Has your child suddenly become more accident-prone? Are they having problems concentrating or retaining new information? And are they finding it hard to fall asleep at night or wake up in the morning? If your child is exhibiting one or all of these symptoms on a regular basis, they may not be getting a good night’s rest because of a sleep disorder.
What Causes Childhood Sleep Disorders?
There are a variety of physical or mental problems that can cause a sleep disorder. Psychological factors that can negatively impact a child’s sleep cycle include fatigue and anxiety. Common physical causes for a sleep disorder are obesity and asthma. Both of those illnesses disrupt a person’s breathing while they sleep, causing them to awaken suddenly at irregular intervals. Untreated, sleep-related breathing problems can develop into obstructive sleep apnea, a serious disorder that can cause a person to stop breathing while they sleep. The only way to determine the nature of a sleep disorder is through consultation with a qualified and experienced sleep doctor.
The Importance of Restful Sleep for Children
The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute recommends that preschool age children get between 11 and 12 hours of sleep a night, and that school-age children and teens should get between 9 to 10 hours of sleep a night. Sleep plays a huge role in a child’s developmental process, and being sleep deprived can have a deleterious effect on their behavior and cognitive abilities. A British study published in 2013 found that children with inconsistent sleep patterns were more likely to have behavior problems than those that had a sustained, regular sleep schedule. Another study published in 2013 found that children who do not have a regular bedtime score worse on math and reading skill assessments than those who go to sleep at the same time every night.
Our Sleep Specialist Can Help Your Child Get Enough Sleep
Because sleep is so important for the development and well-being of children, you should take action if you notice signs that your child isn’t getting enough rest. If your child regularly has difficulty going to sleep, sleeping through the night or waking up in the morning, the best thing to do is contact a sleep specialist who can help you find a meaningful and lasting solution.
If you are concerned that your child is not getting enough rest, you can contact our New York sleep center online or by phone at (212) 661-7077.