Sleep and Sleep Disorders in Children and Teens (cont.)
John Mersch, MD, FAAP
Dr. Mersch received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, San Diego, and prior to entering the University Of Southern California School Of Medicine, was a graduate student (attaining PhD candidate status) in Experimental Pathology at USC. He attended internship and residency at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.
David Perlstein, MD, MBA, FAAP
Dr. Perlstein received his Medical Degree from the University of Cincinnati and then completed his internship and residency in pediatrics at The New York Hospital, Cornell medical Center in New York City. After serving an additional year as Chief Pediatric Resident, he worked as a private practitioner and then was appointed Director of Ambulatory Pediatrics at St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx.
In this Article
- How much sleep do children need?
- Can a lack of sleep impact a child's behavior?
- What is sleep hygiene?
- What are some common sleep disorders in children?
- What are some common physiological sleep disorder symptoms in children?
- Sleep apnea symptoms in children
- Parasomnia symptoms in children
- Confusional arousals symptoms in children
- Night terror symptoms in children
- Narcolepsy symptoms in children
- Sleepwalking in children
- Do teenagers have the same sleep requirements as younger children?
- How can I teach my child or teen healthy sleep habits and good sleep hygiene?
- What are some ways I can help my child or teenager get a better nights sleep?
- What are some "dont's" for getting my child or teen to sleep?
- Find a local Doctor in your town
Do teenagers have the same sleep requirements as younger children?
Most teens need about 9.5 to 10 hours of sleep per day. Some studies have indicated that they have a different internal "sleep clock" than those younger or older than them. Researchers have demonstrated that teens are truly "night owls," and if left to their own devices, would spontaneously wake from a good night's sleep anywhere from 9:00 am to 10:00 am. High school teachers who have classes before this time period have empiric experience to second this observation. Younger children may need anywhere from 14 hours (infant: 2 naps plus nighttime long block) to 10 hours (middle school child).
How can I teach my child or teenager healthy sleep habits and good sleep hygiene?
Primary to establishing good sleep habits is a realization that sleep is a normal and necessary function. However, just as other normal and necessary functions (for example, eating, toilet training, etc.), a battle may develop between parents and their child in this area. All children older than 5 to 6 months of age need to master the ability to self-soothe and relax in order to successfully fall asleep. Depriving them of this skill by either feeding or rocking them to sleep, reading until the child falls asleep, or lying down with the child in order facilitate falling asleep, is a recipe for frustration - both for the child and the parent. Tired children (of any age) intuitively know when they are tired and, if provided the proper environment, will easily and quickly fall asleep. When they awaken during the middle of the night they are capable of falling back to sleep without parental intervention. In this circumstance, both child and parents awake refreshed the next morning.
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