Kids need their sleep. That goes without saying. But with the arrival of summer comes longer hours of sunlight. Kids are more inclined to want to stay awake and play. This can lead to a myriad of problems, ranging from sleep disorders, unhealthy habits, and even cardiovascular problems. Dr. Mayank Shukla, the sleep disorder doctor Brooklyn patients count on, has tips on how to get your tyke in bed fast.
Types of Child Sleep Disorders
Children, just like adults, have their fair share of sleep disorders.
- Sleep deprivation – When children are unable to get good, beneficial sleep.
- Night walking – Also known as sleep walking, when children get up and perform activities in their sleep.
- Separation anxiety – When children can’t sleep when there’s no parent around.
- Sleep apnea – Breathing pauses during sleep.
- Resistance to settling – When the child refuses to go to bed.
- Parasomnias – A series of sleep disorders, including unwanted movements, behaviors, emotions, and dreams.
- Bedwetting – Common for children under 5, but can still disrupt sleep.
Getting Your Kid to Sleep
There’s really no written rule about how many hours of sleep is appropriate for children. Parents of toddlers should aim for 11 to 12 hours of sleep while school-aged children should get at least 10. Teenagers should get as much as nine hours of sleep. Depriving them of a good rest can lead to problems such as daytime moodiness, irritability and lack of focus, and behavioral problems. On a more extreme, long-term case, absenteeism and substance abuse may become an issue.
Tips to Get Your Child to Bed
- Tire them out – Physical activity in the daytime will get them ready for bed faster.
- Prepare the room – Establish that the bedroom is going to be their sanctuary. Minimal lighting with the use of drapes can go a long way, as well as keeping the noise level down.
- Have a routine – Bedtime routines prep children. Practicing hygiene followed by story time on a nightly basis helps establish a regimen that’ll help your child naturally fall asleep by bedtime.
- Bye electronics – Ever wonder why children who play video games or watch too much television stay awake later than others? It’s because backlit devices have a way of messing up the chemicals in your brain. Warn your child that bedtime is approaching and power down all electronics.
When to See a Sleep Disorder Specialist
There are several warning signs of when to see a sleep doctor.
- When the child’s behavior and demeanor become more aggressive.
- Snoring when your child isn’t sick.
- Bed wetting after the age of five.
- When sleep aid medications don’t seem to be working.
Your Sleep Doctor is Here For You
Kids need bedtime to properly function. Dr. Mayank Shukla is here for you and your child. Dr. Shukla specializes in allergies, asthma, and sleep disorders. For the past 15 years, our sleep disorder doctor has treated Brooklyn adults and children, but the most gratifying part, he feels, is helping children breathe easier. If your child doesn’t seem to be getting the productive sleep he or she needs, contact Dr. Mayank Shukla today and set up an appointment.