Having trouble sleeping as an adult is bad enough, but if your child is struggling with sleep then it can impact on the whole house. While it is essential for you to seek medical help if any issues progress it is also important to recognise that not only will your child be suffering but you and others in the house will be too. The reality is that sleep is a vital part of our overall physical and psychological wellbeing and even a few nights without enough sleep can start to have some serious impacts on not only the child in question but also everyone else in the house. Here are 3 ways that your child’s sleep issues could be affecting you.
1. Marital Relationship: A lot of couples who have experienced issues with their child’s sleep have also found that they are far less tolerant and far more irritable with each other. One of the biggest impacts that a child with a sleeping problem can have is on their parent’s relationship. Being exhausted is tough and trying to deal with each other in a fair and reasonable manner when you are both tired and are dealing with a tired child as well puts an incredible strain on a couple. Also many couples will fight over the reason for the child’s sleep troubles as well as the responses to it. Finally dealing with a child with a sleep problem also often means that the parents do not get as much quality time with each other as most nights are spent trying to get their child to sleep.
2. Annoyed Siblings: As well as the parent’s relationship the siblings will also suffer. One major issue can be that because the child with the sleep problem is getting more attention, the other sibling/s will feel left out or unloved. Also they will be tired and irritable just like their parents because their sleep patterns will have been disturbed as well. This is particularly concerning as sleep is particularly important in children and limiting the damages of having one child with a sleeping problem is a big enough task without your other children suffering too.
3. Parent's Functioning: Being sleep deprived is a debilitating state to be in, for parents of a child who is not sleeping well their whole life can suffer, from work to friendships. The longer someone goes with sleeping properly the worse it gets. The issues compound to the point where they can cause a range of serious problems. Many parents are quicker to anger, they find that they yell more easily at their children and struggle to get along in a friendly manner which can lead to feelings of parenting guilt. Many have a number of physical effects such as feelings of nausea, loss or gain in appetite and weight, feeling sluggish or living in a haze.
The reality is that the sooner you get your child’s sleeping problem sorted, the better it will be for all of you so seek medical help as soon as you can.
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