Newspaper article News Mail Bundaberg Qld.

Sleep Pattern Changes; 40% of Kids Struggle with Sleeping at Some Stage

Newspaper article News Mail Bundaberg Qld.

Sleep Pattern Changes; 40% of Kids Struggle with Sleeping at Some Stage

Article excerpt

DID you think your child would never have a sleep issue again after experiencing problems during their toddler years? Did you think waking up in the wee hours of the morning and nightmares would cease?

Has your primary school child reverted back to having troubles sleeping? Is your teen tired every morning from seemingly a lack of sleep?

These issues are not unusual, in fact up to 40% of children and teens have problems getting to or staying asleep.

The good news is that there are simple lifestyle changes and behaviour strategies you can implement to help your child or teen to improve their sleep.

Get the basics right

As mentioned in previous columns, the bedtime routine and environment are crucial factors in encouraging good sleeping habits.

Maybe you addressed these when they were a toddler, but bad habits have kicked in over time disrupting the routine or changing the environment around your child.

Take a moment to consider whether these could be issues leading the sleep problem.

Are you allowing your child to stay up later? Are they overstimulated from evening television or tablet time? Has their bedroom been significantly changed? Is there too much light? Is it too cold or hot?

It's worth exploring these issues as a simple adjustment might be all that is needed.

Daytime activity influences the evening's sleep

What your child or teen does during the day has a huge influence on their sleeping patterns and behaviour. Healthy eating and physical activity are both key influences.

Your child needs to be eating healthy during the day and should be avoiding over-indulging in caffeine.

Planning the evening meal is also important. If your child doesn't eat enough they will be hungry at bedtime, or if they eat too much they may feel uncomfortable as well and unable to fall asleep.

Physical activity is also important. …

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