The occasional night of poor sleep, especially when it lines up with an event that the child is anxious about, or sickness, is part of growing up. When kids sleep poorly on a regular basis, however, things become much more concerning.
Kids who aren't sleeping well are at risk of:
• Behavioral problems, especially in school, where they need to be still and focussed.
• Poor learning, due to their inability to gather and retain information. Sleep is also an incredibly important part of the learning process. Although we don't fully understand how it works yet, researchers know that during the different phases of sleep, different parts of our day are processed by our brain, and this affects our learning over time.
• Difficulty in sports and other physical activities.
• Anxiety and depression.
What should you look for to determine if your child is getting a good night's sleep?
• Does your child snore regularly?
• Are there signs of your child's breathing pausing, or being very noisy while they're sleeping?
• Has your child started wetting the bed after at least six months of dry nights?
• Does your child experience night sweats, or struggle to fall asleep? Are they difficult to wake in the morning?
Any of these concerns would indicate that your child should have a complete sleep evaluation by an experienced pediatric sleep specialist, but this is especially true if your child has asthma, epilepsy that is poorly controlled, or needs two or more medicines to control, or has recently begun having significant behavioral or learning challenges in school. In some cases, ongoing sleep debts are so pervasive that doctors end up diagnosing ADHD or autism, instead of seeing the sleep disorder for what it is.
In cases where children do have ADHD or autism, getting a sleep evaluation will often address sleep debts that help them do better in school, minimize symptoms, and generally lead to better outcomes.
HOW PRANA CAN HELP
If you have concerns about your child's sleep, the first step is to contact our clinic for a complete sleep evaluation with a pediatric sleep specialist. Call us today and schedule an appointment to help your child get a better night's of sleep.