Sleep is very important to all of us, especially children. Know how much sleep your child needs.
Signs of possible sleep deprivation:
- Trouble waking up in the morning.
- Trouble falling asleep at night.
- Falling asleep as soon as she hits the pillow. It should take about 20 minutes for a healthy sleeper to fall asleep.
- Trouble concentrating or focusing, even when playing.
- Taking naps that are too long or happen too often.
- Defiant behavior or acting out.
- Increased appetite.
- Accident prone or clumsy.
- Talking too much, asking too many questions, or seeming in a frenzy when talking.
- Very emotional – intense temper tantrums, feelings that are easily hurt, or seeming to have little patience.
Tips for dealing with sleep deprivation:
- Know your child’s sleep cues. Watch for tired cues – eye rubbing, yawning, lack of focus, or general crankiness. Children can become suddenly wired, jumpy, and frantic when they need more sleep.
- Understand your child’s wakefulness window – that’s the period of time when your child can stay awake without needing sleep. Infants have very short wakefulness windows. When your child is awake past her wakefulness window, she may have a hard time settling and relaxing and may get even more active; she may also fight sleep later in the day.
- Know the best bedtimes and wake times for your child. For most children, a bedtime between 7:00 and 8:00 p.m. is appropriate. A later bedtime can cause your child to fight sleep – which can lead to nap resistance and sleep deprivation.
- Limit the things that interrupt sleep. As much as possible, schedule your errands or appointments around your child’s nap times. When possible, don’t do activities that conflict with bedtimes.