Poor Sleep in Preschoolers


Preschool (also known as kindergarten) is the period when the kid is between three or five years old before they have to attend the compulsory education at primary schools. In general, preschoolers need to sleep between 11 and 13 hours. However, at this age, sleep deprivation is a common issue and this can entail many bad effects.

The signs of sleep deprivation in preschoolers

The most common signs can be listed as difficulty in waking up in the morning, difficulty in concentrating and spontaneous sleep during the day. Another symptom of sleep deprivation in children is in relation to ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). El Sheikh and Buckhalt’s research of sleep deprivation in preschoolers in 2005 also linked sleep disorders with overemotional behaviors. After monitoring kids’ sleep with wrist actigraphs and parental reports, they discovered that the kids with the most trauma are also the ones who lack the most sleep. On the whole, it is easy to recognize when preschoolers suffer from sleep deprivation; however, parents may have difficulty finding out. As a result, a number of kids with sleep disorders go undiagnosed.

The detrimental consequences of sleep deprivation

Snoring can cause you to stop breathing abruptly in your sleep. It can also make you unable to wake up from sleep. More dangerously, snoring can lead to higher blood pressure and larger heart size. These conditions can be life-threatening if not treated in time.

Another threatening consequence is insomnia. This can lead to a weaker immune system, strokes, and asthma attacks. On the mental aspect, insomnia results in depression and anxiety.

Nightmares and sleepwalking
Due to the lack of sleep, your child can wake up in the middle of the night completely frightened from the events in their dreams. If this continues, they would grow to be scared of sleeping from that moment onwards. Another detrimental effect is sleepwalking. They can do dangerous things at unexpected times of the day and the parents might not be able to be there and protect them.

Memory loss
Sleep loss may also lead to impaired memory, thus resulting in poor learning ability in children. It is alarming that this can cause cognitive performance in children to be worse in the future.

How to deal with sleep deprivation

Setting up a routine
Your child should go to sleep and wake up on a regular schedule. This routine should be kept unchanged, even on weekends or holidays. The bedtime would be better if it is set when children are physically ready to fall asleep rather than being scheduled according to the parents’ likings.

Creating a comfortable sleeping environment
Decorate the bedroom with a soothing-colored night lamp. A bedtime story is a good incentive for children to fall asleep or a warm bath is also ideal.

No media allowed
Televisions, radios, computer games or the Internet should not be allowed at bedtime.

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Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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