5 Common Childhood Sleep Issues

Pixmac000082342177According to WebMd, elementary aged kids should be sleeping 10 – 11 hours a night, preschool aged children need 11 – 13, and according to, teens require around 8 1/2 hours.

Insufficient sleep can cause any number of problems, ranging from daytime behavioral issues to depression and slumping grades. And the scary part is that, again according to WebMd, 2 out of every 3 kids under the age of 10 have experienced some form of sleep problem. So what can we, as parents, do to insure our kids are getting enough sleep? Here are 5 common causes, and suggestions for how to deal with them.

1) Stress

There are lots of things that can stress a kid out, from a fight with a friend to a move to a new school to a breakup of the family. Excessive amounts of homework, being bullied…the list goes on. Anything that causes a change in the child’s life can lead to stress and sleep issues. Dealing with whatever is causing the stress may help the child sleep better.

2) Physical Conditions

Restless Leg Syndrome, a chronic ache such as a sinus headache due to allergies, acid reflux (GERD), or an injury could be the culprit. In this case a trip to the doctor might be called for.

3) Snoring

Snoring can disrupt sleep patterns and result in poor sleep quality. If your child snores and you feel it might be causing problems, a trip to the doctor would also be a good idea to find out the exact reason.

4) Obstructive Sleep Apnea

This is a condition often caused by enlarged tonsils or adenoids, and can cause gasping, choking sounds, or snoring with occasional pauses. All of these can easily disrupt sleep patterns. This is a more serious condition and may lead to issues such as bed wetting, hyperactivity or ADHD, daytime sleepiness, and learning and/or behavioral problems. Some solutions include weight loss, allergy management, nasal steroids, and antibiotics.

5) Environmental Conditions

Lastly, environmental conditions such as a physically uncomfortable sleeping environment (too hot, cold, bright, or noisy for example), and overexposure to light at night such as that produced by mobile devices, can all make falling asleep harder or cause poor quality of sleep. Be sure the bedroom is at a comfortable temperature, noise and light level, and limit device usage before bedtime.

Written by: Tricia Doane, FizzNiche Staff Writer

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