When you have children, you might feel as though you're walking through the doors of your family doctor's clinic virtually every week or two. While you'll be doing so for checkups and illnesses, you shouldn't be a stranger if you notice certain things about your children's health. For example, if a child is consistently having trouble sleeping through the night, it might be easy to shrug off this issue. However, it's an issue for which you should seek medical care, and your family doctor should be your first stop. A family doctor can help you and your child's situation in these ways.
Discussing Minor Causes
There are a number of reasons that your child may be having trouble sleeping through the night, but your family doctor will talk to you and the child, assess the child, and try to get to the bottom of this mystery. One potential cause is that you're putting your child to bed too early. The doctor will talk about the ideal amount of sleep your child should get at his or her age, and a bedtime that is a little later may be your best bet. In such a scenario, the child will be more tired by the time bedtime comes, and thus more likely to fall asleep and sleep through until morning.
Assessing More Serious Causes
While there are several non-serious reasons that your child might not be sleeping through the night, there are those that are more serious, too. The doctor will give your child a thorough checkup to potentially uncover these reasons. For example, if a child has an ear infection, he or she will be in pain. This pain may limit the child's ability to sleep. In talking to the child, the doctor may also discuss stress. If the child is stressed — perhaps because of bullying in school — sleep can be a challenge.
Looking At Diet
A child's diet can play a role in his or her ability to sleep. If the child is eating too soon before bed, perhaps because of snacking in the evening, he or she may have an upset stomach. This can especially be the case if the snacks are heavy or otherwise unhealthy. Similarly, if certain foods don't agree with your child, he or she may have symptoms that prevent sleep. If your doctor suspects that a food allergy could be playing a role, he or she will refer your child for allergy testing.
For more information, contact companies like Burnsville Family Physicians.