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Basics of sleep and sleep disorder in children

Parents are often unable to find out whether their children are having any sleep disorder. Recent studies show that nearly 30 % of the children can have sleep disorder in kids at any point in their life. Sleep disorders in children vary in their intensity and majority of them are treatable. If the disorder can be diagnosed in a sleep study center in the early days of its inception proper treatment and care can be given to the child.

How much time do children need sleep?

1-4 weeks old: Newborns generally sleep 16-17 hours per day and their period of wakefulness may last 1-3 hours at a stretch.. Wakefulness of children keep on changing and the parents will have to adjust to accommodate the newborn.

1-4 months: Sleep duration in this period will be same as in the previous period. But now they start developing a sleep cycle.  They sleep longer at night waking up only for feeding and changing.

4 months –1 year: During this age all babies need 14-15 hours of sleep every day. They take 2-3 naps in the morning time and sleep throughout night.

1-3 years:  During this period toddlers require sleep for about 12-14 hours. But they usually did not get enough sleep due to problems of parents or the presence of elder children in the home.

3-6 years: These children need approximately 11-12 hours of sleep. During the earlier stages of this period younger children had need for a nap.  But this diminishes as they enter the later stage of this period.

7-12 years: Children of this group need only 10-12 hours of sleep. But in reality they get only about 9-10 hours of sleep.

13-18 years: Teens usually require about 8-10 hours of sleep, but rarely do they get it. The busy school activities cut short their period of sleep. Most of them sleep only 6-8 hours.

Symptoms of sleep disorders

  1. Excessive sleepiness during day time: Children who suffer from sleep disorder in kids show excessive drowsiness in the morning. It is regular and will be linked to sleep disorder even if they are considered as getting enough sleep in the night.
  2. Trouble sleeping: Children who complain of not able to get sleep and who wakes up earlier are showing symptoms of sleep disorder. This can be insomnia which is caused as a result of stress in personal life or in the school life. It is better to bring such children to a sleep study center at an early date.
  3. Snoring: Snoring in children can occur because of sleep disorders as in the case of adults. But it should not be ignored completely.
  4. Nightmares: Some children dream frightening matters and wake up in during sleep terrified and threatened. Nightmares start at the age of 3 and continue during the age period 6-10.

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