Passit or Persen are considered more effective.

Soothing means will help to cope with the unnecessary stress of a child or teenager, but will not eliminate the serious causes of lack of sleep!

Folk remedies

If the cause of insomnia in children become frivolous problems, for example, excessive susceptibility or overexertion, then simple folk remedies can help.

Effective before you go to bed, will be warm milk with honey. The combination of a warm drink with a soothing atmosphere will soon become a stable association with pacification. A parent will soothe a good story, quietly sing a lullaby or turn on a calm melody. In the room you can also put a night light.

Broths made from lemon balm, lime or chamomile are effective. A mug of warm drink will help calm the nervous system and eliminate the first signs of neurosis.

Exercises and bedtime procedures

In addition to the means for oral administration, you can apply techniques and “tricks” against poor sleep at home. This will ease going to sleep in adolescence. Effective herbal baths. A child or teenager can lie in a warm (no more than 40 degrees) bath with valerian or linden infusions for 15–20 minutes. The bedroom at this time can be ventilated. It is proved that it is better to fall asleep in a slightly cool atmosphere than in the heat.

Respiratory gymnastics is very popular among yoga lovers, it can be recommended for teenagers under 17-18 years old. It is possible to study it together, thereby also strengthening family relationships. The essence of the method lies in deep, measured exhalations with abdominal pulling in and holding the breath for a few seconds.

The faint flicker in the room soothes the eyes and also adjusts to sleep. The light should resemble the embers after the fire at dusk or the twinkling of satellites in the sky. Contemplation of the lights is well combined with and inner positive reflection.


Parents should understand that no disruption of the body does not pass without a trace. Insomnia causes problems with late treatment:

  1. Problems with the central nervous system. An inadequate regimen leads to chronic fatigue, which is accompanied by weak production of serotonin and oxytocin, which can result in depressive states, anxiety and problems with perception.
  2. Bad habits. A teenager of 17 years old may begin to look for ways to invigorate in the power industry, sometimes with alcoholic impurities. This will, at best, become addicted to drinks, and at worst, a bond with bad company and drug use.
  3. Excess weight. Lack of sleep slows down the metabolism, which leads to poor digestion of food and deposition of fat mass.
  4. Performance problems. In addition to the lack of time due to the sleep mode, the student has problems with reaction and logical thinking. As a result, it is difficult for him to perceive new information and do homework, which leads to low grades at school and high school.
  5. Change biorhythms. Insomnia affects sleep and wakefulness. At one point, lack of sleep takes precedence over the body, and “energy saving” turns on. It is dangerous to health, because the body is able to shut down at any time.

Prevention in children and adolescents

To ensure that sleep problems do not affect the offspring, it is important to accustom him (and the whole family) to the right lifestyle. The diet of a growing organism should contain many vitamins of groups A, B and D, nutrition should be constant and balanced.

The room where the child is most often is cleaned at least once a week and is regularly ventilated. In the life of the whole family should be light exercise. This may be a joint morning exercise or active three times a week, the child should be protected from stressful situations, at least within the home. Instead of loud swearing because of the low score, children should receive support and help in what they do not understand.

Parents are always an example for children of any age, so there should not be empty scandals and constant conflicts in the family.

Insomnia is rarely baseless. The cause of children and adolescents are frequent stress, unhealthy diet and a downed daily routine. To avoid problems from insomnia, you should spend more time on the leisure of the growing body, solve problems together and notice deterioration of well-being in time.

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