Our youngest son has a hard time sleeping. Last night, as an example, we had to switch out the regular white holiday lights he uses as a nightlight. On top of that, he has been taking melatonin but we feel he doesn’t need it so we didn’t restock it.
With the little changes in his sleep schedule or habits, he was suffering from major sleep anxiety. He ultimately threw up due to his overthinking right at bedtime. It took us about three hours to finally see that our anxious sleeper was finally drifting off to sleep.
This kid is 11. And he has occasionally had sleep anxiety issues. Most often was during the time that he was in public school. That place was the ultimate end to his public school days, as it was not right how some elders were treating this kid and it gave him major anxiety sickness.
We homeschool now, alleviating the regular anxiety, but this sleep anxiety still sneaks up with anything new. Apparently being homeless sleeping in our vehicles, tents and occasional hotel rooms didn’t help our little fellow adapt to having less sleep anxiety.
It is what it is. And this happens to many kids.
That’s why I wanted to share some ways you can help your kids with sleep anxiety so that they can get a better night’s sleep and you won’t have to go up the stairs to the kids’ bedroom every few minutes when they’re suffering from sleep anxiety.
Ways to Stop Sleep Anxiety in Kids
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Don’t Skip Pillow Talk
For our son, he enjoys that extra hug and a little song or something nice being said before bed. Maybe discuss something happy and fun for your kid before bed, let them do the talking as you listen with a smile. This helps calm sleep anxiety as it puts your kid’s mind into a positive state before you leave their bedroom.
Get the Right Blanket
I know that weighted blankets for anxious kids help with sleep anxiety, but there are many comforters that work too. Our middle teen sleeps with THREE comforters on for the appropriate weight to ease sleep anxiety while our younger sweats too much. We used to have a hypoallergenic comforter that provided the right weight while wicking away the humidity to keep his temperature comfortable.
Adjust Bedtime Schedule
Our pediatrician gave us a tip with sleep anxiety, to help alleviate this try to have your kids develop their own bedtime schedule. This is obviously something you want to do within reason. For example, our 13-year-old son thinks midnight or later is a good new bedtime, no it’s not. Use your judgment but try to put your kid to sleep a little later to see if they fall asleep easier without sleep anxiety.
Reduce Screen Time
It’s a great idea to reduce the screen time your kid gets before bed to reduce sleep anxiety. I know that we tend to watch a movie now, as the kids are older, before bed. The thing is, when they were younger we would follow that less screen time rule and only read a book or two before bed. We’d shut down all electronics about one hour before bed and spend quality time together reading. This helps with sleep anxiety in younger kids for sure!
Top Weighted Blankets to Reduce Sleep Anxiety in Kids
Roore 5 lb Weighted Blanket for Kids I 36Hiseeme Weighted Blanket for Kids (7lbs, 41”x60”, Single Size) Small Pockets – Breathable Cotton with Glass Beads (Dinosaur)Sivio Weighted Blanket for Kids 36×48 Inches (100% Breathable Natural Cotton, 5 lbs Heavy Blanket), Pink CatFlorensi Weighted Blanket for Kids with Removable Bamboo Duvet Cover (7 Lbs & 41Quility Premium Kids Weighted Blanket & Removable Cover | 10 lbs | 41BUZIO Kids Fleece Weighted Blanket 7lbs, Unicorn Blanket for Kids with 4 Color Options, Ultra Soft and Cozy Heavy Blanket, Great for Calming and Sleep 41 x 60inchWeeSprout Weighted Blanket for Kids (7 lbs) | 100% Organic Cotton | Breathable | Stays Cool | Quilted Pockets | Glass Beads | for Kids Weighing 60-90 lbs | 41MAXTID Weighted Blanket for Kids 5lbs 36×48 Toddler Heavy Blanket Innovative One Piece Design for Boys and GirlsYnM Weighted Blanket (7 lbs for Kids Weigh Around 60lbs, 41”x60”) | 2.0 Cozy Heavy Blanket | 100% Oeko-Tex Certified Cotton Material with Premium Glass Beads, Dark GreyCOMHO Weighted Blanket for Kids 7 lbs,41
In conclusion, you’re not alone if your kid is suffering from sleep anxiety. It can happen to any person of any age and it can appear out of what seems like nowhere. I hope that you’ll use my tips to help reduce sleep anxiety in kids today.
I promise you that you’ll eventually find the right routine and products that will help your kid have fewer anxiety incidents so that everyone can sleep better at home.