How to Spot Sleep Deprivation Symptoms in Children

Do you know how to spot sleep deprivation symptoms in your child? A good night's sleep is essential to a child's health. When a child doesn't get enough sleep, it effects his physical health, emotional well being, behavior and school performance.

Children 3 to 5-years-old should get 11 to 13 hours of sleep per night, and school-age children should get 10 to 11 hours per night, research shows.

Sleep deprivation, when a child isn't getting adequate sleep, will show up in mood, behavior and performance. Unlike adults, when children are sleep deprived, they can become more hyperactive.

Spotting Sleep Deprivation Symptoms in Children
Some signs of sleep deprivation symptoms in children include:

  • Waking up tired and groggy.
  • Reluctance to get out of bed in the morning.
  • Daytime drowsiness and sleepiness.
  • Irritability and moodiness.
  • Temper tantrums.
  • Decrease in patience.
  • Over-activity or hyperactive behavior.
  • The need to nap during the day.
  • Poor concentration and focused attention.
  • Crying fussy behavior.
  • Clumsiness and being more accident-prone.
  • Poor school performance.
  • Poor impulse control.
  • Inability to fall asleep within 30 minutes of going to bed.

While these may be signs of sleep deprivation, they may also be symptoms of other problems unrelated to a sleep disorder. It's important to consult a doctor if you feel that your child is suffering from sleep deprivation or another sleep disorder.

Some signs of sleep deprivation in children are the same as those used to diagnose Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Some children who have been diagnosed with ADHD are actually just sleep deprived.

Medical experts say that sleep deprivation and sleep disorders can cause ADHD and that by fixing a child's sleep problems, ADHD symptoms can be eliminated.

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