For parents, children and sleep can often seem mutually exclusive; late nights with infants and young children are the norm for parents–but what about for the children? We may spot the signs of sleepless nights on our own ability to concentrate, be patient, and generally function at our best, but children can also suffer if they don’t get enough sleep.
Most parents are aware that temper tantrums are almost inevitable in overtired kids, and this is certainly one common symptom, but your child may experience other problems if they get too little good-quality sleep. Lack of sleep has lead to misdiagnoses of ADHD and hyperactivity issues, as well as problems of cognitive function (e.g., attention, memory, problem-solving), and has even been linked to childhood obesity.
How much sleep do children need at different times of their lives? What aspects of their lives can be affected by the amount of sleep they get? And how can you help your child get the appropriate amount of sleep? Brent Brandow, director of operations at Parkway SleepHealth Centers, discusses these questions in the podcast below.
“In order for children to sustain the amount of energy that is necessary at their age, we have to start with making sure they are receiving adequate sleep each night,” said Brandow. “Parents need to know the different distractions that can throw off a child’s sleep pattern and ways they can help their child receive sufficient sleep each night.”
You can help your kids get the rest they need by reinforcing a daily bedtime routine and minimizing their before-bedtime exposure to electronics and caffeine. If you have concerns about your child’s sleeping, call us to discuss whether a medical evaluation from one of our sleep medicine physicians will be beneficial. Our physicians have the experience necessary to assess your child’s symptoms, provide a more comprehensive diagnosis, and then partner with your child’s pediatrician to make sure the treatment plan fits his or her overall health needs. And rest assured, there are many non-pharmaceutical options available.
Click to listen to the podcast: