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夜驚症の症状

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子どもを育てていく上では、(かわいいあまり)さまざまなことが心配になってしまいます。
気になってしまいやすい子供の症状の一つとして夜驚症というものがあります。夜驚症は子供(おおむね2歳程度から小学校低学年までの子供)の数パーセントが経験すると言われますが、深夜にいきなり叫びだすなどの症状を呈しますので、親御さんは驚いてしまいます。
このような子供の夜驚症の症状が起きる原因は一体なんなのでしょうか。またその対処はどのようにすれば良いのでしょうか。

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びっくりしてしまう・子供の夜驚症の症状

子供

深夜、お母さん・お父さん・そして子供がすやすやと眠っています。静かな時間帯です。
その深夜に突然、子供が「ギャー!!」などと叫び出します。また、飛び起きてキョロキョロします。

お母さん・お父さんは「何事か」と思い驚いて目を覚まします。しかし、子供は何もなかったかのように眠りに戻ります。お母さんとお父さんは驚いて「キョトン」としてしまいます。これが夜驚症と呼ばれる症状です。夜驚症の症状は子供、特に2,3歳のから小学校低学年までの間に生じる症状です。

このような夜驚症の症状は大人も起きることがありますがケースは少ないようです。大人が夜驚症の症状を呈する場合には、多くの場合にはストレスが原因と言われますが、はっきりしないことが多いようです。

さて、お話を戻しまして子供の夜驚症の症状です。子供の夜驚症の症状の原因は一体どういった点にあるのでしょうか。

子供の夜驚症の原因

子供の夜驚症の原因も(まれに起こる)大人の夜驚症と同様にはっきりとはわかってはいません。しかし、夜驚症の症状が起きる原因としてひとつの有力な考え方としては、睡眠の深さの変化が影響しているのではないかということが指摘されます。

睡眠は深いノンレム睡眠と浅いレム睡眠を繰り返します。この睡眠リズムにおいてノンレム睡眠からレム睡眠へと移行するタイミングに不完全な状態で覚醒してしまうことで夜驚症の症状が起きるのではないかという考え方があります。ただ、夜驚症の本当の正しい原因はわかっていないということができます。

しかし、子供の夜驚症の症状が悪化する場合として、疲れ・幼稚園への入園・小学校入学・
引越しなどがあると言われます。これらはいずれも子供にとって大きなストレス
となるケースと言うことができます。

夜驚症の原因は完全には解明されてはいないとしてもストレスが夜驚症の症状を悪化させる原因となっていることは相当程度正しいということができます。

そのため、子供の夜驚症の症状が激しい場合にはお母さん・お父さんなど保護者の方が取るべき対処法として、夜驚症の症状悪化の原因となるストレスに心当たりがないかということを考えることが大切になります。

例えば、弟や妹が生まれてそちらにばかり手をかけてしまって、孤独感を感じているということもストレスとなって夜驚症の症状を悪化させている原因かもしれません。このように子供の夜驚症が激しい場合には、何らかのストレスが生じていないかを考えてみられることがとても大切です。

子供の夜驚症に対する対処

子供の夜驚症の症状は、多くの場合、成長に従って自然と治っていくものです。そのため、はじめは驚いてしまわれるかもしれませんが、子供が夜驚症の症状を引き起こしても、その症状自体に親御さんがあまり驚かないことが重要です。親御さんなどの心配がかえって子供のストレスとなってしまい、夜驚症の症状を悪化させる場合もある
と言われます。夜驚症の症状にあまり驚かないという対処・対応をすることが大切です。

ただ、夜驚症の症状があまりにもひどい場合には、小児科医への相談を通して心療内科などで薬物療法を受けるという対処も可能です。

薬物としては睡眠量の質を変化させる薬(ジアゼパム)抗うつ薬などが用いられます。

またカウンセリングなども並行して行われることがあります。夜驚症の症状自体にはあまり驚かずに、ただし、あまりにも程度がひどい場合には、医療機関へ相談されるということが対処のポイントということができます。

伸びる子どもの睡眠学
伸びる子どもの睡眠学

posted with amazlet at 14.03.31
宮崎 総一郎 原田 哲夫
恒星社厚生閣
売り上げランキング: 398,305

まとめ:子供の夜驚症の原因や対処のまとめ

以上、本文で述べました子供の夜驚症の症状について、その原因や対処方法のポイントをまとめますと以下のように言うことができます。

  • 子供の夜驚症は睡眠中に急に起き出して叫んだり、キョロキョロと辺りを見回すなどの症状があらわれます。主として2歳程度から小学校低学年までに症状がみられるのが特徴です
  • 夜驚症の症状が起きる原因については決定的な理由は判明していないというのが現状です。ただ、有力な考え方としては睡眠リズムが夜驚症の症状に影響しているのではないかなどの考え方があります。また、夜驚症の症状はストレスがあると悪化するということは判明しています
  • 子供が夜驚症の症状を起こしてもあまり驚きすぎず、ストレスの原因がないかどうかなどを検討してみることが大切です。ただ、夜驚症の症状がある場合に、その程度が激しい場合には薬物療法やカウンセリングなどを行うのも効果的な方法です

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