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Is Your Child's Sleep Healthy?

By Sara Butler

When you’re a parent, you learn a lot about sleep – or lack of it! Suddenly, your whole life can revolve around your child’s sleep schedule. But what if you’re doing everything you can and they’re still struggling? Some children may have something more serious going on. Here’s what you need to be on the lookout for; that way, you'll know if your child is just going through a phase or something more serious could be interrupting their sleep.

Potential Sleep Problems

According to the National Sleep Foundation, your children need a certain amount of sleep depending on their age. Babies and toddlers need between 11 and 14 hours, preschool-aged children need between 11 and 13, and school-aged children need between 10 and 11 hours per night. Teens should get around 8 hours each night.

If your child is having problems getting this much sleep, it might be due to issues you can control. There are several things that can interfere with a child’s sleep, including:

  • Irregular routines
  • School or work schedules
  • Poor sleep hygiene such as too much screen time

If you’ve eliminated outside factors that could be causing sleep problems in your child and it persists, then it might be due to a medical issue.

Is it Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea is often thought of as a disorder among adults, but children can suffer from it, too. If you suspect your child is waking up in the night due to this, then be on the lookout for these symptoms:

  • Poor weight gain
  • Gagging while sleeping
  • Snoring
  • Heavy mouth breathing
  • Problems waking up
  • Difficulty at school

If you suspect your child has sleep apnea, then see your pediatrician right away.

Other Factors

Don’t jump to conclusions and think the worst right out of the gate. Sleep apnea only impacts one to five percent of children, according to American Family Physicians. If they’re having difficulty with their sleep, it could be due to:

  • Their bedtime routine
  • What they eat before bed
  • What they drink before bed

Try to keep a log for a couple of weeks in order to understand the bigger picture of what may be happening with your child. It may not be something serious but something you’ve simply overlooked in the past. Just remember, you can’t go wrong with seeking the advice of a medical professional when it comes to your concerns about your children and their health.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Bossier City, La. 

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