How To Recognize Sleep Deprivation In Children

child screaming

Getting up in the morning to go to school or work almost always seems like the hardest part of the day. No matter how much sleep we get the night before, staying in bed almost always seems like the most preferred option, especially for a lot of families that are always on the go.

But for those who do have a hard time physically getting up in the morning, this might be a sign of a more serious health problem or in most cases, sleep deprivation. Yes, children suffer from a lack of sleep just as much as adults do. Not only do sleep deprived adults and kids generally feel more tired throughout the day, but they also might have symptoms such as hyper activity attention disorder, plus much more.

According to Parenting Science, some of the signs to look out for in sleep deprived children are being slow to wake up in the morning, having difficulty paying attention in school or being quick to fall asleep. Healthy sleepers usually take about 20 minutes to fall asleep at night.

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In addition, sleep deprived children might also have poor reaction times. To complicate matters even more, those who suffer from sleep deprivation might feel “wired” or wide awake when it’s time to go to bed. That’s because sleep deprivation causes elevated levels of cortisol – a stress hormone – in the afternoon and evening hours. As hard as it is to wake up in the morning, it’s even harder to fall asleep at night.

There are also studies that suggest lack of concentration and inadvertent napping are signs of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Parents should also pay attention to behavioral changes and certain mood disorders. Another study proved that kids who have sleep problems at night more often than not have to deal with intense emotionality. In other words, they have a hard time controlling their feelings and are more inclined to have emotional outburst or meltdowns.

A few things that parents can do to make sure that their kids are well-rested is to stick to a bedtime routine, regardless if it’s a school night or a weekend night. The last thing parents want to deal with is chronic sleep loss, as it might have long-term behavior, health, and cognitive effects on children later on in their lives.

READ NEXT: Kids Are Sleep Deprived And It's Affecting Their Development

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