Children grow and need guidance as they evolve each day. Parenting is an arsenal of ever changing tactics. Everyone has their own way of parenting. One realm of parenting that has been debated over time is the sleep schedule of children. Sleep is essential to living a healthy life for everyone, especially children. To evaluate your child’s sleep needs, one must monitor their daily behavior and habits. If there is cause for concern, your child might exhibit tiredness, irritability, and other symptoms. Children need to be get proper sleep to grow both mentally and physically. Sleep helps maintain healthy brain functionality, physical health, emotional well-being, along with plenty of other health benefits. So, just how much sleep do kid’s need?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is a specific amount of hours designated for newborns, infants, toddlers, school age children, and teens. Newborns, 0-3 months, require 14-17 hours of sleep. Infants, 4-12 months, require 12-16 hours per night. Toddlers, 1-2 years old, require 11-14 hours of sleep. Children, 3-5 years of age, require 10-13 hours of sleep. Children, ages 6-12 years old, require 9-12 hours per night. Teens, 13-18 years old, require 8-10 hours of sleep.
This generation of children has become less and less active with the use and availability of electronics. Electronics can and will create a type of dependency that may make bedtime more difficult. Parents should try and limit use of electronics before bed. Electronics can overstimulate a child before bed making it more challenging for children to get to sleep. Establishing a routine with a child is key. It promotes a specific time frame for a child to devote to going to sleep in order to get their full amount of sleep for the day. A child’s bedroom at night should be completely distraction free, dark and quiet, serving as an optimal area for sleep.
Parents should talk to their pediatrician if their child displays behavior problems or has poor health. Sleep specialists can also help evaluate your child’s symptoms and pinpoint if they have a sleep disorder. Sleep specialists or doctors are specially trained to identify and treat sleep disorders in all patients. Sleep Apnea is one of the leading sleep disorders that affect children. One sign of sleep apnea is to have trouble breathing. Some sleep disorder symptoms include:
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Trouble sleeping
- Various behavioral problems
Lack of sleep could also result in trouble concentrating during the day. It is important to note that children do not simply grow out of poor sleep habits. These problems must be solved if they persist.
There are some ways to promote a better sleeping schedule for children. Children should exercise daily to use energy and gain healthy habits for life. Parents should avoid giving their children caffeine or sugar right before bed to avoid hyperactivity. Naps for infants and toddlers are needed, but children from 4-6 years old may not need naps. Unnecessary naps could hinder a full night’s sleep for a child.
A child’s health heavily depends on sleep and it is important to note the hazards that come with a lack of sleep. It is crucial to stay aware of how much sleep your child gets with their current sleep schedule. If needed, adjust your child’s sleep routine to keep them healthy and living their best life with a full night’s sleep. Childhood goes by fast, make sure your child sleeps better tonight.
Dr. Shukla can offer a range of treatments for whatever sleep disorder you or your child may have. To schedule your sleep disorder consultation at his New York offices, contact us today.