Children often startle and have trouble sleeping, when to worry?

The article is professionally consulted by Master, Doctor Vu Quoc Anh - Pediatrician - Pediatrics - Neonatology at Vinmec Danang International General Hospital
Many young children show signs of sleep or startle, fussy. The phenomenon that children often startle and have trouble sleeping can come from unusual causes and affect the health of children.

1. Why do children startle when they sleep?

The phenomenon of startled children crying while sleeping can stem from physiological or pathological causes. In particular, the cause of the disease should be paid special attention by parents.
1.1 Physiological and environmental causes Natural reflex: Startle is one of the natural reflexes of a newborn baby, like sucking reflex, finding the breast,... This reflex has a name. is Moro, characteristic and common in newborn babies. Because after birth, the baby moves from the mother's intrauterine environment to a new one, so it can create a startle reflex to protect itself against various threats. This is a normal and harmless physiological reflex. This reflex will disappear after the baby is 3 - 6 months old; Psychological insecurity: When the baby is nervous, worried, afraid or insecure, he often dreams of nightmares, is startled when he sleeps; Loud noises: Babies can be startled by loud noises outside or when they are being held in their arms when they are suddenly placed on the mattress. 1.2 Pathological causes Gastroesophageal reflux disease: It is one of the common reasons why children often startle and have difficulty sleeping; Calcium deficiency: Leads to rickets, babies often lean over and startle when sleeping. In this case, the child has some other symptoms such as delayed teething, night sweats and hair loss; Sick: Newborn sleeping or startling can be caused by some diseases such as otitis media, pharyngitis, helminths,...; Suffering from a number of diseases: Children with heart disease, weak body, prolonged anemia, ... easily panic and startle when sleeping; Nervous system damage: Nervous problems such as damage to the baby's nerves or congenital neurological disorders can cause infant sleep disturbances.

2. Unpredictable consequences when children are often startled and have trouble sleeping

The phenomenon of children constantly startling and crying in the middle of the night often causes many consequences such as:
Slow weight gain: Deep sleep plays a very important role in the process of health recovery and development. holistic of young children. When children sleep well, it will stimulate the pituitary gland to secrete growth hormone 4-5 times higher than normal. This helps children gain weight and develop better height. If the child cries a lot, or is startled when sleeping, the quality of sleep will not be guaranteed, affecting the physical development of the child; Reduced cognitive ability: The brain of a newborn is very vulnerable because in the first year after birth, the brain is not really mature. At this time, the development of the brain is easily affected by stimulating factors. Babies who wake up and cry in the middle of the night when they sleep are often less able to learn and handle situations than babies who sleep well in the first months of life. Not only that, the phenomenon of waking up when sleeping in children is also the cause of consequences such as: decreased production of growth hormone, suppression of the immune and digestive systems (children are prone to illness and infections). ; apnea, high blood pressure); Increased risk of sudden infant death: The phenomenon of children crying continuously, unable to comfort easily causes respiratory depression, apnea and increased risk of sudden death; Children are prone to starvation, reduced breast milk: Many children are startled and cry in the middle of the night when they sleep, but when they are breastfed, they refuse to eat. This is because the baby does not sleep well, reduces the production of growth hormone that regulates appetite, leading to a decrease in the suckling reflex and the accompanying result is a decrease in breast milk, in the long run the mother may lose her appetite. milk. =>> Get useful information from a pediatrician:
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The startle reflex when sleeping can cause the baby to wake up in the middle of the night, affecting the sleep quality of the child and the parents. Not only that, children who often startle when sleeping also face many consequences such as growth retardation, susceptibility to emotional disorders, affecting physical and intellectual development. Therefore, parents need to pay special attention to the quality of their children's sleep to take appropriate measures.
In Vietnam today, 7 out of 10 children under 5 years old have zinc deficiency and 8 pregnant women have zinc deficiency. The prevalence of zinc deficiency in pregnant women is 80.3%, women of childbearing age 63.6% and children under 5 years old is 69.4%. The most common manifestations of zinc deficiency in children are growth retardation, mild and moderate malnutrition, delayed growth in height, and some observed symptoms such as anorexia or reduced appetite, decreased suckling, and no meat. fish, slow digestion, mild constipation, persistent nausea and vomiting in children. In addition to reasonable zinc supplementation, parents also need to provide their children with other important vitamins and minerals such as lysine, chromium, B vitamins,... resistance to less minor illnesses and less digestive problems.
Please regularly visit the website vimec.com and update useful information to take care of your baby and family.

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