Today, 'Sleep like a baby' remains a mere statement, as most babies face sleep-related problems. Out of 24 hours a day, babies should theoretically sleep for at least 10-11 hours. But an increasing number of children who sleep poorly suffer from mental and physical illnesses disorders. Although we have adapted to a sophisticated way of living, children are still suffering from poor sleeping habits.
Poor sleep can be a hidden sign of health issues. These signs require prompt attention and treatment, which can help the child return to normal.
Sleep disorder meaning in children
Sleep disorders affect children's quality of life, which results in decreased activity and performance during the day. A variety of mental health issues, including anxiety, sadness, and cognitive difficulties, and physiological diseases, may lead to sleep disorders in children. In addition, common sleep disorders such as insomnia, narcolepsy, and sleep apnea can affect every aspect of children's lives, including safety, relationships, school, and work performance, leading to obesity or weight loss, juvenile diabetes, and heart diseases.
Cause of Sleep Disorder in children
Many factors are responsible for causing Sleep disorders in children. Although the causes may be different, they ultimately affect the body's circadian rhythm. It disturbs the natural cycle of sleep and daytime productivity. Children may suffer from sleep disorders due to several factors, including:
1. Physical disturbances (e.g., arthritis, headache, chronic pain from fibromyalgia).
2. Medical issues (e.g., sleep apnea, asthma, insomnia).
3. Mental disorders (Example: depression and anxiety disorders).
4. Environmental issues (e.g., snoring, alcoholism).
Effects of sleep disorder in children's Health
UH Rainbow Pediatric Sleep Specialist Carol Rosen, MD, says, "Sleep aids us in problem-solving, fast reaction, memory formation, and learning. Inadequate sleep has an impact on a child's academic performance. It also has an impact on a child's physical health," she adds. "sleeping, hormones assist the body in growing, building muscle, and repairing cells and tissues."
Sleep apnea in a child can lead to issues later in life. Neuro-functional disorders that develop in adolescence are one of them. In addition, according to mounting data, poor sleep may play a role in serious health issues, including obesity.
To begin with, look for symptoms that your kid is getting enough sleep or not?. According to Dr. Rosen, mood fluctuations and a loss of drive are the two main signs of sleep disorders. In addition, sleepy teenagers have difficulty waking up in the morning, become irritated later in the day, sleep longer on weekends, and fall asleep at school.
Find out what's keeping your teen up. "Teenagers' sleep is affected by several factors. Some -- such as the timing of an early school start -- are outside your control. But there are a few things you can control.
After learning about the impact of children's sleep disorders on their health, we now need to know about the effects on their academic achievement.
Effects of Sleep disorders on the Academic Performance of Children
As per a recent study, sleep disorders disproportionately affect children of color and those from low socioeconomic status, putting them at risk of behavioral problems and low academic performance.
.● Teenagers, according to studies, require 9-10 hours of sleep per night. Memory and concentration, as well as higher cognitive performance, are severely hampered by lack of sleep.
● Even if your kid studies throughout the night to prepare for examinations, s/he may score poorly on test day.
● According to the National Sleep Foundation, 60% of high school kids suffer from excessive daytime fatigue, which causes them to fall asleep in class regularly. Sleeping less than 7 hours is responsible for it.
● According to pediatrician Judith Owens, chronic sleep disorder among children and adolescents is the most common public health problem in the USA today and can be addressed effectively.
● As per Dr. AviSadeh' study at the University of Tel Aviv, loss of one hour of sleep is equal to the loss of two years of cognitive maturity."
In practice, this means that a drowsy eighth-grader will perform academically at a level similar to that of a sixth-grader.
● Sleep disorder in children also affects immune system effectiveness, leaving pupils vulnerable to all of the infections they are exposed to at school. Absentism also plays a role in poor academic achievement.
Ways to get rid of sleep disorder in children
So, sleep is essential, especially for kids. But, sadly, just knowing your kids need a good night's sleep doesn't mean they'll get it. So, understanding your love for children, and the responsibility of taking proper care of them, we offer these helpful suggestions:
● 1. Make a plan - Make a bedtime routine. One of the most beneficial things you can do for yourself and your children is establishing a bedtime routine for grownups. First, allow them to choose how many books you will read together and when you will snuggle; this will assist them in identifying their own settling requirements and give them a sense of control. Then list the steps in order, such as "wear pajamas, brush your teeth, read a book" so that everyone knows exactly what will happen. For children who cannot read, it will be better to use charts with pictures. Before you begin, review your plans together.
● 2. Eating well and exercising regularly - Encourage physical activity and a nutritious diet. In the afternoon, stay away from sugar and caffeine. It will be better to establish a regular sleeping and waking schedule during the week and at weekends.
● 3. Avoid Electronics gadgets - Try to keep your teens away from computers, games, and academic tasks at least two hours before bedtime. If it's time for bed, turn off/collect/remove electronic media and games such as computers, TVs, phones, and text messages. Children can check them out again in the morning after a good sleep.
● 4. Perfect sleep environment -It will help your child sleep better if the bedroom is dark and quiet and the noise level in the house is next to nothing. If your child does not enjoy a completely dark room, turn on a small night light or leave the hall light on while leaving the door to the bedroom open.
● 5. Make sleep a family priority - You can boost your teen's academic performance by increasing the number of hours of sleep they get every night with these simple solutions.
Sleeping disorder is not difficult to get rid of; it can be cured with the right treatment in the early stages. Unfortunately, long-term cases may take a little longer to resolve. Sleep disorders are not fatal, but they affect the quality of life of children so frequently and so severely that they can impair your weight, school/work performance, physical and mental health. The lifestyle changes, practices mentioned will help children get a sound night's sleep.