Growing up, children are repeatedly disciplined for developing healthy sleep habits. Parents construct rigid schedules but for the most part, it is for the wrong reasons. Most want children to go to bed early so they will have time for themselves. This is the same case with waking routines on rushed school days. Because of inaccurate intentions, results remain inconsistent. Rigid sleep routines break when school is off, which is about four months yearly. Such inconsistencies lead to sleep disorders in both young children and adolescents.
Caregivers should make intentions of developing healthy sleep patterns not only for their children but also for themselves. Sleep irregularities profoundly affect youngsters and can provide lifelong physical and emotional struggles. One of the major harms is on personalities. Starting from the womb, a mother’s sleep cycle directly impacts the baby’s. By the teen years, his or her personality is shaped. Lack of sleep causes mood swings, disciplinary issues and decreased academic performance. A sleep disorder which directly impacts personalities is Sleep-onset Anxiety in which one cannot sleep because of stressful events or reoccurring thoughts.
Furthermore, learning about children’s bodies and their needs can lead to disciplined sleep routines, thus avoiding disorders. Knowing the different stages a child passes with every age is crucial as sleeping needs vary with age. For instance, infants sleep for many hours during the day while adolescents require more at night. Moreover, one should be familiar with body actions associated with different sleep stages. The Non-REM stage involves drowsiness, relaxed muscles, and ability to wake up easily. As for the REM or Rapid Eye Movement, this is when the brain drifts into deep and active sleep and dreams. When someone, especially children, wakes up repeatedly during REM, he or she has higher risk of developing disorders.
In addition, sleep inconsistencies affect physical growth and development in children and teenagers. Headaches, eye redness, eye pains, excessive fatigue, and poor growth are all symptoms of sleep deprivation. Moreover, when the mind and body are not thoroughly rested, kids become irritated, angry, miserable, and develop a dislike for activities that require concentration such as schoolwork. Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a disorder which is the physical manifestation of sleep disorders. During this, people have trouble breathing through their noses and require medication or even minor operations. The troubles do not end here as more dangerous sleep disorders may be developed. One example is narcolepsy which makes a person unconscious at random intervals. The treatments can be long and painful such as strong medications with side effects.
In order to tackle these problems, taking an early step is imperative. Gathering appropriate resources such as the internet, books, consultations with sleep specialists, and family doctor physicals is a good preventive measure. It is never too early to instill healthy sleeping habits in kids and when the problem does arise, one should take advantage of resources such as school psychologists, sleep studies, counselors and doctors to take control of the situation before it worsens and has long term effects.