It’s tough for any parent to find that their child has a sleep disorder. Before going to know about what a sleep disorder is, know how much sleep do children need. Depending upon their age, the sleeping schedules varies from child to child. Children who are 12 to 18 years old need around 9 hours of sleep, toddlers need 11 to 14 hours and new-born will sleep approximately 16 to 17 hours. Lack of sleep in children may have negative effects on academic performance, extra-curricular activities and social relations.
Children with sleep disorders may exhibit some symptoms such as hyper activity, restlessness and inattentiveness which are more like ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). Due to this symptomatic overlap, sleep disorders may often misdiagnosed with ADHD.
Signs of Sleep Disorders in Children:
Children with sleep disorders exhibit some symptoms which are considered to get medical evaluation.
- Excessive snoring
- Bed wetting in children older than 6 years.
- Trouble sleeping
- Sleep walking
- Excessive sleepiness during day
- Decrease in day time performance
Tips to Improve Your Child’s Sleep:
Sleep disorders in children can lead not only to tired and cranky children, but also all kinds of behavioural problems in their social lives. Below are some tips to help to improve your child’s sleep.
- A fixed bed time and wake-up time helps your child internal clock to get sleepy and feel awake at specific times. The waking time should not vary from weekday to weekend more than one to one and a half hours.
- Create a relaxing bedroom environment which makes it easy for your child to drift off to sleep and stay asleep.
- A warm bath before bed time will help child’s body to reach a temperature where it’s most likely to rest.
- Avoid offering foods and drinks with caffeine to children before bed time.
- Skip stimulating TV shows, video games or computer games before bed time in favour of more calming activities, because you want the child to relax not to energize.