Sleep breathing disorders in children and adolescents are more common than you might think. Recent studies have even shown sleep disorders in toddlers and even infants. Poor sleep quality and/or quantities in children are associated with a number of different problems. Specialists say that factors such as developmental, behavioral, academic, and social difficulties, as well as weight abnormalities and other health problems are all associated with childhood sleep disorders. Children suffering from pediatric sleep disorders have trouble falling or staying asleep; physiological problems such as obstructive sleep apnea and sleep disordered breathing are likely factors affecting your child’s sleep. Not only is poor sleep in children causing problems in their daily and everyday life, it can also begin to take its toll on family dynamics and parental or sibling sleep.
Sleep disordered breathing and obstructive sleep apnea in children is largely misdiagnosed and easily overlooked. While pediatric sleep disorders can come in varying degrees of severity, it is important to be able to recognize the signs of sleep disorders so that you can treat the symptoms and get to the bottom of the underlying causes. One of the most important factors in understanding how to identify sleep disorders in children and find the solutions, are knowing how much sleep they should be getting for their age.
How Much Sleep Does My Child Need?
1 – 4 weeks old: Newborns should be getting about 16 – 17 hours of sleep a day. Typically awake for periods of 1 – 3 hours, most newborns have not developed a ‘night & day’ sleep cycle. Periods of wakefulness can vary at all hours of the day.
1 – 4 months: Babies at this age still require about the same amount of sleep, but their sleep cycles should begin kicking in.
4 months – 1 year: Averaging 14 – 15 hours of sleep everyday, most babies at this age start being able to sleep through the night. Taking 2 – 3 naps during the day, this is a crucial time to establish healthy sleeping habits.
1 – 3 years:Toddlers need about 12 – 14 hours of sleep per day. Often due to their parents or sibling’s schedule, toddlersdo not get the sufficient amount of sleep or naps they need throughout the day.
3 – 6 years: Children of this age require approximately 11 – 12 hours of sleep and need a nap during the day. The older they get, the daily nap typically becomes shorter and shorter with time.
7 – 12 years: Children in grade school tend to need around 10 – 12 hours of sleep a night, but often get between 9 – 10 hours a night.
13 – 18 years: Teenagers need to 8 – 10 hours of sleep. Due to demands of schoolwork, recreational activities, and social life, teens of this age generally get between 6 – 8 hours of sleep a night.
Now that we know how much sleep our children should be getting a night, let’s take a look at some of the signs and symptoms, which specialists believe are related to pediatric sleep disorders.
Does My Child Have a Sleep Disorder? 10 Signs of Sleep Disorders in Children
- Excessive Daytime Sleepiness – often resulting in Irritability, Anger, Depression, Headaches
- Trouble Sleeping
- Snoring, Mouth Breathing, Teeth Grinding
- Night Terrors
- Night Sweats / Restless Sleep
- ADD / ADHD
- Sleep Walking
- Poor Performance in School
What Can I Do?
Pediatric sleep breathing disorders do not only affect your child on a daily basis, but can lead to several different behavioral and psychological disorders as well. Developing problems at home, in school, and in their social life can often turn into a downward spiral. If you think your child may have a sleep disorder, the dentists at Koala® Center for Sleep and TMJ Disorders will help identify the root of the problem and provide comprehensive treatment plans that do not require surgery or medication. Our KoalaKIDZzz® Program starts treating children as early as two years old. Our solutions not only correct Sleep Disordered Breathing, but promote correct oral habits, proper facial development and airways, and will likely result in straight teeth. For a consultation for your child, please call us or book an appointment online.